Samsung Starts the Clock on the Smartwatch Battle


Samsung the first among the major consumer electronics players to take the wraps off of its smartwatch with its unveiling yesterday of the Galaxy Gear smart watch as that space takes a major step forward becoming a reality.

The Galaxy Gear features a 1.63-inch display and is designed to connect to a Galaxy phone providing e-mail alerts and news routed from that device. However it is more than a glorified pager as it also features a 1.9 megapixel camera that will enable point and shoot photography. It has a built-in microphone that can be used for composition of memos, emails, calendar appointments and more.

One of the areas that early smartwatch pioneers have worked to cultivate has been in the exercise and training field and the Galaxy Gear is designed to compete in that space as well and will support a number of popular apps in that space such as RunKeeper and Life360 and can function as a pedometer.

Last but not least the Galaxy Gear also serves as a wristwatch and includes several face options and will come preloaded with 10 different clock options and more choices will be downloadable via Samsung Apps. It will be available in six colors that will be available at launch: Jet Black, Mocha Gray, Wild Orange, Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold, and Lime Green. The company said it would ship on September 25th and it will listed at under $300.

There has been a great deal of talk over the last year about smartwatches-which companies will or will not release one, when that will occur and if this means the death toll to the smaller players such as Pebble that have been working to pioneer this space.

Apple has been another of the players that have been rumored to be in development in this space, and recently Google announced made a major move into the space (which actually closed last year) with its purchase of WIMM Labs, a company that first showed its smartwatch design in 2011. Expect others to follow suit in the near future.

It will be hard to predict how this space will pan out. Will the devices be viewed as a fad with a fast adoption rate and an equally fast abandonment rate? Remember a few years back when the race in smartphones was to see who had the smallest form factor? Then as apps started to make them multifunctional they went to larger and larger formats, and now the phablet space is a huge one with oversized screens.

Watches will have small displays. They are good for quick updates and alerts and a surprising range of other features, but they also duplicate everything that is on a smartphone, and so will the majority of users want to carry two pieces of hardware when they have one that already does all of the tasks and more?

It will also be interesting to see if their is a backlash like there appears to be for Google Glass. Will casinos ban smartwatches and how will they do that?


  1. […] started a land rush by larger mobile developers to lay claim to this space as well, with Samsung, Apple, Google, Sony, Dell and others delivering products, planning to or simple becoming part of […]

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