Sony has launched a crowdfunding campaign in Japan for the Wena smartwatch, a traditional analog device with smart tech built into the band.
Wena stands for 'wear electronics naturally' and Sony's looking for 10 million yen (approximately $82,450) via its own First Flight crowdfunding platform.
Wena's 22mm band features an NFC chip that supports the Japanese contactless payment standard FeliCa. It also includes a customizable seven-color LED light and vibrations for notifications. The fitness tracker only syncs with devices running iOS 8 and later.
This isn't Sony's first crowdfunding moonshot, after the FES watch that it released last year. That device used an e-paper display across the strap to enable an enormous array of custom designs.
However, while that device hasn't come to fruition outside of a minor Japanese rollout, it's possible that the Wena watch could be part of a more ambitious plan. With all the tech inside the strap, it could lead to a new Sony line-up of interchangeable smart accessories.
The Wena, which was designed in collaboration with Japanese manufacturer Citizen, comes in two styles. The $287 Three Hands has a traditional watch face and the $576 Chronograph includes three separate dials for hours, minutes, and seconds.
Thanks to the minimal tech involved, the watch battery will supposedly run for three to five years. The band, however, will need to be recharged about every week. Once the crowdfunding campaign ends, Sony plans to launch Wena exclusively in Japan starting March 2016.
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