Samsung takes its shot at smartwatch fame, unveiling the Galaxy Gear and launching several other devices at its second Unpacked event of 2013 from IFA Berlin. You can watch the livestream here.
Samsung on Smart Tech Launch Alert!
If all goes to plan, we'll see the unveiling of several smart new devices from Samsung at its latest Unpacked event, which is being live-streamed online today. From the IFA show in Berlin, we can expect the company's first effort at a smartwatch, alongside more traditional updates to the Galaxy Note phablet and likely a few more surprises. The event has now concluded, see our impressions from the launch here.
Everyone will be looking to the smartwatch Galaxy Gear as the next big thing in technology. However, as Sony and numerous indies has proved, few are rushing out to get these as a must-have item. Samsung is likely to take a cautious approach to sales optimism, likely taking the line that its better to be in the market now and playing along, rather than catching up later.
Recent leaks of a prototype device have done little to raise excitement levels, as the reality of what can be crammed into a watch is starting to bite. With Google also planning one, even Apple may have trouble creating a showstopper when it unveils the iWatch at some point in future, unless it drops a bombshell at its own event next week.
Anyway, you can watch the livestream here, and we'll update after the event with the final details. Anyone else wonder if the stitching around the logo is a deliberate dig at Apple's ditching of skeuomorphism? Will stitched leather have an impact on the design of this new watch?
Do We Wear the Smart Tech or Does Smart Tech Wear Us?
As wearable smart tech finally arrives in the consumer segment, the questions most likely to be asked are how can it change our lives? Health monitoring is the most obvious application with pedometers and heart rate or blood pressure sensors moving from discrete gonks doled out by healthcare providers and fitness centers to one connected device. With the massive interest in fitness apps, if any smartwatch promotes healthier living that has to be a good thing.
Timeliness is another area that smartwatches can help. How many reminders have you missed because a phone is on silent mode or left in a bag? If something is on your wrist, then we're less likely to ignore it, but it can act smart and nudge us if we're going to be late for the train, bus or meeting - based on location and other local information.
A little further out, we could see engagement reach new levels, as watches receive information that might be of immediate use, While its hard to navigate streets staring at a smartphone, a watch could provide pedestrians with a simpler, more direct interface. The less said about marketing opportunities, the better, but you can be sure that some folk are working on it. We'll have a better idea of how this field will unfold in a few hours, so check back for more.