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Sony said to be working on an ultra-thin e-paper smartwatch
E-paper may be an old technology, but people are still finding new uses for it. Sony is apparently developing an ultra-flexible smartwatch made out of the material, according to sources close to the matter.
Both the wristband and watch face are said to be made from a new “patented material” that allows the entire surface area to function as a display, meaning that the entire look of the watch, straps and all, can be altered digitally. This seems to be the main point of the watch, as it isn’t designed to compete with other smartwatches in terms of features or performance.
Smartwatches don’t sell now because there is little reason to buy one, since your smartphone can do it all anyway. Many people choose their watches based on the brand and design. – Taichiro Nakayama, Nomura Research
Sony isn’t the only company working on this type of smartwatch. A start-up company in Japan is seeking crowd-funding for its own FES e-ink watch, which you can see below. So far only around 22 million smartwatches have been sold worldwide this year. It seems that the current crop of devices clearly aren’t striking a chord with consumers. Perhaps e-paper is the answer?
The as yet unannounced e-paper design comes from Sony’s newly formed innovation division. The group is also working on a prototyping platform named MESH, a chewing gum sized package full of LEDs and sensors aimed at developers and hobbyist. The division was setup to help Sony develop new product ideas to offset mediocre sales and poor financial results. Whether or not e-paper smartwatches are the next big thing remains to be seen.
What do you make of e-paper watch designs, are they stylish or just a bit odd?