LAS VEGAS—Sorry Android users: even though the rumor mill was buzzing about it, Sony didn’t use this year’s CES to announce a new Xperia flagship after all. That doesn’t mean that the company had nothing interesting to announce at its keynote, though.
In addition to a heaping of announcements related to its music and entertainment divisions, Sony announced that it’s stepping up its wearables game ten-fold with updates to a few existing products, like the Android Wear-powered SmartWatch 3, and a new Smarteyeglass SDK that may finally bring some competition to the stagnant Google Glass.
A more stylish SmartWatch 3
The technology giant announced that it’s dolling up its otherwise barebones SmartWatch 3 with a new stainless steel version in February. The watch’s hardware internals, however, will remain the same as its predecessor.
Sony also announced the SmartWatch 3 holder, which lets you customize the device with any standard 24mm watch strap so that you can style it the way you want it.
Lifelog will be compatible with third-party apps
Sony announced that Lifelog, its proprietary service for logging your fitness and “life” stats with your Sony wearable or smartphone, will open up its API to third-party services so that all the information you collect won’t be stuck in Sony's walled garden. IFTTT, Habit Monster, and Withings will soon be compatible with Lifelog, with the hopes that other third-party services will eventually follow suit.
“Developers, please make apps for our prototypes!”
Sony isn’t just limiting its devices to your wrist. The company also announced that its SmartEyeglass Developer Edition SDK will be compatible with the SmartEyeglass Attach! prototype, a single lens display module that attaches to a regular pair of glasses and turns them into a Google Glass device of sorts.
Why this matters: Most of the announcements Sony made in its wearables division are categorized as “coming soon.” It’s a bummer that we don’t get to play with these things immediately, but it’s also interesting to note the effort Sony is making against its competitors with its wearables products. Samsung may have Gear VR, but it requires that you purchase both a specific phone and a face-holder for it to work. Sony’s SmartEyeglass Attach! may have a silly name, but it supposedly works with the glasses you’re already forced to wear. That’s a neat way to leverage something that’s a part of your everyday life without having to invest in a whole new set of gadgets.
As for its smartphone division, we’ll likely hear more from Sony later in the year, since the reprise to the Xperia Z2, the Xperia Z3, recently launched a few months ago.