Sony is working on an e-ink smartwatch for a possible release in 2015, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the matter. According to the report, the watch will have both its face and wristband covered with e-ink material, giving it the ability to completely change its appearance. Don’t expect it to be a feature-laden powerhouse, though: The emphasis will be on style, not specs. If it indeed sees the light of day, Sony’s watch will be one of the first results of the company’s new approach to product-building.
Sony Corp. (6758) is developing a watch made out of electronic paper for release as soon as next year in a trial of the company’s new venture-style approach to creating products, according to people familiar with the matter. The watch’s face and wrist band will be made from a patented material that allows the entire surface area to function as a display and change its appearance, the people said, asking not to be named because it hasn’t been announced. The device will emphasize style, rather than trying to outdo more technological offerings like Apple Inc.’s watch and Sony’s own SmartWatch, they said. At stake is more than a win against Apple and Samsung Electronics Co. A decade of cost reductions and job cuts has soured Sony’s culture of innovation, once celebrated for the Walkman and the Trinitron television. Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai formed a business creation division this year under his direct control to fast-track promising products, and the watch is one of the effort’s first results.