Sony has joined the wrist phone race, revealing its latest timepiece-cum-smartphone accessory, the SmartWatch, at the CES 2012 expo in Las Vegas.
Essentially a spiritual successor to the LiveView, the SmartWatch features an Android powered 1.3-inch OLED display with a 128 x 128 resolution that brings smartphone functionalities directly to the user’s wrist.
It connects to a Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S (or the newly unveiled ‘Xperia S’) via Bluetooth and offers users the ability to wirelessly take calls, check emails and messages, access social networks and run specific apps from the Android Market.
Owners will also be able to swap the stock wristband with any 20mm alternative of their own, providing customisability, too, for fashion-conscious types.
Sony is of course not the first gadget-maker to launch a device like this. Blue Sky, an Italian company has previously brought out similar products in its 'I’m Watch' range, which has been received well by critics and customers alike. But for the most part, wrist phones remain a very niche market.
Whether Sony’s effort will change that will ultimately depend on consumers’ perception of these devices as their novelty items or practical tools.
Pricing is also likely to be a factor, which has not been announced yet for the SmartWatch. Hopefully once the dust has settled in Vegas, we will have more to share with you.