It’s no secret that Samsung is rolling out the Galaxy Gear next week, their first shot in what will be the messy and inevitably pointless wearable computing wars. You may have noticed I’m ever so slightly skeptical that people want fashion accessories from technology companies, and it’s true! I am! And to be honest, the latest leak mostly makes me wonder why Samsung even bothered.
Here’s the deal: You’ll need to pair your Galaxy Gear to your phone, and in fact, your phone pretty much controls everything about your Gear if the leaks that just hit are accurate. Time, apps, settings, all of it has to be configured through your phone, and hopefully you can do this on more than just a Samsung phone.
Particularly amusing is “Find My Watch”. One assumes that this uses GPS or some other signal to track down your expensive superwatch, but part of me imagines a Jimmy Olsen-esque ZEE ZEE ZEE coming off the watch. Actually, being able to annoy whoever stole your watch seems like a pretty useful feature; a shrill, piercing sound that goes on all night can ding your sanity pretty effectively.
Anyway, joking aside, this does raise a few questions about the Galaxy Gear, the most fundamental of which is… what does this damn thing do, anyway? If it needs your phone to configure every little twiddly bit, then why don’t you just use your phone? What apps does the Gear have that make it a must-buy accessory? And how much will we be expected to pay for it?
It’s easy to understand a desire to not have to pull your phone out to check every time it finds you’ve gotten an email, but the Galaxy Gear may not be the best solution for that. Either way, we’ll find out next week: The Gear debuts September 4th.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.