Sony is launching its WENA range of smart connected watch bands and bracelets outside of Japan for the first time.
The name, which is an acronym of Wear Electronics Naturally, was born back in 2015 when an engineer in Sony’s Japanese campus won an internal competition for investment and mentoring into new technology.
The concept was to come up with a leather strap, silicon band or steel bracelet that could fit with most watches and convert them instantly to connected smartwatches without compromising their intrinsic designs.
The first generation of WENA products sold only in Japan but the latest versions, which launched overseas in 2018, will go on sale in the UK in March. A US release date has not been announced and may be dependent on developing contactless payment solutions.
There will not be a leather strap this year. Two models available are a steel bracelet priced at £399 and a black silicon band costing £349 in the UK.
They can be bought standalone, and will connect to any watch head with a 18mm, 20mm or 22mm pinned lugs, or Sony has a range of its own watch heads, including mechanical pieces for £450 or quartz for £100.
The WENA technology is housed in the clasp side and has a tiny OLED screen showing notifications from a connected smartphone about step counts, heart rate and messages. It also has secure contactless payments and GPS tracking functionality.