Archos today confirmed that it is working with E Ink to develop a touchscreen E Ink smartwatch.
Talking to Pocket-lint, Bénédicte Ernoult, marketing director at Archos, confirmed that the company has a close relationship with E Ink and is working on advancing the curved E Ink design to was showing, to give touch control alongside the current buttons.
At CES 2014, Archos announced a trio of smartwatches, broadly aligned to compete with devices like the Pebble with a memory LCD display, the Galaxy Gear with a conventional LCD and finally an E Ink model.
The E Ink smartwatch features a curved display and is close in design to the prototype we saw in 2013 when talking to E Ink. The curve is achieved with a flexible E Ink panel that uses plastic rather than glass to form the display. The aim isn't to give you something that can constantly change form, but something with which to achieve better designs - as implemented by Archos in this watch.
The natural advantage of using E Ink is that the battery life is expected to be 1-2 weeks and the high contrast display will be perfectly visible in bright sunlight, just like the Amazon Kindle devices that use a similar panel. Adding touch control in the future would make it faster to switch display modes, cancel notifications and so on.
Ernoult emphasised that Archos sees smartwatches as a companion to your smartphone and it won't be looking to pack in as many functions as you'll find in Samsung's Galaxy Gear. Judging by the popularity of devices like the Pebble, we think that's the right approach.
Archos is suggesting a price of £99.99 when it hits the shelves.