Sony unveils new system to turn traditional watches into smart watches

News, Wearables

Sony has unveiled a new system which allows users to attach any of their existing watch faces to a smart band to add digital features such as fitness tracking and notifications.

The firm’s new wena, which stands for wear electronics naturally, watch range houses smartwatch technology such as contactless payment, fitness tracking and other hardware for connection with a phone in the watch strap rather than the face. Having rubber straps for watches is handy when you need to go out while the smart attachment is charging. But you won’t have to worry about it that much as the device can operate very long hours.

The tech giant says this allows users to choose one of its interchangeable traditional watch faces and still access the same features found on modern smartwatches.


Sony says this means users can add smart capabilities to any watch in their collection providing it is either 18, 20 or 22mm lug, the gap into which the watch strap fits.

The system was created by a Sony employee as part of the company’s Seed Acceleration Programme (SAP), which encourages employees to propose and create new product ideas.

Instead of display fitness tracking and notification information on the watch face, the wena system has a small one or two line display on the strap for digital information, separating the digital aspects of the device from the analogue.

In contrast, the majority of current smartwatches or wearables feature digital touchscreens that mimic the interactions users have with their mobile phone.


On the fitness-inclined wena wrist active version, users can wear the strap without a watch face, instead using it as a fitness tracking band, Sony said.

The active version also comes with GPS tracking and heart-rate sensors to help monitor exercise.

Mr Tsushima said he began work on the design after realising that while he enjoyed wearing a fitness tracker, he also liked his traditional watch and wanted to continue wearing it.

The new watch can now be pre-ordered, starting at £349.

Chris Price
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