A new smartwatch prototype experiment from Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon might just be the smartwatch use case we’ve all been waiting for.
The technology, called EM-Sense, which is currently being shown off running on a Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, uses electromagnetic (EM) noise from electrical and electromechanical objects to determine what you’re touching. This gives your theoretical future smartwatch a glimpse into what you’re doing and allows the device to be context aware beyond just your email inbox, your calendar, and your geographical location. It’s also maybe a little creepy.Expand Expanding Close
An infographic posted by Samsung claims there are more than a thousand apps for its Galaxy Gear smartwatches (actually, it claims “more than a thousand of Gear Apps,” but we’ll gloss over that).
The number is presumably aimed at people like me, who still look at smartwatches in a somewhat bemused fashion, viewing them as a solution in search of a problem. “Look at all the things they can do,” is the message here.
I don’t doubt the number, but quantity of apps doesn’t tell us much about their usefulness – and when Samsung chooses to lead its top five recommended apps with one that measures how much water we’re drinking, I have to say that does nothing to persuade me that the devices are so far little more than a novelty …
Samsung’s advertisements are often inflated, but every now and then the company manages to get things right. Today, the outfit released a new marketing piece promoting its partnership with the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) and guess what? The ad is pretty darn good. Unlike previous efforts, there’s no mention of the competition and product placement is very subtle.
CNETreports that Samsung is partnering with bicycle manufacturer Trek and its factory race team to explore the options for integrating the company’s technology into future bicycles.
The company has begun testing some of its mobile products — such as the Galaxy S5, its Gear portfolio, and the Galaxy Note — on the Trek Factory Racing Team as they train for some of the world’s top races, such as the Tour de France. As they ride, the team will monitor their health stats, racing cadence, and speed, along with communicate about team strategies and race routes …
While this particular handset is only launching in Russia initially (sometime in Q3), it’s notable in a couple of ways. First, the spec – while not cutting edge – is pretty decent. Powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core processor and 2GB RAM, it has a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display (though only in 1280×720 resolution) and the fingerprint sensor that has so far been exclusive to the S5. It’s not the low-end spec many had expected from Tizen … Expand Expanding Close
Samsung is dumping Android for Tizen. Well not completely, but the company is moving its Galaxy Gear smartwatch to its in-house operating system. An update for the first Galaxy Gear is now available through Samsung’s Kies software and in addition to a platform jump the download brings a trove of new features to this smart timepiece.
We’re just a week away from Mobile World Congress kicking off in Barcelona, and while the event has been rather quiet for the past couple of years, it looks like that may change this time around. Samsung has already announced a press event for MWC, during which it will unveil its Galaxy S5 flagship. According to two new reports, however, the company also has more planned for the event.
Both USA Today and The Verge are reporting that Samsung will unveil at least one new Galaxy Gear smartwatch variant at its press event next week. The Verge report is sparse on details, simply reporting that Samsung could unveil “multiple new Galaxy Gear” models at the event.
Perhaps adding more fuel to the fire of a potential second generation Galaxy Gear being announced at Samsung’s Unpacked 5 event later this month, Best Buy is offering the current Gear for just $149.99 with free shipping. This 50% price drop yields the lowest price we have ever seen. If you’re interested in cashing in on this deal you have to move quick because this special pricing is good for today only.
Also AT&T has a promotion starting today on Galaxy Gear watches:
Also starting today, people can take $100 off a Samsung Gear with the purchase of a Galaxy Note 3, GS4, GS4 Active and/or Galaxy Mega. Notably, this deal is also available for customers who already bought one of those devices from AT&T. This offer is also only available in our company-owned stores.
Samsung’s entry into the world of wearable tech may not have been terribly successful, with dreadful reviews and reportedly poor sales, but the company seems undeterred, promising more wearables this year, reports re/code.
“2014 is actually going to be a really big year,” said Dennis Miloseski, head of studio for Samsung Design America. “We are planning some products around the launch of our flagship devices.”
Samsung’s US design team does appear aware that the company needs to work a lot harder on the aesthetics as well as the functionality … Expand Expanding Close
It will come as little surprise that Samsung is working on a successor to the Galaxy Gear and that a Galaxy S 5 on the horizon. However, a new rumor courtesy of etnews via SamMobile indicates the Korean giant is looking to launch both the next-generation Gear and S 5 at the same time. Realistically, that seems logical so while this is a pure rumor for now, it’s certainly a rumor that makes sense.
Samsung has announced that it has temporarily withdrawn the update to Android 4.3 for the Galaxy S3 after users complained about multiple problems, reports the BBC.
