Over the past few days, it’s emerged that a secret sub-division of Sony using the name FES (Fashion Entertainments Startup) have been testing the interest in e-Paper fashion accessories. FES launched a Kickstarter campaign on a Japanese crowdfunding site called Makuake – not to be confused with Bukkake which is an entirely different type of crowdfunding.
The main interest in e-Paper fashion accessories came from the FES watch, which is a watch made entirely from e-Paper. The face of the watch and the straps are designed to change in response to the wearer’s wrist gestures. The FES e-Paper watch is extremely thin and lightweight with a very minimalist design. There are no complicated electronics inside and it’s said to last up to 60 days on a single button battery.
As of now, wearable technology has its limitations due to the size of the electronics and the power consumption required to run them. Take the Apple Watch, for example, it’s ridiculously expensive, a little bloated in its appearance and will need to be recharged on a daily basis. In contrast, wearable tech utilising e-Paper technology will be cheaper, lighter and extremely energy efficient. The Apple Watch is like Stephen Hawkins – extremely intelligent but limited by current technology. e-Paper wearables could be more like Forest Gump – simple and honest, yet still capable of achieving amazing things.
Yes, ePaper wearables will be far less “smart” but let’s be honest, we all carry around our phones and they will always outperform the Watch on wrists, so why bother to compete?
Now that Sony has emerged from the shadows after anonymously testing the interest in e-Paper wearable tech, are we about to start a whole new era of personal electronic devices using e-Paper technology?
Looking forward to 2015 e-Paper technology could be huge in the fashion market and not just on our wrists. Sony has already experimented with the technology on other accessories such as shoes, hats and bow ties. The market could be huge, imagine an e-Paper designer handbag that could match the pattern on any outfit or a white trainer that can become a black shoe as you enter a fancy restaurant or club.
With the expectation of quality that Sony can bring to this new technology, 2015 may be a good year for more practical and energy efficient e-Paper powered wearables.
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