Next year could see the release of a Sony watch made out of e-paper, according to a report in Bloomberg. The watch is said to prioritize style over the functionality of complex wearable gadgets like the Apple Watch and Sony SmartWatch, using e-paper for both the face and the wristband. The precise e-paper technology is unclear; the Pebble smartwatch has an LCD marketed as "e-paper", for instance, whereas Central Standard Timing's CST-01 watch uses Kindle-style E Ink.
Bloomberg claims that the watch is one of the first products to come out of a new division formed by Sony CEO Kaz Hirai (pictured above). The division is intended to spur innovation inside Sony, which makes acclaimed devices in many categories but hasn't had a truly breakout product on the level of the Walkman or PlayStation in recent memory.
Sony slashing smartphone and TV lineups
Sony's startup-style Seed Acceleration Program, announced earlier in the year, allows employees to pitch ideas to people either inside or outside the company with the goal of receiving funding. According to an internal document seen by Bloomberg, Sony received 187 applications during the first round in June, and 80 advanced to the next stage.
News of Sony's plans to encourage internal innovation comes as the company says it will cut its poor-performing portfolios of TVs and smartphones in order to reduce spiralling costs. "We're not aiming for size or market share but better profits," said new mobile chief Hiroki Totoki in comments from an investors' conference reported on by Reuters.
Sony expects its main sources of sales growth over the next few years to be in its gaming and image sensor divisions, the latter of which is buoyed by orders for Apple's iPhones and which Sony believes could be 70 percent bigger by 2017. The company does have a way to make money in the mobile business, then — it's just unlikely to involve phones that bear its own logo.