Almost exactly a year ago we took a look at a Japanese crowdfunding campaign for a watch whose both face and straps were constructed of e-paper screens. Using these screens, the appearance of the FES Watch could be customized with the press of a button. The fundraising effort was incredibly successful, exceeding expectations, but then things took a surprising twist. The unknown company behind the FES Watch was actually Sony. The electronics giant made the shocking announcement, explaining that it was using crowdfunding to judge interest in projects that might otherwise not of brought to market without the ‘Sony’ name influencing opinions.
Sony has just announced that the FES watch will now be available to purchase at select retailers in Japan, including the Omotesando MoMA Design Store (Nov 21st) and the Shinjuku Isetan department store (Dec 1st). It is interesting that the e-ink watch is being sold at the MoMA store; it is the only non-US location of the museum’s store and, while no announcements have been made, might suggest a future US launch.
The FES Watch will sell for approximately $240, compared to $170 during its crowdsourcing. It has 24 different designs that can be chosen at a moment’s notice by simply pressing a button on the side. Thanks to its e-ink screen and absence of any ‘connected’ technology, the watch features 2 year battery life and uses a standard button battery. It is waterproof and only weighs 43 grams. Head past the break for an amazing video showing how its screen technology can be cut into pieces and still function!Continue reading