It’s been a big day for wearables with Fitbit announcing the new Charge 2 and Apple sending out invites for its next big event that might include the second generation of its Watch. Sony has revealed a new crowdfunded product today over in Japan. The new FES Watch U takes the original and adds a handful of new features including a unique flexible e-ink band that can be programmed with all sorts of designs. Upgraded materials and impressive battery life highlight just a few other features that make this wearable standout…
The FES U Watch builds upon the first generation model with a few key upgrades. First of, Sony is opting for more premium materials like leather and sapphire as opposed to plastic. The newer model also includes a steel body, which should result in a tougher shell versus other options on the market.
Obviously, the standout aesthetic is the use of an e-ink display that wraps completely around the device. Not only is it fully customizable, but it’s also waterproof and the internal battery can provide up to three weeks of use on a single charge. This feature alone is sure to make it standout from the Apple Watch and Pebble’s e-ink displays.
Sony will allow its new watch to connect to Apple or Android devices, so it will be able to share notifications and other pertinent data when needed. However, this is not a fitness tracker and doesn’t even pretend to be. It’s much more style than function. The ability to change the band as needed without the need for a trip to a retail location is bound to attract new users. Sony is set to offer twelve different watch face and band combinations from the outset with the ability to store up to 24 all together. There is a full gallery below with more images showcasing different styles.
Here’s the tough part: the FES U Watch is likely to only be available in Japan if previous Sony releases serve as any indication. Pledges are being accepted via Sony’s crowdfunding page. If all goes to plan, it will ship next spring. Currently, ¥44,710 and ¥59,940 (between $400-$600) pledges are required by October 7th to join the waiting list. Time will tell if Sony’s latest creation will come to North America.
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