Sony Ericsson Android Remote watch is what iPod nano should have been

September 28, 2010: 8:35 PM ET

Sony's watch-sized remote controls the Android phone in your pocket.

I love this idea.

Sony (SNE) Ericsson might be a few generations behind in their Android OS rollout, but their hardware team is right on the mark here. Called the LiveView™ micro display, the watch face has a Bluetooth connection that connects to an Android phone (or Android powered GoogleTV?).  You can then control your phone's music, see Twitter, RSS and Facebook updates and see incoming calls with the small device.  They've even put a 'Find my Phone' feature that helps locate your missing Android device.  It is smaller than an iPod nano at 1,3"colour OLED display, 128x128 pixels and comes with a watch band mount.

A few notes on why this is awesome and why it is what the Apple (AAPL) iPod nano should have been.

  • Instead of having an additional device and an additional playlist to sync, you just use your phone's
  • Paired with a bluetooth headset, you can leave your phone twenty feet away and control your music and phone
  • This would be great to pair with other Android devices like GoogleTV (which Sony is also making).
  • Developers can build support for this device into their Apps.  Possibilities are pretty endless here.
  • It seems like a good fit as a watch but also could be a steering wheel controller in a car.

The iPod nano has no wireless capability.  It is just an audio player that needs to connect to a computer to download music.

There are still concerns with Sony's idea however:

  • This is Sony so will it work with all Android devices or will Sony make it proprietary?  They say it will be available for Android 2.0 (which ironically, their Xperia X10 isn't yet up to), but won't say definitively. I'd rather see an open standard so other makers could adopt this.
  • Will it play video?  I know the screen is small, but Dick Tracy's dreams would finally be realized.
  • Battery life is 4 days but might be annoying to have to charge your watch a few nights a week.
  • I can't tell from the materials/video if the device has a headphone port, but it should.

Press release follows:

28 September 2010

Sony Ericsson LiveView micro display with remote control functionality mirrors the activities of your mobile phone

London, September 28th 2010 – Today sees the announcement of the Sony Ericsson LiveView™. This innovative accessory is another step in Sony Ericsson's commitment to help consumers get the very best mobile phone experience through the open Android platform. The Sony Ericsson LiveView™ is part of the Sony Ericsson Extras portfolio – a division which offers a total product experience and enhanced mobile possibilities.

The Sony Ericsson LiveView™ uses Bluetooth™ connectivity to wirelessly pair up to a compatible handset and allows consumers to control the phone without taking it out of their pocket or handbag. Read text messages, see incoming calls and keep up to date with the latest news on Facebook™ and Twitter™.

The Sony Ericsson LiveView™ allows the user to control the Sony Ericsson music features of the handset from the micro display, selecting tracks and controlling volume.  The product also serves as a calendar reminder, displaying calendar events and other phone applications.

Whether on the go, in a meeting or out for dinner, the convenient Sony Ericsson LiveView™ can be clipped anywhere. Attached in a watch strap, on a keychain or clipped to a laptop, the micro display allows the user to incorporate the product into their lifestyle and always stay connected.

Mikael Henriksson, Head of creation and offering planning at Sony Ericsson Extras, said: "It is our ambition to be THE Communication Entertainment brand and this includes being the most open mobile phone brand on the market. We believe in openness and offering consumers a wide range of applications to choose from. We will continue to develop accessories to ensure we play a major and groundbreaking role in the market and design innovative and exciting accessories for all platforms, including Android."

Mikael Henriksson continued: "The Sony Ericsson LiveView™ is the first Sony Ericsson accessory to be compatible with the open Android™ platform which gives developers an opportunity to be creative and develop the next must-have innovative application."

Your window to your world with Sony Ericsson LiveView

  • Micro display device that mirrors the phone
  • Tunes on the go – control music
  • Don't miss out – Get instant notification and readtexts, Tweets and Facebook™ updates
  • Incoming calls – see who is calling
  • Make it mine – open platform for developers to add to the large collection of applications for a unique experience

To find Sony Ericsson LiveView™ enabled applications, Sony Ericsson has developed the Sony Ericsson LiveWare™ Manager application. It will scan Android™ Market for Sony Ericsson LiveView™ enabled applications and present them to the user. The Sony Ericsson LiveWare™ manager will be available from Android™ Market, or come preinstalled in phone bundles.

The Sony Ericsson LiveView™ will be available in stores from Q4, 2010.

The Sony Ericsson LiveView™ is also available in one of the Sony Ericsson Experience Packs.  An 'Experience Pack' is a package of several related components that together create a great user experience in a certain area. The packages include mobile phone applications, accessories, services and much more. The "Sony Ericsson Fitness Pack" is aimed at sports and fitness enthusiasts. It contains a sport application for the Sony Ericsson LiveView™ - The SportyPal™ Pro – and a carrying case for your mobile phone – ideal for exercising.

The first 'Sony Ericsson Experience Pack" will be available in selected markets in Q4.

To see more about Sony Ericsson Extras visit: www.sonyericsson.com/LiveView

For more developer information visit: http//developer.sonyericsson.com

Sony Ericsson LiveView - at a glance

Music player control

  • Play, pause, next, previous track and volume adjustment
  • Track title display

Social Networking Services

  • Display Facebook™ updates
  • Display Twitter™ updates

Messaging

  • Display incoming texts
  • Display RSS feeds

Calls

  • Show phone number for incoming calls
  • Mute ringer for incoming phone calls
  • List of missed calls

Other

  • Calendar reminders
  • Find your phone
  • Display time and date

Connectivity

  • Bluetooth™ technology
  • Micro USB connector

Screen

  • 1,3"colour OLED display, 128x128 pixels

Compatibility

  • Compatible with the Sony Ericsson Xperia™ X10, Sony Ericsson Xperia™ X10 mini and Sony Ericsson Xperia™ X10 mini pro and most other brands on Android 2.0 and above.
  • For full compatibility list please visit www.sonyericsson.com
  • Bluetooth™ range approximately 10m

Facts

  • Size:3.5 x 3.5x1.1cm
  • Typical consumer battery usage time: 4 days

Availability and versions

  • Available in selected markets from Q4 2010

Colour

  • Black

Kit content

  • Sony Ericsson LiveView™
  • Clip
  • Wristband
  • MicroUSB charger
  • User guide

Legal

1) Facts and features may vary depending on local variant.
2) Operational times are affected by network
preferences, type of SIM card, connected accessories and various activities e.g. playing games. Kit contents and colour options may differ from market to market. The full range of accessories may not be available in every market.

© Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, 2010

The Liquid Identity logo is a trademark or registered trademark of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB. Sony, make.believe and Walkman are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Corporation. Ericsson is the trademark or registered trademark of Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson. Additional information regarding trademarks may be located on our website at: www.sonyericsson.com/cws/common/legal/disclaimer.

Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved. All terms are subject to change without prior notice.

Sony Ericsson is a 50/50 joint venture by Sony and Ericsson established in October 2001, with global corporate functions located in London and operations in major markets around the world. Sony Ericsson's strategy is to become the industry leader in mobile Communication Entertainment, through new styles of interaction across the internet and social media. Sony Ericsson offers exciting consumer experiences through innovative and feature rich phones, accessories, content and applications.

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About This Author
Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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