[CES] Sony Unveils 'Life-log Module' for Wearable Devices

Jan 8, 2014
Tadashi Nezu, Nikkei Electronics
The announced life-log module
The announced life-log module
[Click to enlarge image]
Wristband-like products and the module
Wristband-like products and the module
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The backside of the wristband-like case
The backside of the wristband-like case
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The smartphone application for the module displaying various icons
The smartphone application for the module displaying various icons
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The Micro USB port of the module
The Micro USB port of the module
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A button and indicator on its side
A button and indicator on its side
[Click to enlarge image]

Sony Corp showed its intention to put effort into a business using wearable devices at a press conference that took place on the day before the opening of CES.

The core of the business is the "life-log module," which the company announced this time. It is as small as a USB memory stick or thumb and has a light weight.

The life-log module can be used in various forms. For example, it can be used as a life-log terminal when housed in a wristband-like case. In fact, Sony plans to release such a product as "SmartBand" in the spring of 2014. The cases that house the life-log module will also be released by other companies, Sony said.

In addition, the company is considering using the module in other forms.

"Though we cannot disclose the details yet, it will become possible to attach the module to clothes like a clip," Sony said.

Sony did not reveal the details of specific applications of the life-log module, except the following information, saying that they will be announced at MWC 2014, a trade show on mobile technologies, which will take place in February 2014.

The life-log module can be connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth. An NFC (near field communication) technology is used for Bluetooth pairing. Along with the module, Sony plans to release a smartphone application that can be used with it.

It seems that the life-log module will be connected to devices other than smartphones to collect a variety of life-log data. In fact, Sony is considering cooperating with companies in various fields, it said. At the conference, the smartphone application was showing a car icon. Probably, it is for recording driving situations such as driving time. And it is possible that the module can be connected to in-vehicle devices.

The life-log module has a Micro USB port. It is used for charging the built-in rechargeable battery, etc, Sony said. The module can be used for about a week when fully charged. It is also equipped with motion sensors such as an acceleration sensor for measuring the amount of activities as well as an indicator.