x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Time is right to screen your own calls

The Life: Now phones come with a remote control wrist watch which allows you to screen incoming calls.

The Sony Ericsson LiveView. Courtesy Sony Ericsson
The Sony Ericsson LiveView. Courtesy Sony Ericsson

Remote control devices exist for televisions and sound systems. But what about having them for Android smartphones in the form of a gadget that can be worn like a wristwatch? Sony Ericsson has a product it calls LiveView, a 35mm by 35mm remote control that uses Bluetooth technology to connect to an Android handset.

It lets users view their incoming calls, latest SMS messages and Facebook updates all while the handset is tucked away in a pocket. For incoming calls, LiveView shows the phone number and name of the caller, providing it is stored in the phone's address book.

The playback buttons enable users to listen to the music stored on their phones. And in case the smartphone is lost, LiveView has a feature that sets off beeps or ringtones to help relocate it.

However, LiveView has an operating range of only 10 metres, so a mislaid phone would have to be close by. The tiny gadget, like its connected smartphone, also uses an Android operating system to display all the information on its micro-display.

The screen has a resolution of 136 pixels, but its makers say they have designed it that way to keep it simple and easily readable while it sits on a wristband. The wristband, though, is rather too big and does not make the LiveView gadget appear to be a fashionable watch.

But those who do not want to wear it on their wrists can attach it to their clothing instead because it comes with a clip.

Although it is a Sony Ericsson product, it does work with selected Android compatible devices such as the HTC Desire. The LiveView also has a Micro USB port to connect to a computer for updates. The gadget costs US$68 (Dh249) for those who don't want to bother taking their handset out of their pocket.

The Quote: Email is far more convenient than the telephone, as far as I’m concerned. I would throw my phone away if I could get away with it. - Tom Hanks, American actor, producer, writer and director

gvanzyl@thenational.ae