Sony hopes to up the ante in the smartwatch wars

Sony appears to be introducing a new smartwatch during Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai.

Sony appears to be introducing a new smartwatch next week, and the company is really excited about it.

For the past few days Sony has talked up its SmartWatch line on Twitter. "We launched the world's first 'smart' watch in 2007," Sony said on its Xperia Twitter account Thursday.

The tweet included the hashtags #itstime and #MAE13. The latter was a reference to the Mobile Asia Expo, which opens in Shanghai on June 26. Sony will hold a press conference on June 25 to kick off its presence at the trade show.

Sony followed up Thursday's hints with a 'tweetstravaganza' on Friday boasting about how there are over 200 first-generation apps for SmartWatch. That was followed by a claim that one in three smartphone users want "smart wrist wear." Finally, the company posted a picture of what appears to be the current generation of Sony SmartWatch with the words "tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock."

Feel the anticipation, folks.

Apple pressure?

All of Sony's watch tweets used the hashtags #itstime and #MAE13. So not only can we bet on seeing a new SmartWatch on Tuesday, there's a good chance Sony's marketing slogan for the new watch will be "It's time." As in, "Apple is rumored to be getting into the smartwatch business so it's time for everyone to finally start buying these things."

The latest iteration of Sony's SmartWatch (shown in photo at top of story) first appeared in early 2012 and went on sale in April of that same year; Sony released a software upgrade this March for the wrist wear.

SmartWatch currently costs $100 on Amazon and $130 on Best Buy. The device connects to your Android smartphone over Bluetooth to deliver notifications from SMS, email, calendar, and social networks. Some handset functions, such as music-player controls, can also be accessed from the timepiece.

Wearable technology is a major theme in technology circles lately, due in large part, to the  excitement and trepidation around Google Glass, the search giant's smartphone companion specs.

High-tech watches also came to the forefront earlier in 2013 after rumors surfaced that Apple was working on a smart device for your wrist. Soon after the Apple speculation came out, there were reports about Google and Samsung developing separate smartwatches. There were even rumors that Microsoft, an early smartwatch pioneer, was working on an Xbox smartwatch.

Smaller companies such as Pebble, makers of the famed Kickstarter-funded smartwatch of the same name, also are gaining some steam, thanks to the smartwatch excitement. So far, however, Sony is still the only major technology company willing to slap digital smarts on your wrist.

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Ian Paul

TechHive (US)
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