For people who absolutely, positively have to have Facbook updates and tweets now and can’t even spare the time it takes to pull their mobile phone from their pocket or handbag, Sony Ericsson has unveiled its LiveView Android accessory. The compact device sports a form factor similar to the latest iPod nano and can be clipped to clothing or worn like a wristwatch just like Apple’s device. But LiveView offers extra functionality that effectively makes it a remote micro display and controller for a mobile phone.
By pairing the LiveView up to a compatible Android 2.x handset via Bluetooth, users will be able to control their phone, read text messages, see incoming calls, Facebook updates, tweets and RSS feeds, select tracks and control the volume of music stored on a handset, display calendar events and other Android applications on the phone. Information is displayed on the unit’s 1.3-inch OLED 128 x 128 pixel display, with controls taking the form two physical buttons embedded in a touchframe surrounding it.
Touting LiveView as the first Sony Ericsson accessory compatible with the open Android platform, Mikael Henriksson, Head of creation and offering planning at Sony Ericsson Extras, says the device, “gives developers an opportunity to be creative and develop the next must-have innovative application.”
To make such LiveView enabled applications easy to find, the company has developed the Sony Ericsson LiveWire Manager application, which will scan the Android Market for compatible applications and present them to the user. This manager will be available from the Android Market, or come preinstalled in phone bundles.
Although the device has been designed to be compatible with handsets from Sony Ericsson, such as the Xperia X10 line, the company says LiveView will also be compatible with most Bluetooth-equipped phones from other manufacturers running Android 2.0 and above. The device has a range of around 10m (32-feet) and the battery is said to be good for around four days of “typical consumer usage.”
LiveView measures 11 x 35 x 35mm (0.43 x 1.37 x 1.37-inches) and weighs 15g (0.53 ounces). It comes with a clip, wristband and micro USB charger and will be released in Q4 this year at a price yet to be announced.