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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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A new report from Bloomberg indicates Sony may be gearing up to produce a new line of smartwatches for release next year. The report states the new watch will focus on design and customization over the technological prowess of watches like the yet-to-be-released Apple Watch and Sony's own SmartWatch 3.

smartwatch_3_press.jpg
Sony's just-released SmartWatch 3, a more traditional smartwatch
The upcoming Sony device will use an e-paper display in lieu of a traditional LCD or OLED smartwatch screen and, according to Bloomberg, and the display will cover the entire surface of the watch and band.
The watch's face and wrist band will be made from a patented material that allows the entire surface area to function as a display and change its appearance, the people said, asking not to be named because it hasn't been announced.
Sony also hopes the e-paper display's outdoor friendly view-ability advantage over other display technologies will attract consumers.

The device will emphasize style, according to Bloomberg's sources, rather than attempting to out-perform technological offerings in the increasingly crowded smart watch field. The watch is said to be part of Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai's recent initiative to fast-track promising products and attempt to regain the culture of innovation the company was known for in years past.
"The innovation program is very important, but it will take time and require some risk-taking," said Sadao Nagaoka, a professor at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo who studies innovation and serves as an economic adviser to Japan's Patent Office. "It's not that Sony ran out of new ideas, but rather, it's taking too long to restructure, and gigantic losses have starved new businesses of funds."
The new watch is reportedly part of Sony's new Seed Acceleration Program, which allows any employee with a new idea to pitch to other employees, or a panel of outside experts, for venture financing. Speaking of the program earlier this year, Hirai noted he is optimistic about the new direction of the company, and hopes the innovation program continues to become "the driving force for our new Sony."

Article Link: Sony Planning to Launch E-Paper Smartwatch in 2015
 

Waxhead138

macrumors 6502
May 18, 2012
442
510
It would be nice to see Sony competitive once again outside the worlds of Playstation and TV screens.
 

coder12

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2010
512
3
Going to cover the entire surface of the watch and band? Interesting concept, especially with how well e-ink displays have been shown to function in smart watches (Never had any issues with my Pebble's display).
 

jayducharme

macrumors 601
Jun 22, 2006
4,067
4,291
The thick of it
From the images I've seen, it looks to be another novelty watch and little more. Why do I need the band to change into different black and white patterns? It would look like i was wearing a monochrome display from a 1980s desktop. Now if the band could display additional information, like texts and e-mails, that would be a bit more useful.

the device will emphasize style rather than attempting to out-perform technological offerings

LOL! From what I've seen, the style will be vintage cereal box toy.
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,324
5,462
Not sure how useful making the entire band be a screen could be. I would have to rotate my wrist to see the additional data.

But maybe it could be stylish looking? E-Paper isn't necessarily black and white, is it? I thought it was possible for it to display other colors?

Edit: Here's an article about Philips making a colored E-Paper display in 2009.
http://www.technologyreview.com/news/413405/color-e-paper-that-rivals-the-real-thing/
 

FieldingMellish

Suspended
Jun 20, 2010
2,440
3,108
I can only envision a computerized watch being useful in a nudist colony. For all others, there's a good chance of having pockets to keep a phone or small tablet in.
 

osaga

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2012
454
170
I think it sounds great. It would be great if the Apple watch was a beautiful thin round color e-paper display with great battery life, and the beautiful bands, cases, customization and build quality of the Apple watch. All it would do is provide notifications, tell the time, and provide health data to your phone. From a distance it looks like a classic watch. It's then a style accessory 1st and foremost, that also happens to be very useful. I'd buy one.

It might also be great if the watch was simply a round disk. And then Apple could encourage third party manufacturers Gucci, Fendi, Prada etc. to make enclosures and bands. Ensuring that Apple never falls behind in case Apple can't keep up with fashion trends, they'd never even have to worry about that.
 

