Interest in wearable tech has been steadily increasing in recent years with the likes of Motorola’s MOTACTV and Google Glass being notable mentions already out in the wild, but rumours of an offering from Samsung have also long be bandied about, rumours which have now been officially realised with the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy Gear at IFA 2013.
It was unclear, before its unveiling, whether or not the Samsung Galaxy Gear was a standalone device, or designed to work in conjunction with the company’s range of smartphones, not unlike the soon-to-be-available Sony SmartWatch 2 and Sony’s own Xperia smartphone line.
It transpires that this new device actually features some pretty powerful hardware for what is essentially an advanced mobile accessory so that is works both independently and in conjunction with a Samsung Galaxy device. At the Galaxy Gear’s heart lies a custom-made 800MHz single-core processor along with 512MB of RAM and a host of sensors including an accelerometer, gyroscope and pedometer.
Users interface with the Gear via a 1.63-inch 320×320 Super AMOLED touchscreen display set within a metallic watch face. The body of the Galaxy Gear itself is 11mm thick and the whole thing weighs just 73.8 grams. On the inside there’s also 4GB of storage and Bluetooth 4.0 LE. Battery is also quoted as lasting up to around 25 hours based on its Li-ion 315mAh cell.
Aside from simply pulling notifications from your Samsung Galaxy device thus providing info on caller ID and email, users will also be able to snap pictures and short videos using the Gear’s 1.9-megapixel camera, which resides within the strap. What’s more, whilst holding it up to your face, as you would if you were holding an actual phone, you’ll be able to take or receive calls thanks to an integrated set of stereo microphones and a speaker in the Galaxy Gear’s clasp.
As well as being able to offer a number of inbuilt features, Samsung also confirmed that third-party developers have already started work on a number of downloadable Galaxy Gear-centric apps, with 70 set to be available at launch, including offerings from the likes of Evernote and Path.
Samsung Mobile’s head, Mr JK Shin confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy Gear would be arriving in nearly 140 countries from September 25th, with worldwide availability set for October time. The Galaxy Gear will come in a range of six colours and will be supported by the new Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition and Samsung Galaxy S4 at launch, with an update coming to the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 sometime in October.