Sony is developing a minimalist fashion watch based on e-paper technologyBy John Williamson
Sony has formed a new division under the name of Fashion Entertainments and created a simple watch made entirely from e-paper. The watch, codenamed Fes, adopts a retro design and features 24 patterns which mimic a wide range of traditional watch straps and faces. The unit also responds to gestures and alters the watch face so you can easily read the time when you hold the item in front of you.
The Fes' sole purpose is to be a bold fashion accessory and doesn't include advanced features like monitoring or voice recognition which are present on the upcoming Apple Watch. However, its e-paper construction is incredibly power efficient and the battery should last approximately 60 days on a single charge. Compare this to the iWatch which will require daily charging and is undoubtedly less practical in this sense. Furthermore, the basic design of the Fes should make it a fairly affordable proposition.
There has been an overwhelmingly positive attitude towards the Fes so far which began with a crowdfunding campaign back in September. The initial target goal of 2 million yen ($17,000) has already been surpassed with the final figure reaching 3.5 million yen ($30,000). Sony distanced themselves from the project to see what the reaction would be without people's views being skewed thinking it was a huge campaign backed by such a recognisable company.
In addition to the Fes, Fashion Entertainments are working on other e-paper products including bow ties, shoes and even glasses. Perhaps the company foresees this as the future of wearables and a new way of implementing smart but efficient technology based on style instead of features.
There is no official release date for the watch, but backers should receive the Fes in May next year.