Onyx International makes a line of eReaders featuring E Ink displays. Now the company is showing off a smartwatch prototype with the same type of low-power, sunlight readable display.

onyx smartwatch

It has a 1.56 inch display which only uses power when the screen is refreshed, which means the screen can remain on all of the time, but the watch will probably still have longer battery life than one with a color LCD display. The watch is also waterproof.

The Onyx smartwatch can synchronize with a phone over Bluetooth, includes a pedometer for tracking steps, and has three buttons on the side of the device for navigating watch faces, menus and other settings.

Charbax from ARMdevices got a chance to check out an early prototype at the HKTDC show in Hong Kong recently, where he found out that future versions of the watch could include touchscreens, GPS, and other features.

Onyx doesn’t expect to bring its E Ink smartwatch to market until 2015 at the earliest, but if you’re looking for a smartwatch with an ePaper screen you don’t have to wait that long. You can always pick up a Pebble or Pebble Steel for $99 and up.

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7 replies on “Onyx unveils an E Ink smartwatch”

  1. I still want to know where the traditional digital watch makers are in all this? They seem to be letting the whole thing pass them by.

    I don’t want a smartwatch as they are being presented by these fly-by-night companies. I don’t want a smartwatch that can never be repaired, or tied to an online server or an app or a certain version of a smartphone OS. I don’t want a watch destined for a landfill within 24 months, made with the same throwaway lack of foresight as phones as tablets.

    I want a -smarter- digital watch. I want to be able to put a new battery in it 10 years from now and still use it. I want e-ink, customisable watch faces and little apps which don’t require chaining to a phone, I want it built on open source software with open specifications so it works with all manner of stuff not just now but in years to come. It’s not much to ask for, but apparently beyond anyone to deliver.

  2. I think eInk is a natural for a watch face since the flash to refresh isn’t so annoying on a small size watch screen.

    This prototype in the video seems to have rather low resolution and the refresh is taking too long for such a small screen. Higher resolution and either more CPU power or better programming could make this better.

  3. I don’t know if I want a watch that won’t refresh seconds.
    Black & white LCD still seems to be the best technology for my kind of use.

  4. E-Ink-Screens are something that’s been missing for years. I’ve tested 2-3 non-smart-watches with such and it was far superior to everything LCD/LED/Whatever. I don’t get why noone sells such things already.

    BTW: gnaa.. “buy pebble if you want e-ink”
    again! why does everybody repeat that bullshit without actually thinking?

    1. I said the Pebble has an ePaper screen, not E Ink. The point is that it’s a relatively affordable option that has a high-contrast, low-power display and a week of battery life.

  5. Pebble uses LCD. Not e-ink. They call it “e-paper” but that’s just marketing doublespeak. It is LCD.

    This would be the first smartwatch to use e-ink, which is significant.

  6. Onyx has a habit of doing its own thing, which is incompatible with anyone else’s thing. No thanks, one or two standards please.

Comments are closed.