Sony Ericsson LiveView Remote for Android Smartphones Is Coming

The Sony Ericsson LiveView is a clip-on remote control for smartphones running Android 2.0 and higher. It'll arrive in "select markets" during the fourth quarter.

Sony Ericsson wants to streamline your mobile experience, the phone maker explained in a Sept. 28 announcement that introduced LiveView-a tiny remote control for smartphones running Google's Android operating system.

The LiveView remote control, which measures 3.5 by 3.5 by 1.1 centimeters and features a 1.3-inch color OLED display, can be clipped to a wristwatch, say, or a cuff. It then connects to a phone through Bluetooth, offering a mirrored experience. With LiveView, a user with his or her phone tucked away in a handbag or back pocket can control the phone's MP3 player, see who's calling, mute the ringer on incoming calls and receive Facebook and Twitter updates, instant messages and RSS feeds. It can also display calendar events-reminding users of events-as well as other phone applications.

A LiveView Manager, according to Sony Ericsson, will soon be available in the Android Market to help users find LiveView-enabled applications. Additionally, the manager will be available preinstalled on some devices or come in bundles, called Experience Packs. One such Pack, the Sony Ericsson Fitness Pack, will be geared toward exercisers and include a SportyPal Pro application and a carrying case for the phone.

The first Packs, like the LiveView remote, will arrive in select markets during the fourth quarter of 2010.

"It is our ambition to be the communication entertainment brand and this includes being the most open mobile phone brand on the market," Mikael Henriksson, head of creation and offering planning in Sony Ericsson's Extras group, said in a statement. "We believe in openness and offering consumers a wide range of applications to choose from."

LiveView is compatible with a Make It Mine open platform for developers, and Henriksson adds that LiveView is the first Sony Ericsson accessory to be compatible with the Android platform, "which gives developers an opportunity to be creative and develop the next must-have innovative application."

LiveView will initially be compatible with the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, X10 mini and X10 mini pro smartphones, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S and the HTC Desire. It comes with a clip and wristband, as well as a micro USB charger.

Pricing, as well as battery life details, have not yet been released. A visit to the LiveView site offers little hope for a fourth-quarter U.S. debut.