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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

April 12, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Sony’s new Android SmartWatch: SPOT redux?

If you’re looking for a way to discreetly keep an eye on your smartphone apps without pulling out the device, Sony is introducing a new watch that streams information from Android smartphones via Bluetooth,

The $150 SmartWatch looks kind of like an iPod Nano, a Nike SportWatch or a fresher version of the Microsoft SPOT watches Bill Gates unveiled back in 2003.

smartwatch-galleryimage940x529-2.png

Sony’s new gadget has a 1.3-inch OLED touchscreen that can display the time like a regular watch. Or it can be used to display messages, take calls, control music or show social network updates. It also vibrates to notify you of incoming messages.

It sounds perfect for people who have to always be glancing at their phones, but don’t want to be the kind of people who can’t stop fiddling with their phone. Instead they can glance at their “watch” and leave the phone in their pocket or backpack.

Sony’s SmartWatch works like a remote control — or auxiliary touchscreen — for Android phones. One cool application is using the watch to activate your phone’s camera.

Unlike a regular watch, though, this one has to be recharged frequently with a USB cable. Sony promises a battery life of up to four days. It works with Bluetooth 3.0 and Android versions 2.1 and above.

The phone has a 1.4-inch square face, is 0.3 inches thick and weighs about a half ounce.

Alternatively, you may be able to find one of these circa 2003 Microsoft watches at a garage sale in Medina or a Redmond-area thrift store, although support ended in 2008:

01-09SPOTWatches_Page.jpg

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