Lately, the smartwatch is all the rage. Not so much with consumers, but at Android Authority, where we’ve been beset on all sides by news of wearable technology. The latest comes from Motorola, who filed a “wearable display device” with the USPTO (US Patent and Trade office) back in February. While the big story is Motorola’s “gaze detection” technology, and creepy patent pictures showcasing it, the filing has a lot more to it...
Read the full story here... Source: Android Authority
- A multi-functional message notification device, Android app interface and music remote, all in a sleek and water-resistant design
- Combines Sony’s technology and design expertise with one-touch connectivity and premium build quality
- Next-generation Sony SmartWatch offers improved performance, intuitive interface and standalone capability
- Reaffirms Sony’s leadership in smartwatch and wearable technology segment**
25th June 2013, London – Sony Mobile Communications (“Sony Mobile”) today introduces Sony SmartWatch 2 SW2, the most advanced smartwatch available*.
Sony SmartWatch 2 is a second screen for your Android smartphone that, as well as enhancing existing phone functionality, offers unique new benefits. Combining form and function in a sleek design, it serves as a multi-functional watch, notifier, Android app interface and phone remote control, all-in-one.
Openness with Android
App expandability is key to Sony SmartWatch 2. It can be personalised with more dedicated apps than any other smartwatch* to seamlessly suit your needs, whether you are on the go, keeping active, in business meetings or simply at home.
Download a host of SmartWatch apps and experience a range of unique functions - many of which can even be enjoyed without ever needing to reach for your phone:
- Handle your calls by a simple touch of your wrist
- Take a photo remotely from your SmartWatch, using a smart camera app
- Control your presentations remotely using Presentation Pal
- Taking a run or on the bike? Select a mapping app on SmartWatch to check your route with a quick glance at your wrist
- Read previously downloaded e-mails when not connected to your phone
- Use lifestyle apps like Runtastic to map and instantly track your fitness activities on the go
- Quickly and easily adjust the tracks and volume on your music player, without ever taking your phone from your pocket
SmartWatch 2 is also both sleek and reassuringly robust thanks to its water and dust resistant design, giving you the freedom to enjoy it on the beach or simply on the go – come rain or shine.
An increasing market in wearable tech
A typical smartphone user reaches for their phone many times a day to read messages, check the time, view and make social media updates, use their favourite apps, take photos, listen to music and play mobile games. SmartWatch 2 addresses this need by offering you a convenient touch screen device so you no longer need to remove your phone from your pocket or bag
“Sony is the proud leader in the smartwatch market** since introducing our first Bluetooth watch in 2007,” says Stefan K Persson, Head of Companion Products at Sony Mobile Communications.
“Competitors are only now launching first generation devices, while we are already launching a 3rd generation device with all the insight gained from over half a million customers combined with Sony’s wealth of technology expertise to create the best ever smartwatch experience.
“The future of wearable devices is incredibly bright with analyst research predicting 41 million ‘smart’ watches will be sold by 2016,” continues Persson. “We have over 200 unique apps dedicated for Sony SmartWatch with over one million downloads to date and we are continuing to work with our strong developer network to deliver ever more compelling smartwatch experiences.”
The best of Sony in a SmartWatch
If you use Android, on either smartphone or tablet, Sony SmartWatch 2 is your ideal smartwatch partner.
It’s easy and convenient to access notifications from your wrist such as messages, calls, email, Facebook™/Twitter™, Calendar, or use it as a remote for your Walkman™ or other digital media player. This wireless accessory is ideal for pairing with large-screen devices, such as the newly announced Xperia™ Z Ultra, in situations which call for discrete usage.
SmartWatch 2 introduces new features as a natural successor to the current Sony SmartWatch such as NFC connectivity for one-touch pairing, stunning premium design and a range of technologies including higher resolution for sharper viewing, better visibility even in sunlight, longer battery stamina, more intuitive interface, standalone watch functionality and a wide range of pre-installed and recommended apps.
When not connected to your phone, SmartWatch 2 works as a standalone digital watch. Read previously received notifications, access the time, set your alarm or even use as a light when searching for your keys.
SmartWatch 2 can also be personalised with any standard 24mm wristband and new Sony watchstraps will soon be available for further expression of your personal style.
Using groundbreaking design, Sony continues to introduce new technologies and has the largest range of NFC accessories available from wireless headsets to portable speakers, TVs, SmartTags and SmartWatch.
Key features for Sony SmartWatch 2
- Screen brightness (sunlight readable)
- Longest battery life for a smartwatch* (battery level indicator shows low battery warning)
- Water-resistant (IP57)
- Easy setup (NFC pairing and connecting)
- Standalone watch functionality
- Standard micro USB cable for charging
- User interface similar to Android UI so it is more intuitive
- High quality materials (aluminium body and stainless steel wristband)
- Extended compatibility (works with most Android phones)
- Swappable wristbands – personalise with any standard 24mm strap
Sony SmartWatch 2 SW2 will be available worldwide from September 2013.
For all the latest news, views and info on Sony Xperia products, follow @SonyMobileNews on Twitter.
