Mariam Sharia | Wearables | Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:33:18 +0000

Considering the results of a study conducted earlier this year which found “many U.K. consumers would be unwilling to wear any [wearable] products currently on the market†due to their ugly design, it’s no surprise that more and more tech titans are finally beginning to focus on the overall aesthetic of their wearable devices.

Increasing the adoption of wearable technology by way of fashionable design is the basis for Sony’s Wena Wrist smartwatch, an acronym which stands for “Wear Electronics Naturally.”

Wena is the latest product to come out of Sony’s crowdfunding and e-commerce platform First Flight, a venture that finances experimental projects spearheaded by the company’s employees. The watch is set for release only in Japan and only for iOS, although developers will first have to raise enough funds to bankroll the project within 60 days. In this case, that’s just a cool ¥10 million (~$83,000).

Wena’s watch face is that of a traditional timepiece, with three separate hands and dials for hours, minutes, and seconds. Just as a classic analog watch can never truly look outdated, the Wena is designed to remain current thanks to its tech-heavy wriststrap; upgrade the strap, and the entire device will follow suit. 

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So what are the hardware specs hidden in said strap? An NFC wallet, an activity tracker, and smartphone notifications via LED lights and strap vibration. Details are scarce, but we do know that users will have the ability to take phone calls, check emails, and play games — but at the expense of the device’s week-length battery life (per usual).

If Wena is a success in Japan, it could come to the United States, marking another smartwatch hit for Sony alongside the Sony Smartwatch 3. We’ll have to see how the first wave of consumers takes to the watch, if the project is funded. 

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