Traditional watches made smart with Sony
13 March 2019
With the latest smart technology all in a watch strap, wena incorporates contactless payment, advanced fitness tracking and direct link-ups for phone notifications.
Sony launches the wena watch range in the UK, bringing traditional watchmaking into the 21st Century, truly modernising the luxury of timekeeping.
The wena watch has been created by a new business creation programme within Sony, known as the Seed Acceleration Programme (SAP). Launched in April 2014, the scheme encourages innovation and provides the opportunity for its employees to propose and create new ideas. The scheme also supports business operations after the new idea becomes commercialised.
wena stands for “Wear Electronics Naturally” and the strap has been designed exactly with this in mind. The interchangeable nature of the watch allows the technology to be isolated to the clasp of the watch strap, rather than being linked to the face.
The design of the watch not only allows the wearer to choose any watch face, but it makes everyday activities easier to do. For example, when making payments with the watch, there is no need for the wearer to twist their wrist to tap the face onto the terminal, which many find uncomfortable and unnatural – instead it can all be done with one simple, easy movement.
Key smart features include:
E-money and contactless payments
The new watch bands utilise NFC technology to give wearers the ability to make contactless payments with just a tap of the wrist – a simpler, faster and safer way to make day-to-day transactions for those with a busy lifestyle.
Working closely with Mastercard and NXP Sony offer not only the simplest solution to make payments but also the safest.
Global digital financial technology leader Wirecard will be the launch issuer for the UK and Ireland. Using Wirecard’s boon app for iOS and Android, customers will be able to add a virtual card to the wena app and set up automatic top ups, providing a simple way for everyone to access funds, no matter who they bank with.
Caroline Casey, Mastercard’s Vice President, Innovation, Partnerships and Labs – Europe, said: “Working with partners to bring innovative, safe and secure payments to consumers is at the heart of our strategy. Sony’s wena watch embodies this by delivering smart functionality to all those consumers who favour a classical timepiece, with latest contactless paytech alongside style and mechanical precision.”
Gregor Klezin, Director of Global Mobile Payment Solutions, NXP Semiconductors, said “there couldn’t be a better example than Sony’s new wena bands to prove how any device can be a payment device with this first true end-to-end mobile wallet solution, the NXP mWallet 2GO,” says Gregor Klezin, Director of Global Mobile Payment Solutions, NXP Semiconductors. “Sony and NXP successfully completed the challenge to allow for new form factors in mobile payments while ensuring high-level device security at all times.”
Georg von Waldenfels, Executive Vice President Consumer Solutions at Wirecard, said, “the cooperation between Wirecard and Sony combines the best of two worlds by tracking your activities and making mobile payments by connecting your boon app with a fashionable smart wearable. This brings a whole new lifestyle aspect to the market for mobile payments, which is currently experiencing strong growth worldwide, and this is why we are delighted to be among the first launch partners for Sony wena. Our customers can now use their digital boon app to track their spending, make peer-to-peer and online payments plus use their favourite wearable at the point of sale – without having to take their physical wallet with them. These benefits for consumers of being able to pay with their smart device and boon mean a new level of freedom in everyday life.”
KBC Bank Ireland, Ireland’s digital first bank will be the first bank in Ireland to launch this new technology. KBC debit and credit card customers will be able to pay for goods and services on the move with the tap of their wrist using a wena strap. To add their KBC debit and credit cards instantly, KBC customers simply download the wena app and follow the intuitive prompts.
The smart watch strap also provides wearers with phone notifications including calls, mail and app notifications with a one or two-line display.
What’s more, notifications can be customised using the 7-coloured LED lighting and vibration, giving the wearer greater control of how the watch communicates with them.
The strap is also perfect for those on a fitness push, logging steps and calories burned, whilst the wena wrist active version also comes complete with GPS tracking and heart-rate sensors to provide calories burned and distance travelled.
The strap is available in two styles – metal and silicone– with each designed to suit different lifestyles.