Smart move: Sony plans stylish, e-paper smartwatch band for 2015

Sony recently released its third smartwatch in as many years and the company shows no signs of stopping. Sources tell Bloomberg that Sony is planning another smartwatch for 2015, but this one will be different from the prior models, using a low-power, e-paper screen.

Sony SmartWatch 3

Sony Smartwatch 3 running Android Wear

That’s not an entirely new approach: It’s the same one used by Pebble, makers of the highly successful Pebble watches that work with [company]Apple[/company] iPhones and [company]Google[/company] Android handsets. Sony is expected to put a twist on its next watch, with the entire surface area of the device — including the band — used for customized information. Bloomberg’s sources say the watch will emphasize style instead of adding a wide range of features.

In that regard, it might be a smart approach.

Consider the Pebble, which started out as a notification screen for a connected smartphone and later added support apps for additional functionality. Cramming too many features into a wearable device can lead to a loss of simplicity and elegance.

Pebble+lineup

Sure, there will always be people who want their watch to replace much of what their smartphone can do. There’s likely a far bigger population who want something on the wrist that provides the basics: notifications, some contextual information and perhaps some activity tracking data. Pebble has proven there’s a market for that type of device — particularly when it uses an e-paper display, allowing it to run for days on a single charge.