These included faster than normal battery drain, some apps refusing to work and alarms failing to trigger […]
“Samsung keep telling us that they will let us know as soon as they find a fix, but in the meantime I am left with a phone that is next to useless,” wrote one owner, Dylan Barlow … Expand Expanding Close
With a reporting yesterday indicating that Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch had “flopped” with only 50,000 units sold, the manufacturing giant is refuting that report. However, even as Samsung speaks to the media regarding the Galaxy Gear as a successful product, there is some confusion about whether or not the company has “shipped” or “sold” 800,000 units …
Update: Samsung wasted no time in refuting this report with a statement provided by an exec that claims the company has “sold” more than 800,000 units. Hit this link for the full update.
A new report courtesy of Business Korea indicates that Samsung’s Galaxy Gear has fallen well below initial sales expectations. According to the publication, Samsung’s first go at the smartwatch market has sold less than 50,000 units and is moving only 800-900 units per day.
Samsung is addressing one of the biggest issues with its Galaxy Gear smart watch it introduced earlier this year: device compatibility. Several Samsung devices including its Galaxy S3, S4, Note 2, and Mega smartphones will receive compatibility via a software update in Android 4.3.
Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smart watch debuted alongside Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 smartphone and Galaxy Note 10.1tablet with support limited to those devices. Initial reviews overwhelmingly disapproved of Samsung’s smart watch offering, but widening device compatibility is surely a step in the right direction. (Full press release below)
Samsung has aired some interesting new ads for its Galaxy Gear and Note 3 since the launch of the two devices, and today it’s posted perhaps its most creative yet with a new musical short film starring footballer Lionel Messi. The ad, titled “The Developer”, is “a dramatic retelling of actual projects completed by the Messi Foundation” and stars Messi using his Note 3 and Galaxy Gear to mastermind the construction of a new football field for neighbourhood kids:
Told from a child’s perspective, “The Developer” is a musical short film by Samsung featuring Lionel Messi and the hit single “Royals” by Lorde.
A mysterious stranger arrives in a low income neighborhood and captures the imaginations of the children who live there. He is “The Developer” and the children view him with a deep suspicion.
Together with his Samsung GALAXY Note 3 and GALAXY Gear, the Developer effortlessly masterminds a secret construction project. Using the latest in Samsung technology including Action Memo, Pen Window, Scrapbook and hands-free call capability on the Gear, the Developer orchestrates and executes his mysterious mission.
The children watch in awe. They reflect on their current situation by singing Lorde’s breakout hit “Royals,” a song about overcoming her own humble beginnings.
The spot concludes with a beautiful new pitch that has been constructed in the toughest part of town. The Developer is revealed to be the world’s reigning football star, Lionel Messi, fulfilling his personal mission to help under privileged children.
Despite the device’s universally-abysmal reviews, Samsung is continuing to market its Galaxy Gear smartwatch as the wave of the future—and the past—with two new TV ads. The first, titled “A Long Time Coming,” Samsung uses clips from some of the most popular TV shows of decades past to set the Galaxy Gear up as the long-awaited wrist-mounted computer from Dick Tracey, The Jetsons, Knight Rider, and more.
The ad has a similar feel to Apple’s “Hello” TV spot, which it launched with the iPhone 5c last month, but rather than featuring customers using the advertised product, Samsung’s ad shows fictional characters using Hollywood’s various conceptions of the smartwatch.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch reviews are out, and that red glow you see on the horizon is from the blushing faces at Samsung, visible all the way from Korea. The reviews are not, to put it kindly, overwhelming in their enthusiasm for the device.
A smartwatch the Galaxy Gear is not. Frankly, I’m not sure exactly what it’s supposed to be. Samsung describes it as a companion device, and the Gear is indeed chronically dependent on an umbilical link to another Samsung device, but it never left me feeling like it was a helpful companion. The notifications are Orwellian, the media controls are exiguous, and the app selection has no substance to underpin the hype. Samsung’s attempt to turn the Gear into a style icon is also unlikely to succeed, owing to the company’s indecision about its target demographic. Trying to please all tastes has resulted in a predictably charmless and soulless product.
The Gear’s camera and phone calls are both surprising and delightful, but they’re unfortunately isolated highlights. When all is said and done, I expect the Galaxy Gear will be looked back upon as a rough first draft that helped the Korean chaebol steer a better course en route to the goal of producing a real smartwatch. As it stands today, though — unintuitive, oversized, overpriced, and in constant need of a Galaxy guardian — the Galaxy Gear might have been better off staying on the drawing board … Expand Expanding Close
AT&T and other carriers have already started accepting preorders for Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear companion smartwatch, but today AT&T announced official release dates for the two products.
