E Ink has experimented with watches in the past with Seiko, a Japan based company. Pebble has really captured the mainstream imagination with their watches that sync with most major phones on the market. This has prompted the emerging display screen industry to all work on solutions. Today, E Ink has announced a new business deal with Sonostar to release a new line of watches using a 1.73 inch display.
The new watch will be unveiled at Computex in Taiwan later this week. It is designed to be a smart watch and will be able to connect to your Android or iPhone. You need to download the company’s official app to pair it to your watch via Bluetooth. Likely, you will be able to receive Google Now and Facebook updates pushed to your watch to curb the reliance on pulling out your phone all the time.
The essence of this new 1.73 inch e-paper display is the new Mobius technology that is found in the new Sony 13.3 inch e-reader. The resolution will be 320×240 and will be able to display 16 levels of grey. It is said that this watch will last for a full month, before needing a recharge.
E Ink’s Director of Product Management, Giovanni Mancini, said, “The joint development between Sonostar and Transmart is the perfect example of the how E Ink can help its customers get their product to market. E Ink displays enable unique products that capture the customer’s imagination. Our business development team has the expertise to help our customers design the displays into their products in ways never before thought possible.”
e-Paper watches will be the next major trend in the wearable technology industry. SID Display Week in Vancouver had both Mirasol and E Ink showcasing a new breed of technology, designed specifically for watches. This will allow for more of a mainstream adoption of e-paper in general, chiefly due to the synergy between a smartphone and a secondary device. Smart watches are an emerging trend and it remains to be seen if customers will adopt it in significant droves to drive the manufacturing cost down. Developer support will also be a key component, to make exclusive apps for the growth of an industry. It will interesting to watch (no pun intended) if Pixel Qi, Neonode, or Liquavista will also develop small screens.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.