Sony’s e-paper smartwatch prototype has been hiding in plain sight

December 6th, 2014 | Edited by | hardware


On Wednesday 26th Oct, word broke that Sony was working on a smartwatch that eschews the typical LCD screen and instead uses a wrap-around e-paper display. But this wasn’t a hush-hush secret project like what you’d expect from Apple: The Wall Street Journal reports that Sony’s Fashion Entertainments group did little to keep its smartwatch prototype under wraps.
According to the Journal, the Fashion Entertainments team showcased the watch—which it calls the FES Watch—in a campaign on the Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake that launched in September. However, since Sony’s name wasn’t on the campaign, it was able to fly under the radar and look like just another crowdfunding campaign.
The story behind the story: Fashion Entertainments is part of a larger group within Sony, called the New Business Creation Department, whose sole goal is “to draw on internal and external insight to provide a catalyst for innovation and to provide the opportunity for new ideas to transition into successful new businesses.” Sony has lost some of its cool and its reputation as an innovator over the years, and these efforts seem to be an attempt to reclaim some of the company’s dulled luster.


Not ready yet…

The FES Watch wouldn’t be the first e-paper smartwatch, but in a market currently dominated by comparatively bulky—albeit more feature-packed—LCD-based devices, the FES Watch prototype looks to be a bold step in a different direction…assuming the company is bold enough to actually release it to a wider audience, that is.
Although contributors to the crowdfunding campaign can expect to get their own FES Watch in May, according to the Journal, a Sony spokesperson stated Thursday that the company “decline[d] to comment on specifics such as the possible commercialization of this project, or any targeted product launch date.”



November 16th, 2013 | Edited by | hardware


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A Stroke of Genius

Use the Active Pen (select models, or sold separately) to write, draw, and tap the touchscreen with effortless precision. With every stroke, the Active Pen captures even the most subtle nuances as you press harder or softer so you can adjust your line. And don’t worry about smearing your work as you write, because the touch sensors turn off when the pen is near the screen so you can write normally and comfortably. With two interchangeable tips that simulate common artistic and design materials, Active Pen
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VAIO Paper is a digital notebook and handwriting app that replicates the feeling of natural writing with pen and paper. Using VAIO Paper, you can write on your VAIO PC with your finger or the optional Active Pen to add images and sound that enhance your creative writing and express yourself in ways that you can’t with just pen and paper. It’s easy to use, organize and share your creation via email and other apps.


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Quickly scan, archive, edit and share documents with the CamScanner app and rear camera on VAIO | Flip 13. Simply snap a photo of a document, letter, bill or even notes jotted on a whiteboard. From there, the image can easily be sent to a note app to edit or add comments of your own. You can also import photos from other sources such as a smartphone or camera and adjust them with CamScanner. Looking for something in particular? Conveniently search for archived files using OCR technology. It recognizes text within PDF documents saving you the hassle of searching through them one-by-one.

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Sony Builds A Camera For The Smartphone

October 26th, 2013 | Edited by | hardware


The smartphone has become the camera in everyone’s pocket. It’s always there, hopefully charged, and adept at snapping a quick shot. Yet many of those shots are lacking the crisp focus and detail of a DSLR or even a point-and-shoot camera. To give that higher-quality capability to smartphones, Sony developed the QX series “Lens-Style Cameras” for iOS and Android devices.
“The devices are compatible with Android and iOS handsets and mark the creation of a new product category,”BBC News reports. It signals a growing demand for better cameras for smartphones.
The QX series was introduced with two models: the Cyber-shot DSC-QX100 and DSC-QX10. Both are able to shoot high-quality images and HD video. The lenses connect wirelessly to a smartphone and attach to the handset with an adjustable mounting device. Once connected, the lens view is revealed on the smartphone’s LCD screen with a real-time viewfinder. Using the smartphone’s touch screen, users can release the shutter, start and stop movie recordings, and adjust settings such as shooting mode, zoom, and auto focus.
Photographs and video are automatically saved directly to the phone and camera. Both lenses offer Wi-Fi connectivity so users can snap shots, and then upload them directly from the camera. This includes uploading pics to social media sites, email, and other websites.
The QX series lenses use Sony’s PlayMemories mobile app to store and organize images and video. The app can also power the ability to connect the lens with the smartphone using NFC to activate one-touch set-up for compatible devices.


“With the new QX series cameras, we are making it easier for the ever-growing population of ‘mobile photographers’ to capture far superior, higher-quality content without sacrificing the convenience and accessibility of their existing mobile network or the familiar ‘phone-style’ shooting experience that they’ve grown accustomed to,” said Patric Huang, director of the Cyber-shot business at Sony, in a corporate statement. “We feel that these new products represent not only an evolution for the digital camera business, but a revolution in terms of redefining how cameras and smartphones can cooperatively flourish in today’s market.”
The Cyber-shot DSC-QX100 camera includes a premium, high-quality 1.0-inch, 20.2 megapixel Exmor RCMOS sensor. This is the same sensor found in the Cyber-shot RX100 II camera. The lens offers ultra-low noise images in most light conditions, including dimly lit indoor and night scenes.
Sony paired the sensor with a fast, wide-aperture Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens with 3.6x optical zoom and a BIONZ image processor. The DSC-QX100 has a dedicated control ring for camera-like adjustment of manual focus and zoom. The lens has several different shooting modes including Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Intelligent Auto, and Superior Auto, which automatically recognizes 33 different shooting conditions and adjusts camera settings.

The DSC-QX100 will be available later in September for about $500.

The less expensive, high-zoom Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 is built with an 18.2 effective megapixel Exmor RCMOS sensor and 10x optical zoom Sony G Lens. Sony says the DSC-QX10 lets mobile photographers bring distant subjects closer without sacrificing image quality or resolution, which is a common complaint with smartphone photography. The camera also has built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, which combats camera shake for video but also still photography where smartphones can often produce blurry shots because of the response time to the shutter. The DSC-QX10 has Program Auto, Intelligent Auto and Superior Auto modes for shooting. It weighs less than 4 ounces, and is available in black or white to coordinate with most smartphones.

The DSC-QX10 will also be available later in September for about $250.

Source: Enid Burns for – Your Universe Online