Both devices will become available online and in stores on October 4th for the same prices AT&T previously announced for preorders. That’s $299 on contract for the Note 3 (or $35 per month on AT&T Next), and $299 for the Galaxy Gear. Preorders from AT&T’s site are currently listed as shipping on October 1st.
Update: Sprint announced today that the Galaxy Note 3 will become available on October 4 for $349.99 on the usual two-year agreement. It will also have the Galaxy Gear companion smartwatch for $299.99 in Jet Black, Oatmeal Beige and Wild Orange.
AT&T has announced today in a tweet that preorders for the new Galaxy Gear smartwatch, which will act as a companion to the new Galaxy Note 3, will go up for preorder starting Wednesday, September 18. The carrier previously announced that the Galaxy Note 3 would begin shipping from its website on October 1. Through AT&T, the Note 3 sells for $299 on the usual two-year agreement. Samsung originally announced that the device would launch on partners around the world starting September 25.
T-Mobile also made things official for the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear today with a press release confirming that preorders, like AT&T, will also begin on Wednesday. On T-Mobile the device will sell for $199.99 down with 24 month payments of $21 with preorders expected to ship by October 2. Expand Expanding Close
At UNPACKED 2013 Episode 2, Samsung just announced the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, the “next evolution” of Galaxy. The device has an on-board 1.9 megapixel camera that can take pictures and video memos, a pedometer feature, and security measures that allow you to require the Gear to be nearby when you want to unlock your Samsung phone. More highlights:
Built-in speaker and microphone for phone conversations
GigaOM has confirmed suspicions that the leaked photos of the Galaxy Gear smart watch were indeed of a prototype device made available to developers. The actual device being launched on Wednesday will be a much more finished product.
Battery-life was also added to the things we now know about the watch.
High quality OLED displays will show the full spectrum of colors.
The display will be around 2.5 inches diagonally (and 3 inches diagonally including the case.)
It will be powered by a dual core processor, probably a Samsung Exynos 4212 dual core 1.5GHz with Mali-400 MP4 GPU.
It has a camera and a microphone integrated into the strap and even tiny speakers.
It has Built in NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 LE
The Gear is powered by Android 4.3, with keyboard featured turned off.
The device won’t have a browser and will need the phone to tether to the Internet.
It will need a Samsung device with a watch-focused app store to install apps on the watch.
It has a built-in accelerometer and other sensors that will allow it to act has a quantified self device.
Expect battery power to be 24 hours with modest use, but around 10 hours with more active usage … Expand Expanding Close
The device will be based on Android and feature a “non-flexible” display. Lee calls the Galaxy Gear a “wearable concept device,” which raises the question: will Samsung sell its smartwatch to the mass market? Lee adds that Samsung is “confident that the Gear will add meaningful momentum to the mobile industry,” implying the device is just an early exploration of a potential market, rather than one aimed at mainstream adoption.
The idea of the device being a “concept” makes it sound like this product could be a small “test” entry to see how consumers react, just like Google Glass. It’ll only be a short time until we find out how the device operates and what the interface looks like.
Following a report from SamMobile last week sharing some specific specs coming in Samsung’s much rumored Galaxy Gear smartwatch, today GigaOm reports on a few more details from developers with prototypes of the device. On top of confirming a Sept.4 unveiling at Samsung’s events scheduled to take place in Berlin and New York, the report claims Galaxy Gear will include a 2.5 inch OLED display, dual core processor, an accelerometer, speakers, and built-in NFC:
It is said to be around 2.5 inches diagonally (and 3 inches diagonally including the case), is powered by a dual core processor and should have pretty decent battery life. In addition, we are told the watch has a camera that is integrated into the strap and even has tiny speakers in the clasp of the watch, plus built-in NFC to allow for bump-to-sync and authenticate. The watch uses Bluetooth 4.0 LE to connect with smartphones for connectivity… In addition, the watch has a built-in accelerometer that makes it possible to switch it on when it is moved up towards the eye. It could be a great way to wake the watch and also the apps and manage battery power. The watch screen will support the usual touch, swipe and select type gestures but will likely not have text-input.
The report adds that watch will work with a Samsung watch manager app on a smartphone and utilize apps from the Samsung App Store, not Google Play. GigaOm also claims that Galaxy Gear will support Facebook and Twitter integration at launch. The Samsung App Store integration could mean the device will only be available for Samsung device users: Expand Expanding Close