SAN FRANCISCO - Prior to the scheduled preview of Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch, VentureBeat reporter, Christina Farr, got a sneak peek and a hands-on look at the prototype from an unnamed source.
Samsung has alerted media to a big press event scheduled for Wednesday, September 4, 2013, in advance of the opening of the IFA trade show in Berlin.
The smartwatch is said by Farr to have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for internet connectivity to other Samsung devices, and perhaps all Android devices. It will interface with social media: Facebook, Twitter. It's a phone, of course. It will also have the capability for apps, and a plethora of possibilities around personal healthcare and fitness tracking. With a 4-megapixel camera built into the strap, you can take pictures and store into a photo gallery.
Farr reports that the wearable device is about three inches diagonally, rather bulky for the wrist, especially for some people. "Although its screen is square, large bezels on the top and bottom give it a chunky, rectangular shape, with rounded corners," she writes. "The color is fairly basic — dark black and grey, although it may be enhanced in the final version. The wristband is clunky and masculine, large enough to hold speakers in the clasp."
Next big thing
It's been said for some time that Apple is working on an iWatch. Crowdfunded by Kickstarter, Pebble got their first smartwatch out this summer, and Sony is planning an Android-only compatible one. With Farr reporting that the Samsung device has about a 10-hour battery life, it seems there is still work to be done in the field. However, interest is strong and VentureBeat cites a recent report from Juniper Research indicating that the smartwatch market will explode to reach 36 million in annual sales by 2018.
Read VentureBeat's exclusive report, "This is Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch: A blocky health tracker with a camera."