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Sony FES Watch U: With more smarts, this e-paper accessory could be truly awesome

Sony’s original e-paper FES watch never made it out of Japan but it clearly got enough attention for the Sony-owned Fashion Entertainment to launch a new edition, the FES Watch U.

Like the first FES, the Watch U isn’t a smartwatch in the traditional sense, it’s more like a connected watch and customisable bracelet in that you can change the design of both the watch face and the strap.

Read this: IFA preview – what to expect in wearable tech

With the new device, there’s no extra functionality but there will be more (strictly monochrome) designs to choose from via the smartphone companion app – twelve to start with and more added over time. The app seems to be iPhone only for now which is … odd. Android support is “under consideration”.

The watch will be able to store 24 designs at once so there won’t be too much faffing with your phone, you just press the button. Alongside patterns, some of the images show the strap displaying time and calendar information. Battery life is three weeks, it’s waterproof and the FES Watch U comes in both premium black, with steel and sapphire glass and silver/white.

Despite the fancy materials, the prices in Sony’s release do seem outrageously expensive though. The premium black is listed as 59,940 yen (including tax) which is $585 with the cheaper silver and white model as 49,680 yen i.e around $485. The first FES was 29,700 yen or $240. We’ll update these prices if we hear otherwise.

The FES Watch U is on crowdfunding site First Flight until 7 October but, like its predecessor, we’re not sure it will go on sale outside Japan. That said, we haven’t seen a new Sony smartwatch since the SmartWatch 3 and with a tease of a wearable at IFA, it’s now looking likely the FES Watch U is it.

If Sony is launching the wearable at the biggest tech expo in Europe, we could see this connected hipster accessory after all.

Via: SlashGear | Sony JP



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