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Sony develops e-paper watch

Tech giant tests water with crowdfunded device

 

Sony is developing a watch that can alter the look of its screen and strap at the touch of a button.

The Fashion-Entertainments (FES) watch uses an e-paper display (similar to that used in Kindle book readers) to display one of 24 design patterns.

E-paper displays use only a tiny amount of power, and it’s suggested that the watch could run for up to 60 days between charges. However, this type of display is monochrome, so the watch’s designs will be without colour.

The watch is not a smartwatch like the recently announced Apple Watch – its only functions are to change its pattern and display the time.

Money has been raised for the watch on Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake since the autumn, but Sony has only recently confirmed (in an interview with the Wall Street Journal) that it was involved in the project.

Those working on the device told the paper that Sony’s name was kept away from the gadget so it could be more accurately judged whether there was a demand for it.

That demand seems to have been proven; the device reached its fundraising goal of 2 million yen (£10,700) within three weeks.

An official release date has not yet been announced, but anyone keen on one can preoroder from Makuake. The watch is expected to ship next spring.

And if you want some accessories to go with your new e-ink watch, well it seems like you might be in luck. The company is also working on e-ink versions of shoes, glasses and even bow-ties.

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