E-book sales have peaked and are expected to remain stable for the coming years. Sony, one of the market leaders in these devices, has set up a test lab. The first results are coming to light. “Old fashioned style” will be the trend next year.
Next year Sony will market FES, its first electronic-paper smartwatch, through a spin-off company, Fashion Enterteinment.
The release comes in the wake of stagnant 2013-2018 sales forecasts for e-books. With this new product Sony seeks to maintain the production of electronic paper and use their advantages to launch a differential product in the “wrist devices” niche. Electronic ink is slower when refreshing the screen, but for that same reason it allows greater autonomy, so there are talks about up to 60 days without recharging. The material is flexible, super-light, ultra-thin, and comfortable on the skin. One of the most striking features of the FES is its design. A minimalist framework with customizable patterns, textures, and finishes for the bracelet. Also, a DIY kit could be launched next year, making it the ideal product for lovers of both watchmaking and technology.
However, as promising as it seems, the product started as a test project for Sony. That’s why they used a second brand, and published the device in a crowdfunding platform to assess the response from potential users. As the head of communications for the project said, “we hid the Sony brand because we wanted to test the real value of the product, whether there would be demand for our concept.” And there is.
FES has tripled its financial objectives, and over 150 people will receive their first watch next May.
The year in which you will go back to using a bowtie
In view of the results, the company decided to invest in the development of a new type of device: fashion accessories. A line that is casual, fashionable, collectable, and targeted for a young segment that even if not able to change their mobile phones all too often, are willing and able to complete their look with techie accessories.
Sony designers must certainly be enjoying this new challenge. Bowties, brooches, shells, and even lingerie, are some of the protypes that the company has shown to the public.
Once the art of producing electronic paper has been mastered, the rest is a matter of imagination. Next season we will see much more than books.