A week or so ago images first leaked of a brand new smartwatch made entirely of e-paper. We weren’t sure if they were images of a prototype product or simply computer generated renders, but the appeal was immediately clear. By creating the entire watch of flexible, functional and reasonably cheap e-paper you could have the whole thing visually transition as and when you like. Even though the display is monochrome, it looks ridiculously cool.
The FES Watch, as it’s named, was listed on Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake and met with a rather positive response. It raised ¥2 million (~£10,700) in two weeks with nearly 150 backers al keen to get their hands on a model.
Events took a really interesting turn just recently, however, when it emerged that it was in fact Sony who was behind the project the whole time. ‘Fashion Entertainment’ was in fact a five-man team created by the Japanese powerhouse to come up with the device, and the Makuake crowdfunding simply a means of gauging public interest in the device.
We can only presume that Sony liked what it saw, because the internet has been going crazy for the device ever since it first laid eyes on it. The crowdfunding was all legitimate and backers will receive their early-release FES Watches as promised after May 2015 – but as it was in fact the conception of one of the world’s largest electronic companies we will now get to see the wearable manufactured in bulk.
You can watch the first footage of the FES Watch in action at the top of the page, but for those desperate to get their hands on one you’ll have to wait until Q2 next year (at the earliest). All in all, though, we’d say this is a pretty positive turn of events. You can check out more at the official FES sit here.