Android-powered watches get Internet savvy

Jan 12, 2012
The Internet was strapped to wrists at the Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday in the form of Android-powered "smart watches" that serve up online content along with telling time. People can make phone calls using i'm Watch, which links wirelessly to smartphones.

The Internet was strapped to wrists at the Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday in the form of Android-powered "smart watches" that serve up online content along with telling time.

Japanese consumer electronics titan Sony and venture-backed Italian startup i'm were each sporting spins on timepieces that use the software to connect wearers with email, music, websites or other online content.

Sony's SmartWatch was promised by the end of March while i'm Watch was released at CES.

"This is the right period for the watch," i'm Watch chief executive and co-founder Massimiliano Bertolini told AFP at the company's booth on the show floor.

"Everybody wants to have technology that is also fashion," he continued. "That is the Apple secret; making devices that people fall in love with."

For some time now California-based Apple has been letting iPod Nano owners turn the small, square devices into Internet-connected watches complete with wrist straps.

I'm Watch ranges in price from $350 for colorful models with silicon wrist bands and aluminum-cased to $15,000 for one made of pink gold and adorned with diamonds, according to company designer Gianluca Negrello.

Wearers are alerted to new Gmail messages or fresh posts at online communities or and can access digital photo albums or free Google Web-based services such as Calendar.

Messages can't be sent from touch-screen i'm Watch, which can connect to their own online shop for applications or music. People can make phone calls using i'm Watch, which links wirelessly to smartphones.

Sony said at CES that by the end of March it will release a touch-display SmartWatch capable of connecting to mobile phones wirelessly using Bluetooth capabilities.

Applications will be tailored for SmartWatch, which will be priced at $149.

SmartWatch devices being sported by workers at the Sony booth were tethered wirelessly to Android-powered Xperia smartphone models the company unveiled at the show.

Explore further: Japan firm offers glowing finger for those phoning home

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sony's Music Unlimited comes to Android

Jun 16, 2011

Sony has released an app making its Music Unlimited online streaming available on smartphones running Google's Android system, amid growing competition from Amazon and Apple in cloud-based services.

Sony stays loyal to 3D at CES gadget fest

Jan 06, 2011

Japanese electronics titan Sony is raising its bet that the future of home entertainment is 3D, as it unveils home video and photo gear in the format.

Recommended for you

Sony's PlayStation 4 sales top seven million

10 hours ago

Sony says it has sold seven million PlayStation 4 worldwide since its launch last year and admitted it can't make them fast enough, in a welcome change of fortune for the Japanese consumer electronics giant.

Study: Samsung phone durable, but iPhone has edge

Apr 14, 2014

Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone is more durable than last year's model and other leading Android phones, but the iPhone 5s outperformed all of them in part because of its smaller size, a new study finds.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Xbw
1 / 5 (8) Jan 12, 2012
Bring that price down under the $100 range and you will be able to compete with iPod. I would never spend 350 on a watch that my phone could outpace.

More news stories

Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy

Small underground nuclear power plants that could be cheaper to build than their behemoth counterparts may herald the future for an energy industry under intense scrutiny since the Fukushima disaster, the ...

Clean air: Fewer sources for self-cleaning

Up to now, HONO, also known as nitrous acid, was considered one of the most important sources of hydroxyl radicals (OH), which are regarded as the detergent of the atmosphere, allowing the air to clean itself. ...

Turning off depression in the brain

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons of the brain's reward circuit and experimentally reversed it – but there's ...