Sony's $130 SmartBand to combine fitness, entertainment, life experiences

The new SmartBand will go on sale globally in March

BARCELONA -- Sony made its mark in entertainment technology and is taking that tradition to wearables with its new SmartBand wrist-wearable device.

The new SmartBand, with waterproof core sensor technology, goes on sale globally in March for 99 euros (US$130), allowing customers to connect to an Android app called Lifelog, the company announced at Mobile World Congress here on Monday.

Sony CEO shows SmartBand
Sony Mobile communications CEO Kunimasa Suzuki shows off his SmartBand, which will go on sale globally for $130 in March. (Photo: Matt Hamblen/Computerworld)

The SmartBand will connect to any Android 4.4 (KitKat) device, not only the new Sony Xperia Z2 smartphone or Xperia Z2 Tablet, also announced Monday.

With the Lifelog app and SmartBand, Sony described how users can "effortlessly capture life and entertainment," including places visited, music listened to, games played and books read.

"Smartband and its innovative core extend beyond fitness tracking to add colorful, fun entertainment experiences to users' lives," Sony Mobile Communications CEO Kunimasa Suzuki said at the MWC event. "It goes far beyond health and fitness to capture not just emotions but [experiences]."

The core sensor in the SmartBand SWR10 connects to Android smartphones via Bluetooth and near field communication. The core sensor itself -- about an inch long and a quarter of an inch wide -- fits inside a flexible wristband. It  has a micro USB connection for charging. The battery typically runs for seven days.

The first SmartBands will be available in black, but a variety of colors will appear after the launch.

When the SmartBand is beyond about 10 yards from the smartphone or other connected Android device, it will emit a vibration alert. The SmartBand measures sleep by using a vibration to waken the user. Tweets, calls and messages to the Android device are transmitted to the SmartBand with a vibration notification.

A Walkman app can be used to play, pause and skip music tracks when a user presses a button on the SmartBand or by tapping the band.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon