If you were excited by the news that Sony was planning to develop a watch made entirely of e-paper, you might be surprised to learn that the watch actually already exists, and was developed through a crowdfunded project!
The FES Watch, which was created by Fashion Entertainments, a sub-division of Sony, is a low-tech alternative to many of the LCD and AMOLED offerings currently on the market, and the rumour is that Sony chose to keep its involvement in the crowdfunded project secret, as a means to gather honest information on the device’s potential popularity.
The watch is extremely thin and minimal and doesn’t come with all of the bells and whistles of other popular wearables including the company’s own SmartWatch 3. In fact, as is to be expected for an item made from similar materials, it closely resembles a Kindle screen in the way the display fades in, and out and seems to simply show a clock face and nothing else, but the killer feature is that the whole watch, strap included, is able to display content.
The device is said to last up to 60 days on a single watch battery and is one of a number of e-paper accessories being developed by Sony right now, with a bow tie, hat and shoe accessories in the works.
There’s no official word on when the watch might be released, but those who’ve contributed to the funding for the project through Makuake, the Japanese crowdfunding site, have been told to expect their devices around May of next year. It’s also unclear whether the watches will see a wider release once the project is completed.
Sony’s decision to be cautious about putting its own substantial wealth behind the project has led to questions regarding whether it’s ethical for such a large company to use crowdfunding, but the decision to omit its identity to garner more open, genuine feedback seems like a sage one, given the popularity of the project and its success.
We’re writing about its existence now, but hopefully we’ll be writing a review for it in the near future.