Last week Lee Young-hee, VP of Samsung’s mobile business unit, confirmed the Galaxy Gear, a smart watch designed to work in tandem with Samsung smartphone. Today, the company officially unveiled it, announcing features as well as a launch date. Unfortunately, there is a no word on price just yet.
Update: The Verge is reporting that it will sell for $299 in early October in the US.
So what can the GALAXY Gear do and why do you need it? First off, it’s a watch, allowing you to view the time in a variety of formats. Hardly exciting, as is the ability to set alarms, check the weather or create calendar entries. What is exciting, albeit only slightly, is that you’ll be able to take calls directly on the Galaxy Gear thanks to a built-in microphone (there is also a noise canceling mic). You’ll also be able to preview messages and then by picking up the device, which the Galaxy Gear detects using something called Smart Relay, it will automatically show you the entire message.
A 1.9 megapixel camera capture video and photos, though don’t expect stellar clarity given its rather low rez nature. By the way, they’re calling this feature the Memographer. Ok…
An Auto Lock feature will lock you Samsung smartphone when it detects that the Galaxy Gear is more than 1.5 meter out of range, while a Find My Device locates a lost handset by making it beep, illuminate and vibrate. Or you can simply turn on and control your device’s music, which could also serve as a beacon.
And last, and most certainly not least of all, the Galaxy Gear can serve as a pedometer, tracking steps taken and then, using a complementary app (MyFitnessPal), deduce calories burned and distance traversed.
As you’ve probably sussed out many of the aforementioned features will be controlled using Samsung’s S Voice feature and it connects to your handsets via Bluetooth 4.0. How reliable and exacting it will be remains to be seen, but I can’t help but get the feeling that this product is a bit of a dial in for Samsung.
That all said, there are a number of compatible apps already slated for the device. At launch (September 25th) the Galaxy Gear will be available in Jet Black, Mocha Gray, Wild Orange, Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold, and Lime Green.
Image courtesy of Gizmodo