June 21, 2013
Sony Tweet Hints At New Smartwatch
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Sony has been using their Xperia Twitter account to drop some not too subtle hints for the past two days about an upcoming product launch at Mobile Asia Expo 2013. If a series of Tweets are to be believed, Sony could be planning to beat Apple, Google and Samsung to the smartwatch game next week. Sony has been tagging these Tweets with the hardly cryptic hashtag “#itstime” and “#MAE13,” the hashtag for the upcoming expo. They’ve also used the micro-blogging platform to remind everyone about their existing smartwatch and their other forays into what they call “Wearable tech,” the Walkman.
“Wearable tech is in our DNA. Remember WALKMAN, now…?” reads the first of these Tweets, sent yesterday. This Tweet was also accompanied with a picture from the 80s of a yellow Walkman worn on a woman’s hip.
Later that day, they reminded everyone they launched the first “smart” watch in 2007, Tweeting: “The only wearable device with 200 #firstgen apps on @GooglePlay and growing…” This Tweet was also accompanied by a picture of a screen shot of a Sony SmartWatch captured on a Sony Xperia Z. The clues became even less subtle today as Sony Tweeted “Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock #itstime #MAE13” with another picture of the existing Sony SmartWatch.
The past year has been filled with rumor and speculation of an Apple “iWatch” or other watches from Google and Samsung. While these companies allegedly perfected prototype watches in their labs, small start-up companies have been able to get their own watches to market. CooKoo, Pebble and others have used crowd-funding solutions to produce their devices and so far, those who have purchased the watches have generally given them good reviews. Yet, while the big companies perfect their design and small companies swoop in to capture as much ground as they can early on, Sony has been selling a smartwatch the entire time. The Sony SmartWatch pairs with Android devices, runs apps from the Google Play store and costs about $100 in the States. Just as they mentioned in their Tweets, Sony has released previous smartwatch-like devices, including the 2010 Sony Ericsson LiveView device. Though more of a tiny and square third screen than a functional watch, the LiveView was replaced by the Xperia SmartWatch (capital S, capital W) last year. Like the LiveView, the Xperia SmartWatch can be attached to a wrist band or popped out and clipped to bags, purses, messenger bag straps, or anywhere else a third display may come in handy.
A recent study found as many as 28 percent of Americans are interested in wearing some sort of computing device on their wrist, likely causing Sony to rush to beat those other watches to the market — assuming they exist.
If the Xperia Tweets continue their path, it’s likely we’ll see even more hints that a Sony Watch is in our near future. The most recent Tweet from Sony is even more blatant about an upcoming watch:
“Pocket watch / wristwatch / digital watch / LiveView / SmartWatch / ? #itstime #MAE13”