Japanese blog Macotakara points to a pair of reports in today's edition of Taiwanese newspaperEconomic Times addressing rumors surrounding Apple's smart watch effort. According to the first report, Apple has begun sampling 1.5-inch OLED displays from RITEK subsidiary RiTdisplay.
The report also claims that RITEK's joint venture RitFast will be supplying the touch sensor technology for the watch.
Today's report echoes a December claim about Apple's plans for RiTdisplay's 1.5-inch displays and word that Intel is involved in Apple's effort, but includes a detail indicating that Apple had originally hoped to use a 1.8-inch display in the smart watch. That display, however, proved to be too large and the company shifted to the smaller 1.5-inch display size.
The second report offers an overview of the smart watch industry, with "market rumors" indicating that Foxconn has already received orders for Apple's smart watch. But with order volumes said to be around 1,000 units, the production run would clearly be a small-scale trial.
Rumors of an Apple smart watch ramped up in the months following that December report about Apple and Intel working together, with The New York Times later reporting that Apple was "experimenting" with curved glass smart watch designs and Bloombergfollowing up to claim that Apple has 100 product designers working on the project.
"iWatch" rumors peaked in February and March of this year amid claims that the device could launch "as soon as this year", but things have been relatively quiet for the past several months.
Source: Mac Rumours
With rumors of an Apple smart watch ramping up over the past few months, a number of other companies have also reportedly been working on their own projects involving watches and other wearable devices. Last month, both Samsung andGoogle were reported to be working on their own projects, and now The Wall Street Journalindicates that Microsoft is also exploring the possibility of a smart watch.
Earlier this year, Microsoft asked suppliers in Asia to ship components for a potential watch-style device, the executives said. One executive said he met with Microsoft's research and development team at the software company's Redmond, Wash., headquarters. But it's unclear whether Microsoft will opt to move ahead with the watch, they said. [...]
For its potential new watch prototype, Microsoft has requested 1.5-inch displays from component makers, said an executive at a component supplier.
The report notes that this is not Microsoft's first foray into smart watch technology, with the company having launched its Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) platform in 2004 through partnerships with watch companies such as Fossil and Suunto.
Those watches, which received data through Microsoft's MSN Direct FM radio-based service, were discontinued by 2008, but the idea of smart watches is experiencing a rebirth as companies look to make the experience of today's mobile devices even more "personal".
(Image: Suunto's n3 smart watch from 2004, based on Microsoft's SPOT technology)
Bloomberg is reporting that Apple has a team of about 100 product designers working on a wristwatch computer, according to "two people familiar with the company's plans." The New York Times previously reported that Apple had been "experimenting" with a curved glass smart watch, but Bloomberg believes that Apple's smart watch plans have moved beyond the experimental phase.
The team, which has grown in the past year, includes managers, members of the marketing group and software and hardware engineers who previously worked on the iPhone and iPad, said the people, who asked not to be named because the plans are private. The team’s size suggests Apple is beyond the experimentation phase in its development, said the people.
Apple's senior director of engineering, James Foster, is said to be one of the managers working on the project, which happens to involve challenges like creating a smart watch that doesn't have to be charged every day. The smart watch, known colloquially by some as the "iWatch," would be able to do some of the same tasks as the iPad and iPhone.
Bloomberg also mentions that Apple had been planning a wearable fitness tracking device, much like Nike FuelBand or Jawbone Up, but that Apple had decided not to bring them to market. Apple CEO Tim Cook is a Nike board member and spoke about his own Nike FuelBand at the D10 Conference last year, also saying that wearable devices were an "interesting area" but that "the book hasn't been written on that one yet."
Tech-infused watches have been very hit-and-miss over the years. For every Pebble watch gaining plaudits, there's an LG Watchphone that sinks without a trace. While they are becoming more popular, in various guises, none have really become an essential part of our tech get-up.
Well that could change soon, if a rumour from Chinese site Tech 163 (via PocketNow) is to be believed. Because Apple is rumoured to be working with Intel on a smart watch that could go on sale in the first half of 2013. And if Apple gets involved, expect others to up their game, sharpish.
The timepiece is rumoured to have a 1.5-inch OLED screen with indium tin oxide coated glass. It'll run iOS, which is no great surprise.
So could the rumour be true? Despite the many failed attempts, techy timepieces are improving. Sony launched an Android-powered time-teller this year, and devices like the Pebble e-paper watch gained a lot of attention on Kickstarter recently. Nike's Fuelband -- which monitors your activity to keep you fit -- while not strictly a watch, is a wrist-based piece of tech that's been a huge success. Apple's previous iPod nano could be worn as a watch as well -- just slot it into a strap. So we are getting more used to wearing our tech on our wrists.
I think if Apple was to venture into watch territory, it would be more of a 'hobby' product than a huge launch. Maybe as an extension of the old iPod nano, with a few fitness apps to rival Nike's Fuelband. Apple tends to wait until a product area is quite mature before going into it, so it can learn from others, so it could be the time is almost right. But let's wait and see.