September 28, 2006

Sony Ericsson partners with Fossil to create mobile - watch connectivity..

Convergence took another step forward Thursday as mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson announced a partnership with watchmaker Fossil to produce watches that integrate with the company's phones. Through a Bluetooth connection, the watch would connect with the cellular phone.

An LCD screen on the front of select Fossil watches enables consumers to view Caller ID information and text message alerts. In addition, the watch would alert the user of new voicemails, and allow for one touch muting and rejection of incoming calls.

Fossil said that the timepieces would be marketed until the Abacus MobileWear and Fossil Caller ID brands. The first watches to arrive would be available beginning in mid-October.

"Our goal for the Bluetooth watch was to create a product that enhances the lifestyle of the wearer without compromising style or usability," said Bill Geiser, Vice President of Watch Technology at Fossil. "Watches are evolving with technology and Fossil is at the forefront of that revolution."

The first watches would feature an analog watchface with a digital LCD readout at the bottom of the watch. It is here where information from the user's cell phone would be displayed. While Fossil's entrant would be available exclusively in the US, the Abacus watches would appear in the UK as well, Fossil said.

The Fossil Caller ID features a black ionic plated stainless steel case and bracelet-style strap, and will retail for $250 USD. The Abacus watches come in two styles, both priced at $200 USD: one with a stainless steel case and bracelet, and the other with a stainless steel case and black PU strap.

Other features include an out of range warning where the watch would alert the user that it can no longer receive a signal from the phone (approximately 10 meters), phone time/date view, two button pairing, and rechargeable battery. The watches are also water resistant.

Both Sony Ericsson and Fossil said the companies would roll out additional models in the future.

"The Bluetooth watch represents the best of both the world of fashion in its classic attractive design and the world of technology in its innovative functionality," Sony Ericsson product planner Daniel Sandblom said. "That synergy will change your relationship with your mobile phone."