Sony Ericsson has unveiled its latest smartphone accessory that allows users to remotely view what's on their Android handsets via Bluetooth.
Dubbed 'LiveView', the pint-sized display features a 1.3in colour OLED screen that
lets users view emails, texts, status updates, calendar appointments and control the music player. The device can display incoming and missed calls.
The accessory will be compatible with the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, Xperia, X10 Mini and Xperia X10 Mini Pro. The device will support the latest versions of Android though, so more handsets are expected to be added to this list.
Sony Ericsson suggested that the device can be clipped onto a laptop during a meeting, worn as watch when exercising, or for those feeling rather stylish worn around the neck as a fashion piece.
As the device relies on Bluetooth, Sony Ericsson conceded its range will be limited to around 10 metres, so users will have to have their smartphone to hand - not literally though as this would defeat the purpose of the LiveView.
The limited range could significantly impact on the value of the LiveView, relegating its usefulness to using it on the commute when a smartphone is in a jacket or handbag.
A number of apps will be made available for the accessory. The Sony Ericsson LiveWare Manager has been developed to help users find compatible apps by automatically scanning the Android Market.
Sony Ericsson is also inviting developers to create apps, which it is hoping will boost the popularity of the device.
While the accessory does have its uses we can't help but think that the LiveView could end up being a novelty purchase.
Still, Sony Ericsson will try and entice customer with a range of 'Experience Packs', including the 'Fitness Pack', aimed at you guess it, sports and fitness enthusiasts. As well as being bundled with the SportyPal Pro app, it will come with a carry case for smartphones.
While the LiveView could certainly be useful in some circumstance, users who have shelled out large sums for hi-tech smartphones are going to want to actually use their device rather than use an accessory as a surrogate.
The LiveView is an attempt at offering customers something different, but ultimately it could end up dumbing down smartphones.
We reserve ultimate judgment whether it's worth the £70 price tag, until we've tried it though and that could be soon as the LiveView will be available in Q4 2010.
You can view the new tool in action here:
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