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Sony's e-paper watch is a thing of minimalist beauty

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Two days ago, we heard of Sony's plans to build a watch made entirely of e-paper — one where the band and the watch face would both change in response to the user's wrist gestures. It sounded wild and provocatively different, but what we really wanted to know was what it looked like. As it turns out, that watch is already in the public eye, though Sony's involvement had until now been kept clandestine so as to judge the product on its own merits. Say hello to the FES Watch.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Fashion Entertainments startup behind that crowdfunded watch is in fact a subdivision of Sony, tasked with designing and experimenting with products that can define the next evolution in personal electronic devices. The watch is extremely thin and makes no pretense of being smart, relying on the chameleonic flexibility of its appearance and a clean minimalist shape to win over fans. Because it has no sophisticated electronics inside, it's also said to last as long as 60 days on a single button battery.

The FES watch is just one of a number of prototypes that Sony has developed while investigating the viability of e-paper as an unusual material for wearable devices. The company is also looking into making bow ties (see video below), hat and shoe accessories, and paper holders out of electronic paper. There's no release date set for this watch yet, however supporters on the Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake have been told they'll be able to get theirs some time after May of next year.


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