Google’s tried to do it with Google Glass, but many early adopters have “lost faith” in the product – and this doesn’t even consider the opinion of some that Google Glass is a “privacy invader.”
Smartwatches such as the Samsung Gear S, 2015 Apple Watch, and whole host of Android Wear smartwatches have been trying to achieve the same goal as Google Glass.
What is the goal? To merge tech and fashion for mass consumer appeal.
So far, the results have been mixed. Google Glass hasn’t taken off, mainly because of its privacy issues and $1,500 price tag, and Sony and Samsung have been the only major frontrunners when it comes to the smartwatch market. Apple’s introduction of the Apple Watch in 2015 may have a similar effect to Apple Pay’s influence in the market is doing currently (it’s increasing Google Wallet usage by at least 50%), but the smartwatch techie-to-consumer top-down effect hasn’t brought consumers to stores in droves.
Japanese manufacturer Sony has been trying to find new ways to break through the consumer market. Its Smartwatch 1 and 2 offerings didn’t push the envelope in this regard, but Sony has now placed its Smartwatch 3 on Android Wear (after stating publicly that the company would stick with its own smartwatch offerings).
Now, however, Sony’s got a new vision for the future – and it’s gonna revolutionize tech in a whole new way. We can also call it ‘The Next Big Thing’ after Apple iPhone / Apple Watch.
Sony’s E-paper smartwatch that we’ve heard of now has a prototype, the FES smartwatch. Sony’s been working with startup company Fashion Entertainments (or FES) to produce the prototype that many are calling the fashion tech device of the future. What many didn’t know until recently is that FES is a subdivision of Sony.
With that said, what can we tell you about the FES smartwatch? It doesn’t come with the bells and whistles of, say, Samsung’s Gear S smartwatch (which happens to be the only device on the market at the moment that’s worth $349; sorry, Apple Watch fans). Instead, it relies on a minimalistic look but has a “chameleon” feature whereby the watchface and wristband change colors to match your outfit or desired look. Additionally, the E-paper smartwatch is said to last for 60 days on a single charge, since it looks like a normal watch in functionality but has a beauty form factor that can also match your fashion trend at any time.
What the Sony E-Paper smartwatch means for the industry
One problem with current smartwatch offerings is that you often choose one color that will match most of your outfits. With the Moto 360 smartwatch, for example, many individuals will likely choose a black or leather wristband (if not the silver and gold wristbands just to show off their tech gadget) since black is one color that matches nearly everything.
Some will choose black because they don’t want their smartwatch to be the “brightest” thing you notice when seeing them in public (gold is the most “blingy” color of a smartphone or smartwatch that’s sure to garner attention – both positive and negative).
With Sony’s new E-paper smartwatch, however, you wouldn’t need to worry about whether or not the wristband matches your favorite outfit; simply put it on and use an app to change its color when wearing something different from the usual black and white. How many watches are able to do this?
Sony wants to revolutionize fashion tech, however. It not only wants to make smartwatches that can change to match your fashion statement, but also E-paper bow ties, glass frames, and even sandal straps. Perhaps the E-paper smartwatch’s minimalistic design will come to glasses and frames that won’t have the awkward geekiness of Google Glass.
Sony intends to send a message that tech doesn’t have to look “loud” to be great. If the FES E-paper smartwatch is any indication, the goal of merging fashion and tech is about to enter into a new chapter.
Sony, go forth and conquer.