Earlier today Samsung's President and CEO JK Shin unveiled what could be the start of the "wearable technology" revolution. The device was showcased at the trade show in Berlin, as the South Korean company leaps ahead of rivals Apple, Google and Microsoft.
The Galaxy Gear entails a 1.6-inch OLED screen, weights a mere 2.47 ounces and comes with a 1.9 megapixel camera embedded in the strap. The device will run on the Android operating system and features a built-in speaker that allows users to conduct hands-free calls. The Galaxy Gear also provides users with a preview of incoming calls, texts, emails and alerts. Users have the option to accept these calls, messages and emails, or simply ignore them. The smartwatch comes in 6 different colours ranging from Jet Black to Oatmeal Beige. Galaxy Gear will go on sale in 149 countries this month, and will cost a rather expensive $299 (£191).
Marcello Ahn, a fund manager at Quad Investment Management had this to say: "It’s good to showcase something that will boost the perception of Samsung’s capabilities, but there’s not much that they can expect commercially from this product,”
This launch highlights Samsung's aggressiveness to get new products launched before rivals to avoid further patent litigation. Back in 2011, Apple accused Samsung of allegedly copying the iPhone and iPad design. From that point, it's been a constant patient battle between the two companies who find new patient infringements to claim damages upon.
However, some Samsung fans may be disappointed with the watch. The limited functionality may deter some fans from purchasing the device, as they may have expected a watch that either did a little more, or had a bendable display that would conform to the shape of the users wrist. But don't let that deter you! The smartwatch will come preloaded with over 60 applications, ranging from a step-counting pedometer to a S Voice-activated app similar to that of Apple's Siri. Users will be able to check the weather, along with take photos that will be directly synced with the partnered phone.
Unfortunately, the device won't be compatible with the Galaxy S4 smartphone, nor will it be able to complete complex tasks such as composing emails or downloading music; however, Samsung said they are working on it. Also, the device will require a separate battery charger.
A small collection of Galaxy Gear images:
The device is set to launch on September 25th, and is expected to sell roughly 1.2 million units within the first year. Personally, I won't be purchasing the Galaxy Gear as I'm an Apple fan-boy who's waiting on the alleged iWatch. But, those of you with a Samsung device, will you be purchasing the Galaxy Gear? Let us know in the comments below.