TIME FOR E-PAPER?
Seiko were the first watch brand to experiment with e-paper and e-ink on a watch back in 2007 (eons ago) with the rather pricey Seiko Spectrum. The watch featured a bracelet wrapped in an e-screen, so the visuals could be changed at will. Seiko followed this up with the EPD Active Matrix collection, also pretty expensive, and then came the lesser known brands, such as Phosphor, offering cheaper alternatives. Now Seiko’s home rivals Sony are playing catch up with the imminent release of the Sony FES e-ink watch. The watch has been developed by a Sony subsidiary called Fashion Entertainments (FES) and funds for the creation of the watch were raised via an Internet crowd-funding platform in Japan called Makuake (what happened to the idea of crowd-funding platforms being used to help individuals and small business get a start? Big business has usurped the little man it seems).
The FES watch will have an e-paper display – similar in look and feel to e-book readers like Amazon's Kindle – and the watch face and strap design will be able to switch between different effects, such as a simulated leather strap with metal case, or all metal and various configurations. It’s not pitched at being a smart watch as there is limited functionality; it’s more of a stab at fashionable wearable technology. FES claim the watch is able to last for 60 days of battery life on a single charge. The crowd-funding campaign closed but was recently re-opened to allow more people to pledge money and receive Sony FES watch when the time comes. FES says that the watch will be available for sale sometime in 2015.