Sony opens up its SmartWatch

Written by Andy Stout

SonyNo longer just a watch...

Sony is looking to invigorate sales of its SmartWatch device with a pricedrop to the $100 mark and the rather big news that its opening up the device to any developer’s firmware.

It doesn’t sound much, but for a big company this is a fairly radical move.

“We are now taking the next step to open up SmartWatch,” said a Sony statement. “Previously, you’ve been able to create apps for SmartWatch with the Sony Add-on SDK, but now we hope to see even more innovation as we’re making it possible for advanced developers to create and flash alternative firmware, by sharing technical details and instructions.”

While also issuing all sorts of admonishments that flashing alternative firmware will probably void the warranty, it’s even released a SmartWatch Hacker Guide to help developers get started. And the company has already co-run a SmartWatch hackathon in Sweden that looked to get the Arduino open-source electronics prototyping platform firmware working on the device.

You have a 128x128 colour touchscreen with a fairly nifty CPU inside

There are all sorts of possibilities that open up here. Essentially it is just the Sony firmware that limits it to watch functionality – lose that and you have a 128x128 colour touchscreen with a fairly nifty CPU inside it that you can convert to pretty much anything.

Cynics have pointed out that this could just be a way of offloading stock of a product that has yet to really find its feet in the marketplace, but compare and contrast to what comes out of Cupertino nowadays and the company is taking a fairly radical stance with this approach – one more suited to a start-up than a global consumer electronics giant. Think Sony with a Raspberry Pi flavour. And the prospect gets even more interesting and faintly subversive if you extrapolate it outwards through the company’s entire range. Fancy a hackable version of a 4k monitor or a F65 that you can tweak to your own specifications and desires? It’s a long way off but this could be the start.

Tags: Technology

Comments

Related Articles

31 July, 2020

This is how Netflix is adapting Anime to modern technology

The streaming service brings 4K and HDR to the classic Japanese artform in the latest example of its prototyping production techniques.

Netflix's...

Read Story

30 July, 2020

Gigabyte Aero 17 XA review: A competition beating powerhouse [sponsored]

The Gigabyte Aero 17 XA has some pretty nifty specs on paper. How does it stack up in the real world, and more importantly against the competition?

...

Read Story

30 July, 2020

For all film makers: How to avoid losing your stuff and where to put it

Replay: The technological revolution has created great opportunities for new film-makers everywhere, but has in its wake created a new challenge:...

Read Story