For many people, the need for a watch was killed off by the rise of the mobile phone. So it’s somewhat ironic that Sony has just announced a watch that runs a version of Google’s smartphone operating system Android.
The Smartwatch is a $US150 watch running Android that partners with a proper Android phone using Bluetooth to deliver key information to your wrist. Things like caller ID, calendars, text messages and Facebook and Twitter status messages can all be displayed on the watch’s 1.3-inch OLED screen. But because it’s running Android, those functions could rapidly expand in an instant as soon as developers start including the the watch’s functionality in their apps. That’s because the watch is essentially just a second screen for an Android phone, it doesn’t actually store any data locally on the device.
Watches like this aren’t exactly new – Sony Ericsson has had models in the past, and Motorola has one at the moment as well – but they’ve all been limited to partnering with specific devices. The Sony will work with any Android phone, which makes it a lot more open to success.
Battery life will be the key selling point – Sony states that the SmartWatch will get about four days, but early reviews suggest this number is a bit high. Having to charge the watch every day would be too much of a drag to make the convenience worth it.
Still, a high-tech watch that extends the functionality of your phone? Sounds like a great idea. Let’s hope Sony Australia releases the SmartWatch soon.
Nick Broughall is the Australian Editor of TechRadar.com, where he gets to indulge his passion for geekery and the lastest technology. He is also the Editor of EFTM.com.au, where he gets to indulge his passion for manliness, from sampling fine liquor to the joys of growing a beard. It’s a pretty good life, really.