Sony starts selling its SmartWatch in the U.S, but there are some problems

Sony starts selling its SmartWatch in the U.S, but there are some problems

Summary: Sony's SmartWatch shows that wearable electronics aren't quite ready for primetime.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Hardware
14

A bunch of people recently have been playing with the idea of the "smart watch", a device that offers a range of features and applications in a tiny, wrist-strapped package

But while the concept of a "smart watch" seems glitzy and futuristic and interesting, its implementation so far in devices like Motorola's Motoactv has had some pretty fatal flaws. And you can also see them fairly clearly with the aptly-named SmartWatch, Sony's most recent stab at the concept that's now hitting the U.S.

The biggest issue is that the SmartWatch isn't actually designed to work independently of a smartphone, which to me is 90% of the reason why the thing is effectively useless.

Sony's defense is that the strategy makes sense because, well, people have their phones on them all the time anyway. That logic would be sound and understandable if the Smartwatch ran $50 or so. But it doesn't; it costs $150.

Yeah, $150. That, along with the device's total and utter dependence on a smartphone will effectively cosign the SmartWatch into oblivion pretty rapidly. Which is sad, really, because I'm honestly and earnestly excited for a day where wearable electronics like smartwatches and HUDs are present inextricably in the mainstream currents of society.

Unfortunately, as the SmartWatch all too sadly shows, that day is still a bit far off.

Topic: Hardware

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

14 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • What's a Watch?

    Haven't worn one in about a decade. With a smartphone in my pocket, why would I put a watch on my arm? Even if it was free, I wouldn't.
    WebSiteManager
    • I wonder if they'll hand out gold smartwatches

      to the 10,000 people that are leaving Sony?
      William Farrel
  • Sony just posted a $5 billion+ loss

    And you suckers are going to buy a watch from them? It'll probably rootkit your microwave.
    Pete&Pete
  • Another one bites the dust....

    WHY would I pay these clowns $ 150 for something I already have in my smartphone, that's with me anyway?? Seems like ZERO RESEARCH...... Back to the loose another billion drawing board.... NEXT MANAGEMENT TEAM !!!
    Bwinski
  • Sony is as clueless as Microsoft

    Doh!
    GoPower
  • Good in theory

    Used to be called Sony Ericsson LiveView and has been out in Europe for around 2 or so years. Communicates via bluetooth with phone and the original frequently dropped connection. If it worked it would of been excellent. (It didn't hold connection hence it's quick return to retailer) Seeing SMS and who's calling on and track listings from the phone's audio player all from your watch without the need to dig out the phone. Was handy if the device would of remained connected to the phone, alas it didn't.

    As a watch it was rather too bulky and due to the always on bluetooth connection on the smartphone battery drained quicker than usual. Also I would imagine the display would get scratched too easily unless Sony has improved the casing in the newest incarnation.

    This older incarnation (not the one featured in the article) is now on a particular UK online retailers website (won't mention names) for ??15 when back in November of last year was around the ??70, sort of indicates how popular it was and possibly the amount of returns the online retailer had to deal with.

    Just a pity it is an excellent idea, very poorly executed.
    Mark-Harmon
    • would of?

      "If it worked it would of been excellent."

      would have
      .DeusExMachina.
      • Excuse me, but...

        Is Grammar Nazi an elected position, or is it self appointed?
        mlashinsky@...
      • You're excused

        Apparently being defender of the stupid is a volunteer position.
        .DeusExMachina.
    • That is the first intelligent thing I have read...

      ...about this thing so far. I couldn't grasp the purpose of the watch from the original article. Being able to see the phone's status on the watch makes sense just like a remote control with a small LCD does for the TV. However, the phone should come with it's own watch, just like the TV comes with its own remote. $150 for this doodad? I think not!
      mlashinsky@...
  • Last time

    Last time, I bought something Sony, was when their audio CD installed a rootkit in my computer. Nowdays you hear about them being involved in legislation to outlaw, among others, YouTube and Wikipedia. That company has a serious problem if you ask me.
    dcdavy
  • Since Morita

    died, the company's been ruined by bean counters scrabbling for every cent of profit and presumptuous lawyers trying to stamp out any chance of sony stuff being useful not to mention rooting (why didn't anyone do time for that mass crime?). The idiocy of the Sony movie business, paid M.J. bazillions for what? a sure losing proposition, and the degredation of quality in even the best of the broadcast electronic gear, now made of plastic and stampings.. The absolute destruction of any kind of reputation for service. So it's come to this, where this is the best effort. That watch could have been made more independent of a smartphone by just using a different radio (802.11), but then I suppose someone might buy it and get away with using it without being locked into a mobile revenue stream. They got the wrong idea, sony does, they think everyone is consumption-happy. No, sillies, we just want useful products that can stand alone when we want them to.
    opcom
  • ! ! !

    That is why Sony made big losses last year and previous years too !

    So sad. They used to be Number ONE !

    They have to WAKE UP !
    davidctm@...
    • re: They used to be Number ONE !

      Now they are Number TWO!
      mlashinsky@...