posted at 16:50
Author: Adario Strange
Sony quietly unveils e-ink smartwatch as a crowdfunding project
Sony's e-ink-powered FES Watch has been hiding in plain sight for months on Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake, where the device blew past its original funding goal of around $8,500 and eventually managed to raise a little more than $20,000. In a departure from Sony's normally conservative product launch approach, the company cleverly put the project into play under the name of Fashion Entertainments on the crowdfunding site in September to, presumably, test the market's interest. The main feature of the thin device, which is shaped like a traditional wristwatch, appears to be its use of e-ink to change design of the watch interface and wrist band. According to the project's campaign page, the device's battery will last up to 60 days. In a demonstration video, the device cycles through several of its 24 design patterns, changing the watch from light-colored to dark, with one design even giving the watchband an alligator skin pattern. Based on the details currently available, the e-ink design changes appear to be the extent of the "Smart" part of the device's functions. While e-ink devices are nothing new - leading the pack are Amazon's Kindle ebook readers and, more recently, the Pebble smartwatch - the powerful backing of Sony's vast electronics ecosystem could help the device gain traction with the public. Sony has not released an official statement regarding the device or whether it will be made widely available as a commercial product.

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