The volatility in wearables market and its attempt to go on a different track, has led Sony, to quietly put up an e-ink based smartwatch for crowd-funding, to see whether consumers are interested in such a product or not.

As per a Sony spokesman’s comments to the Wall Street Journal, Sony has a project under it, named “Fashion-Entertainments“, wherein, it tests as to how electronic paper can be used to develop products for the fashion business. These products are mainly designed so that they can change their appearance, as per user’s taste.

The most notable product to come out of this Sony venture, is an e-paper based smartwatch, primarily designed with the motive to test consumer interest. The watch, which has been up on a crowd-funding site for over 3 weeks, has already garnered the required 2 million Yen (US$17,000) goal. In fact, it has raised a further  3.5 Million yen from more than 150 supporters.

There’s no official word on the release date, but those who have supported the watch, can pre-order it on the project page. They will receive the watch sometime in May next year.

As per a project member’s comment to WSJ,

We hid Sony’s name because we wanted to test the real value of the product, whether there will be demand for our concept.

But smartwatch isn’t the only thing which the Japanese giant is developing. The company, under its FES brand, is also developing e-ink paper based products like bow ties, hat accessories or paper holders. The company aims to “redefine” e-ink paper, as a fabric.

So, the next time you come across a project on a crowd-funding site, be aware that it may come from Sony, or any other major brand, in order to “test the consumer interest”. Looks like this time, Sony did pass the consumer test. Shoot us with your opinions below.


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