The watch may be a portable device with a long history, but it is now becoming the technology battleground of the future. Samsung is expected to unveil a smartwatch in two weeks, and leaks suggest it will have a camera in the strap, speakers in the clasp, and sensors that detect when it is being looked at.
With Apple's next big product expected to be an internet-connected timepiece, the South Korean manufacturer is dealing the first blow in the war for the wrist. Reports suggest Samsung's Galaxy Gear watch will be seen for the first time on 4 September, with launch events expected in
Prototypes sent to developers creating applications for the digital device say the finished product will have an accelerometer that switches the screen on when the wrist is moved up towards the eye, the GigaOM website revealed. The movement will also fire up apps installed on the phone, allowing downtime in between moments of activity so that the device conserves power.
The device will measure more than time. Taking a cue from
Developers said the Gear would have a touch-sensitive, full-colour screen using similar organic light emitting diode (OLED) technology to Samsung's top of the range phones.
GigaOM predicts the display will be square, and 2.5 inches on the diagonal, or three inches including the case.
However, patents filed by Samsung in
Running on Google's Android software, developers say the Gear will respond to touch and swipe gestures just like a phone, though it is unlikely to be able to connect directly with the internet or mobile phone networks. Instead, it will rely on Bluetooth 4.0 short range radio technology, which will connect it to Samsung smartphones and tablets, and will require the watch to be within a few metres of a paired device in order to receive an internet signal.
One of its most appealing uses is likely to be displaying the emails, text messages and names of callers being received by the smartphone without the need to take the larger device out of a handbag or pocket.
Samsung first officially confirmed it was working on a watch in March, when
Tech consultancy Canalys has predicted smartwatches will explode from 330,000 units shipped last year to more than 5 million in 2014. But the idea is not a new one, and the products released to date have held limited appeal for consumers.
Most Popular Stories
- American Airlines, US Airways Complete Merger
- ACA Delay Stresses Small Businesses
- Unemployed Wait as Lawmakers Debate
- Saab Gets Back into the Game; U.S. Auto Sales Soar
- Dell Offers Undisclosed Number of Employee Buyouts
- General Dynamics Plans 200 New Jobs in N.M.
- Authorities Close to Deal with JPMorgan Chase over Madoff Response
- Questions Remain in Jenni Rivera's Death
- U.S. Stocks Rise on Sysco Acquisition
- Harley Issues Motorcycle Recall