Wed, Jun 05, 2013 - Page 13 News List

E Ink Holdings’ e-paper used in new smartwatch

By Lisa Wang and Helen Ku  /  Staff reporters

A Sonostar Inc employee displays a smartwatch developed by the company at the 2013 Computex trade show in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: MANDY CHENG, AFP

E Ink Holdings (元太科技), the world’s largest e-paper display supplier, yesterday said its latest 1.73-inch e-paper flexible display has been used in a commercial smartwatch, jointly developed by its subsidiary Transmart Co Ltd (川元電子) and Taipei-based Sonostar Inc (南北星).

The smartwatch is being showcased at the Computex trade show in Taipei by Sonostar and is set to hit the market in the near future, E Ink said in a statement.

Equipped with a 1.73-inch flexible e-paper touch screen that supports 320 x 240 pixel resolution with 16 grayscale levels, the smartwatch has a 180 degree-wide viewing angle, a feature unavailable on tablets and smartphones.

“E Ink is extremely pleased that Sonostar has chosen to use E Ink’s ePaper displays in such a cutting edge product,” E Ink marketing director Giovanni Mancini said.

Sonostar, which has developed a series of golf applications for Android and iOS mobile operating systems, said the smartwatch can receive e-mails, text messages and telephone calls via Bluetooth technology from users’ smartphones or “phablets” running either the Android or iOS mobile operating system.

“Sonostar is now moving to the emerging field of smartwatches and wearable computing,” said Joesam Liu (劉俊山), chief executive officer of Sonostar’s smartwatch division.

“The smartwatch’s touch screen interface is much more intuitive than pressing buttons,” Liu said.

The smartwatch is available in black and white, and carries a price tag of US$179, the company said.

Next quarter, the company is set to ship the first batch to markets including Taiwan and the US, Sonostar said, adding that it is scheduled to launch new versions of the smartwatch in different colors in August to enhance user experience.

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