While the tech world is abuzz with rumors of an Apple "iWatch", Sony has stolen the spotlight by unveiling a new water-resistant smart watch with integrated NFC capability. The model is expected to arrive on shelves in September 2013.
With a 1.6 inch screen, the SmartWatch 2 connects with an Android smartphone via Bluetooth. More than just a remote control for a telephone, the multifunctional device allows its wearer to send notifications, manage calls, take photos remotely, check routes through a mapping app, or control the volume and track selection of music playback.
A second-generation SmartWatch
Sony unveiled its first SmartWatch at CES in 2012. Marketed at €120, the model allows users to check SMS/MMS messages and e-mails, browse contacts, surf social networks, view RSS feeds and multimedia files and -- naturally -- tell time.
This latest evolution of the device stands out for its NFC connectivity, higher screen resolution (220x176 pixels), longer battery life (between 3-4 days for average use) and wide array of pre-installed apps. In addition, the model is resistant to splashes and rain, although it is not recommended for wear under the shower or while swimming or diving.
According to Stefan K. Persson of Sony Mobile Communications, "41 million 'smart' watches will be sold by 2016". The prediction underscores a strong incentive for Sony's competitors, starting with Apple, to enter this market.