Battery life is one of the major problems wearables are confronted with, but e-ink displays could put an end to that, without affecting the functionality too much.
All the big tech players have their own version of a smartwatch, and even though Sony made a few itself, it wants to revolutionize the dumber timepieces, as well. The Japanese corporation has just taken the veil off its e-ink watch, despite the fact that the device has been seen before on crowdfunding platforms under the name FES Watch.
Sure, an e-paper display could help the wristwatch save a lot of energy, thus lasting longer, but Sony has taken things further and made the wristband out of e-paper, as well. There’s still a long way until color e-ink becomes a mainstream thing, the company behind this technology having only showcased color e-paper displays this summer, but there’s still a lot of things that can be done using only black and white. The color of the watch’s dial can change, and the same goes for the color of the wristband, depending on the wearer’s gestures.
First of all, the different patterns an accommodate a person’s fashion taste. Secondly, they could serve another purpose, but that’s for the Fashion Entertainments to decide. This subsidiary of Sony consists of a team of employees who made a purpose out of finding new uses for e-paper. Anyway, the FES watch is a great example of minimalist design, something that could have been made only in Scandinavia or Japan.
Featured on Makuaku, a Japanese crowdfunding site, the FES watch has already reached its funding goal, and even exceeded it by 39%. Now what I would like to see is other makers of wearables picking up the idea and developing it even further. There’s a great chance that Sony already holds a patent for this technology, the whole concept of using the wristband as a form of display should be used by others.
Creating a basic e-ink smartwatch that displays only notifications shouldn’t be that difficult. On the upside, think how great of a battery life such a device would have! The bottom line is that wearable manufacturers should either make basic smartwatches with a great battery life, or full-fledged devices with all the sacrifices that come with performance. Anything, just don’t get stuck in the middle like HP did with the MB Chronowing smartwatch.
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