Sony Ericsson has a new accessory you didn't know you needed: a 1.3 inch OLED display that connects with your Android smartphone via Bluetooth. If you just can't be bothered to pick your phone up off your desk or take it out of your pocket or purse, you can use this satellite screen instead.
The Sony Ericsson LiveView screen can play your handset's music tracks, show your latest RSS feeds, text messages, email, calendar reminders, Twitter and Facebook updates, incoming and missed calls, and the like. At least they didn't try to run a virtual keyboard from it.
The device should be supported by all Android 2.0 and up devices, plus the XPERIA X10 line which is still stuck in the world of Android OS 1.6. Note, I said should, as that's what SE is claiming. The actual list of compatable non-SE devices is right here:
- Samsung Galaxy S
- HTC Desire
Existing apps would have to be rewritten to support the new device, which is they plan to release this quarter. Sony-Ericsson has already integrated it with their XPERIA line to support their music player. They also will release an app, SE LiveWare Manager, that filters the Android Market for apps that support LiveView. (Good thing the display is small; that's going to be a very short list.)
One of the few apps that made sense for a tinier touchscreen was an exercise app called SportyPal Pro. You can wear LiveView on a wristband or clipped to your clothing, and see how your run or workout session is coming along. Just remember to bring your smarphone along or you'll be looking at a blank screen. The app will be marketed as part of the Sony Ericsson Fitness Pack, along with a LiveView display and a mobile phone case.
The device is 35 x 35 x 11 mm (1.4 x 1.4 x 0.4 inches), rather on the thick side. It is also on the larger side for a wrist display, especially for women. Compare to the iPod nano: 37.5 x 41 x 9 mm (1.5 x 1.6 x .35 inches, including clip) for a fully self-contained unit. SE doesn't indicate if the LiveView device has the clip included in the depth; since the clip and the wristband are listed as included accessories I would suspect not.
Despite running Bluetooth, this device is supposed to last 4 days on one battery charge.
Here's Sony-Ericsson's video showing LiveView's features. Does it make you want one, or are you wondering why anyone would need this? What would you be willing to pay? No pricing was given in the announcement.
Full press release follows:
Your Window to the World with Sony Ericsson LiveView
28 September 2010Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ micro display with remote control functionality mirrors the activities of your mobile phone
London, September 28th 2010 - Today sees the announcement of the Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢. This innovative accessory is another step in Sony Ericsson's commitment to help consumers get the very best mobile phone experience through the open Android platform. The Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ is part of the Sony Ericsson Extras portfolio - a division which offers a total product experience and enhanced mobile possibilities.
The Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ uses Bluetoothâ„¢ connectivity to wirelessly pair up to a compatible handset and allows consumers to control the phone without taking it out of their pocket or handbag. Read text messages, see incoming calls and keep up to date with the latest news on Facebookâ„¢ and Twitterâ„¢.
The Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ allows the user to control the Sony Ericsson music features of the handset from the micro display, selecting tracks and controlling volume. The product also serves as a calendar reminder, displaying calendar events and other phone applications.
Whether on the go, in a meeting or out for dinner, the convenient Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ can be clipped anywhere. Attached in a watch strap, on a keychain or clipped to a laptop, the micro display allows the user to incorporate the product into their lifestyle and always stay connected.
Mikael Henriksson, Head of creation and offering planning at Sony Ericsson Extras, said: "It is our ambition to be THE Communication Entertainment brand and this includes being the most open mobile phone brand on the market. We believe in openness and offering consumers a wide range of applications to choose from. We will continue to develop accessories to ensure we play a major and groundbreaking role in the market and design innovative and exciting accessories for all platforms, including Android."
Mikael Henriksson continued: "The Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ is the first Sony Ericsson accessory to be compatible with the open Androidâ„¢ platform which gives developers an opportunity to be creative and develop the next must-have innovative application."
Your window to your world with Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢
- Micro display device that mirrors the phone
- Tunes on the go - control music
- Don't miss out - Get instant notification and readtexts, Tweets and Facebookâ„¢ updates
- Incoming calls - see who is calling
- Make it mine - open platform for developers to add to the large collection of applications for a unique experience
To find Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ enabled applications, Sony Ericsson has developed the Sony Ericsson LiveWareâ„¢ Manager application. It will scan Androidâ„¢ Market for Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ enabled applications and present them to the user. The Sony Ericsson LiveWareâ„¢ manager will be available from Androidâ„¢ Market, or come preinstalled in phone bundles.
The Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ will be available in stores from Q4, 2010.
The Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ is also available in one of the Sony Ericsson Experience Packs. An 'Experience Pack' is a package of several related components that together create a great user experience in a certain area. The packages include mobile phone applications, accessories, services and much more. The "Sony Ericsson Fitness Pack" is aimed at sports and fitness enthusiasts. It contains a sport application for the Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ - The SportyPalâ„¢ Pro - and a carrying case for your mobile phone - ideal for exercising.
The first 'Sony Ericsson Experience Pack" will be available in selected markets in Q4.
To see more about Sony Ericsson Extras visit: www.sonyericsson.com/LiveView
For more developer information visit: http//developer.sonyericsson.com