Those who spotted our coverage of the e-paper watch that Sony was said to be working on will remember mention of a similar flexible watch project named FES e-ink. It turns out that the two are one and the same. The FES e-ink watch is Sony’s secretive flexible watch project.
A spokesperson from Sony confirmed that the company is working on a project named Fashion Entertainments, which is researching potential electronic paper, or e-inks, applications for fashion products. The FES Watch is the group’s major prototype at the moment, which uses electronic paper to change the entire watch design based on an input gesture.
Currently, the watch comes with 24 different user selectable patterns. The project was kept under wraps and pushed through crowd-funding to gauge initial interest without attaching the Sony brand name. The FES Watch passed its fund raising goal of 2 million yen (US$17,000) in just three weeks and has already secured 3.5 million yen.
“We hid Sony’s name because we wanted to test the real value of the product, whether there will be demand for our concept,”
Sony’s Fashion Entertainments project extends beyond watches, the company is also working on e-ink variable design ties, hat accessories, and paper holders. Essentially, the development team is looking to re-define e-papers as a fabric usable for a wide range of applications.
This project is just one of Sony’s side efforts aimed at generating new innovative projects. Rather than direct oversight from the chiefs at Sony, these smaller divisions are encouraged to come up with their own ideas backed by financial and advisory support from Sony. Sony also has a Real Estate service and product audition program named Seed Acceleration on the go.
Sony has declined to comment on the official release or availability of the FES Watch, but the crowd funding page suggests that backers will receive pre-orders soon after May 2015. Do you think that e-paper has potential in the fashion world or is this just a crazy gimmick?