69650

Suspended
Mar 23, 2006
3,367
1,877
England
At last, a smart watch you can actually use. I like the idea of a smart watch but I don't want a big bulky heavy "computer" strapped to my wrist that I've got to charge every night. The Apple Watch in it's currently form will be a 5 minute wonder. Thin and light with colour e-ink display and a decent battery life is definitely the way to go.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,818
28,891
At last, a smart watch you can actually use. I like the idea of a smart watch but I don't want a big bulky heavy "computer" strapped to my wrist that I've got to charge every night. The Apple Watch in it's currently form will be a 5 minute wonder. Thin and light with colour e-ink display and a decent battery life is definitely the way to go.

5 minute wonder? That's a bit hyperbolic don't you think? Let's see a working prototype of this Sony watch before we get all excited.
 
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iolinux333

macrumors 68000
Feb 9, 2014
1,798
73
It would be nice to see Sony competitive once again outside the worlds of Playstation and TV screens.

Sony 20 years ago was flying high and had hard core fans that were willing to pay a premium to be locked into a proprietary ecosystem, in order to receive a certain perceived quality. They kept treating said fans like dirt until pretty much everyone told them to take a hike. It was only their diversification that kept them from going under completely.

Over the past two years it seems that someone in their mobile phone division has been getting a clue. Their latest round of phones is, quite frankly, the best there is overall on the market, and they are all offered with the option to unlock the bootloader if desired.

As for the watch? If it isn't able to stand on its own I have zero interest. A tethered watch is pointless to me. I do not want to have to have any more junk on my body. I'd love to be able to leave my phone behind and be able to do everything from the watch, if need be, instead.

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Come back Sony! All is forgiven! Please make something different and get us away from the normal and safe.

I still don't know if all is forgiven. Every time I'm about to hit the "buy" button for an Xperia Z3, I remember the rootkit incident, and all the DRM crap they've been shoving down our throats all these years. I wish there was a non evil company to buy a cell phone from, that makes a decent top of the line phone. Even Motorola was evil. I thought Apple wasn't evil haha. It's one of the reasons I came over to this camp. Stupid me.

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Not sure how useful making the entire band be a screen could be. I would have to rotate my wrist to see the additional data.

But maybe it could be stylish looking? E-Paper isn't necessarily black and white, is it? I thought it was possible for it to display other colors?

Edit: Here's an article about Philips making a colored E-Paper display in 2009.
http://www.technologyreview.com/news/413405/color-e-paper-that-rivals-the-real-thing/

Color e-mail paper looks washed out. See the Qualcomm watch, you can buy right now, for reference.
 

MarkCollette

macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2003
1,559
36
Toronto, Canada
As for the watch? If it isn't able to stand on its own I have zero interest. A tethered watch is pointless to me. I do not want to have to have any more junk on my body. I'd love to be able to leave my phone behind and be able to do everything from the watch, if need be, instead.

Agreed, the only way I'd buy a smart watch is if it allowed me to leave my phone at home, when doing sports. So, I could get by without cellular and maybe even wifi, but it had better have GPS/Glonass/Galileo built-in. Calendars, contacts, notes, etc should be always up-to-date when in range of my iPhone, MacBook Air, or wifi.
 

ChrisCW11

macrumors 65816
Jul 21, 2011
1,037
1,433
It would be nice to see Sony competitive once again outside the worlds of Playstation and TV screens.

Sony isn't even competitive in TV screens, Samsung and LG long since took over that crown and pass it back and forth depending on who's screen is curvier.
 

WRChris

macrumors 6502a
Aug 17, 2016
675
942
Indiana
I can only envision a computerized watch being useful in a nudist colony. For all others, there's a good chance of having pockets to keep a phone or small tablet in.
Try one. I haven't missed a day with my Apple Watch since it launched, even with the strange looks I first got with it. It's so nice to be able to get notifications on your wrist, especially if you don't want to pull a 5.5 inch phone out of your pocket every time you get a text/email. As for being naked and using it, you need to have your phone close so it still receives data.
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Try one. I haven't missed a day with my Apple Watch since it launched, even with the strange looks I first got with it. It's so nice to be able to get notifications on your wrist, especially if you don't want to pull a 5.5 inch phone out of your pocket every time you get a text/email. As for being naked and using it, you need to have your phone close so it still receives data.


And I no longer have to pull my phone half way out just to see the time! I've never worn a watch before my original Apple Watch but I can't imagine not wearing it now.
 
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