Just like they ever-so-subtly hinted at earlier this week, Japanese technology company Sony have revealed their new ‘SmartWatch’ to the world, and managing to beat the mighty Apple as well. A piece of ‘wearable technology’, that is the first next generation device of its kind to be unveiled by a big-name seller.
Officially named the ‘Sony SmartWatch 2′ on account of it being a follow-up to a product revealed at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (USA), Sony’s efforts will be seen as a fresh start for the industry, with 2013 being regarded as the main turning point for the industry with initial ‘smartwatch’ competitors joined by rumors of high-profile challengers, with Sony the first of the latter group to have taken action publicly.
The new ‘1.6 inch’ device, carrying a 220 x 176 ‘anti-glare’ resolution and 9mm physical thickness, is noted as being able to synchronise with any Android smartphone, and being compatible with a large number of ‘approved apps’ that best fit the watch’s size.
In addition, the device, claimed to have NFC and Bluetooth 3.0. connectivity alongside a 3-4 day single charge and being resistant to water damage, is able to carry out ‘basic smartphone features’ including ‘call handling’, and reading text messages and social networking activity as a proxy to a wirelessly-connected device.
Sony Mobile’s ‘head of companion products’ Stefan K Persson summarised: “Sony is the proud leader in the smartwatch market since introducing our first Bluetooth watch in 2007. Competitors are only now launching first generation devices, while we are already launching a 3rdgeneration 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. 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 obligatory promotional video of the product, along with a press release on the matter in full from Sony, can be seen below. Due for a September release at an unconfirmed price, will Sony be able to set the bar for an essentially ‘refreshed’ market?
Introducing Sony SmartWatch 2 – the World’s First Water-Resistant Smartwatch with NFC Connectivity*
MOBILE ASIA EXPO, SHANGHAI, June 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –
•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 **
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 3rdgeneration 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 asNFC 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
• Bigger screen with higher resolution (1.6 inch, 220 x 176 pixels)
• 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.