CES 2015: Sony hops on fashion train with stainless steel SmartWatch 3
When it was launched in September last year, the SmartWatch 3 came with a range of four interchangeable rubber wristbands, sold at £20 each, and was solidly marketed as a fitness wearable.
However, the change in presentation with the new stainless steel strap, which Sony describes as matching “contemporary with timeless aestheticism for a premium look and feel”, could bring the SmartWatch 3, and its successors, to a new market.
Sony is by no means the first company to go down the fashion wearable route. The Motorola Moto 360, with its leather strap, is clearly a lifestyle item as much as a geeky one, while the META M1, Creoir Ibis and Intel MICA are all specifically marketed as luxury items.
Additionally, when it finally launches later this year, the Apple Watch will also be available with a stainless steel strap.
New look aside, there has been no change to the SmartWatch 3 in terms of specs. The computing module of the device still has a 1.6in, 320 x 320 display with transflective technology, built-in GPS as standard, and an IP68 certification, meaning it can be submerged in water for 30 minutes and is completely sealed against dust.
It also still has 4GB of flash memory, NFC capability (although this has no real use at the moment), just under 48 hours of battery life and convenient charging via micro-USB. The core unit is also removable, meaning it can be interchanged with the original rubber straps for SmartWatch 3, which are available for about £20, as well.
The stainless steel SmartWatch 3 will be available from February.
While the stainless steel Smart Watch 3 may be the swankiest of Sony’s announcements, it did touch on another four points, mostly in the wearables field.
The company ran over the fashion developments made in relation to its SmartBand SWR10, which was launched at CES last year, including collaborations with Ted Baker and Roxy.
Sony also debuted a new web interface for its Lifelog lifestyle monitoring programme, which is launching during this year’s event, and now works on any screen, from smartphones to smart TVs.
The organisation also announced new partnerships with IFTTT recipes, Habit Monster and Withings to bring additional functionality to Lifelog.
“We specifically designed the Lifelog platform on open principles, with capability that will help developers to build new experiences and access the Sony ecosystem like never before – it’s going to be an exciting year ahead,” said Yasuharu Nomura, director of experience Planning at Sony Mobile Communications.
Sony also announced a new range of apps are being made available for the developer edition of its Google Glass Rival, SmartEyeglass. A new single lens display module accessory for the headgear, named SmartGlass Attach!, can be attached to normal glasses. The module should be available for developers soon.
Finally, Sony introduced a prototype of a new wearable, the Smart B-Trainer. Despite its name, this is actually another new head-mounted device, rather than footwear and has been designed specifically for runners. It features multi sensor technology and inbuilt memory, and offers voice coaching, music playback and, according to Sony, can suggest the best soundtrack for the runner’s workout.
Sadly, there was a distinct lack of new consumer technology launches. Despite predictions, there was no sign of the Xperia Z4, which is expected to launch this year (probably at MWC), and Xperia phablet, or any talk about its VR headset, Project Morpheus. Hopefully we will see at least some of these products at IFA in September or sooner.