June 25, 2013
Sony Announces A SmartWatch And Phablet Ahead of Mobile Asia Expo
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Last week, the official Sony Xperia Twitter account threw caution and subtlety to the wind and began dropping pointed hints about n new smart watch.
Tweets like “Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock,” and “Wearable tech is in our DNA. Remember WALKMAN, now…?” were hashtagged with “#itstime” and “#MAE13,” the latter of which is used for the Mobile Asia Expo taking place this week. Sony, in all their excitement, couldn’t wait for the actual expo (which starts tomorrow) and unveiled the new Xperia SmartWatch 2 SW2 in Shanghai today. They also introduced a pocket-busting 6.44-inch Xperia Z Ultra smartphone.
Sony has been selling their Xperia SmartWatch for more than a year and other iterations of a lowercase smartwatch since 2007. Their new product, the Sony Xperia SmartWatch 2 SW2 (full name) is simply the next in line of the existing product. Like the current SmartWatch, the SW2 connects with Android phones via Bluetooth and delivers notifications from the pocket to the wrist. It doesn’t offer much new in the way of looks either.
The 1.6-inch screen packs a resolution of 220 x 127 pixels and features touch and swipe capabilities. By tapping and navigating through the watch, users will be able to answer a phone call, take a photo remotely, control presentations or track a quick job. The SmartWatch2 SW2 will also display emails when not connected to the phone, but only those which have been previously downloaded. The wrist watch will also function like other time pieces when not connected to a smartphone.
Like Sony’s other recent Xperia products, the SmartWatch2 SW2 is water and dust resistant, though unlike the new Xperia Z Ultra smartphone, the SW2 is not meant to take a bath or go for a swim.
What separates the SW2 from all other existing smartwatches (Sony or otherwise) is the addition of NFC. This technology offers another way of pairing the watch with a smartphone or other accessories. Sony for instance suggests using the NFC-able Xperia SmartWatch2 SW2 with Xperia SmartTags which can be used to automate many electronic everyday tasks.
Sony says the new SW2 and new wristbands will be available worldwide this September.
Though the new SW2 doesn’t offer many new features over the existing SmartWatch, they are announcing the product at a time of peak interest in smart watches and wearable computing. Though they’ve yet to give any official word, Apple, Google and Microsoft have all been said to be developing their own wrist tech. Samsung is also rumored to be creating such a device, and in an interview with Bloomberg earlier this year, one vice president for the Korean company said they’ve been preparing a watch for quite a while.
Sony also launched a new, 6.6-inch device to offset their smaller unveiling. The Sony Xperia Z Ultra runs Android 4.2 and utilizes some of Sony’s TV technology to deliver HD images to the 1920 x 1080 display. Sony claims this device is the slimmest ever to deliver “Full HD” and the only fully waterproof smartphone with Full HD.