Sony is said to be working on a smart watch that features an entire loop of e-paper, according to sources claiming to have inside knowledge of the company's plan.
The sources shared news of the smart watch with Bloomberg, but asked not to be identified as Sony isn't ready to announce the wearable just yet. The watch will place a premium on style, with function deferring to fashion in areas where the two conflict.
If true, Sony's e-paper smart watch wouldn't directly compete with Apple's incoming Apple Watch or Samsung's Gear line of wrist-worn computers. The e-paper design, however, opens the smart watch up to an array of features.
With its wraparound e-paper design, the smart watch could take on a variety of responsibilities when the device is resting. The device would use its entire surface as display area and could relay more than basic text alerts, as is the case with low-end smart watches that are built around low-count LED displays.
The wraparound e-paper watch is part of Sony's new game plan -- to take a more speculative approach at propping up and establishing revenue streams, sources told Bloomberg. The smart watch, expected to launch at some point in 2015, will be the first product to test the speculative approach.
Sony's alleged new approach is supported by the shakeup the company has been undergoing. While its PlayStation unit is thriving, Sony is said to be preparing to slim down its TV and mobile sectors as the divisions continue to struggle.
While the expectations of Sony are high, everything is uncertain until results begin to appear, said Akino Mitsushige, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Asset Management. Mitsushige even suggested Sony could sell off its mobile business down the road.
"Getting out of the mobile market is an option, but they can't do that now, so they will need to make some fundamental changes," said Mitsushige.
Hiroki Totoki, president and CEO of Sony's mobile division, recently told investors the company isn't seeking a larger market share. Sony is aiming for improving its profits, Totoki said.
Totoki replaced Kunimasa Suzuki, who was moved to the executive vice president role for Sony Entertainment on Nov. 16. Totoki moved to Sony's mobile division after managing the corporate planning, finance and new business sector. The mobile division, along with financial and video games sections, have been key to the company's rebuilding efforts.
"In light of the global mobile market that is rapidly becoming competitive and difficult, we need to make our business profitable," said a Sony spokeswoman back in late October. "Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai judged Mr. Totoki, who has a proven track record in turning the business profitable, is the most suited for the job."