Smartwatch answers Sony call
Sony’s updated Smartwatch 2 connects to a mobile phone to act as a notification device for messages, calls and music.
Unveiled in Shanghai and London this morning, Sony also showed off a forthcoming ‘phablet’, the Xperia Z Ultra, which features a 6.7” screen and claims to be the world’s largest smartphone. Pierre Perron, president of Sony Mobile Europe, said the device would “blur the boundaries between the phone and the tablet”, and added that it was building on a trend among female consumers in Asia in particular for larger phones.
Sony describes the water resistant Smartwatch 2 as “A multi-functional message notification device, Android app interface and music remote”. It does not make phone calls itself, but can be used to reject or answer calls. It also offers more than 200 apps, including those which allow it to act as a remote camera shutter, maps or fitness aid, using its 1.6” screen.
Sony's new range of Xperia phones and tablets is aiming to spearhead a resurgence of the company's mobile division. The Xperia Z phone and the Z tablet have won multiple awards and been largely well received, offering the ultra-thin designs and distinctive, minimailist styling. Sony is among a number of manufacturers including BlackBerry, HTC and Huawei all aiming to capture the third place spot after Apple and Samsung. Sony hopes it will be able to capitalise on its strength in other industries, including TV and photography.
The Japanese giant claims “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.”
More than 40million smartwatches are expected to be sold by 2016, with the Smartwatch 2 released in September. It uses an operating system that is similar to Android and will work with most Android phones, and wristbands are interchangeable.
The Xperia Ultra uses a 6.4” Full HD ‘Triluminos’ display, adapting Sony’s TV technology. Waterproof and using a 2.2GHz processor, it also offers 4G connectivity.