Sony Xperia SmartWatch connects to your Android handset

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Have you ever wanted a watch that can connect with your smartphone so you can read text messages, social updates, and control music without the hassle of having to dig into your pocket while on the go? Sony is betting that's the case and has launched the Xperia SmartWatch to fill that void in the market.

The watch connects via Bluetooth to your any handset running Android 2.1 or later (once the corresponding SmartWatch app has been installed on the phone) and will let you access a variety of features from its 1.3-inch OLED multi-touch display. By default that includes basics such reading full length emails and text messages, keeping up with your social networks and checking the weather, to controlling the music playing on your phone and accepting or declining calls (but you can't actually talk through the watch a la Dick Tracy).

There's also a Find Phone app you might find useful when your phone goes missing around the house. It can connect with accessories such as heart-rate monitors, and can offer quick access to fitness applications such as Endomondo. Sony says that the number of mini apps for the Xperia SmartWatch will jump to about 60 in the coming weeks and is also offering an SDK for developers to further extend the watch's functionality with their own applications.

The SmartWatch will set you back $150 and comes with a black rubber strap as standard, but you can pick up some more colorful ones for $20 a piece and swap between them easily with a clip mechanism.

Just yesterday a smartwatch project called Pebble hit Kickstarter promising iOS and Android compatibility as well as an e-paper display that you can easily view outdoors. It managed to hit its target goal of $100,000 in just a few short hours and, in fact, it should break the $1 million mark today (as of writing this, pledges are at $978,000). It seems there's more excitement about smartwatches than I would have thought.

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