Despite getting lots of press and attention since its launch early this September, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smart watch has received a bit of a lukewarm response from the market. While some are pointing to the gadget’s flaws or shortcomings, others say that it was just a simple case of not being able to showcase much of the product’s features and potential. That said, for today’s post we thought we’d tell you some of the things you should know about the Samsung Galaxy Gear.
Image source: Electronicsweekly
Future APIs – Samsung is said to be planning to deliver a set of open APIs to developers so they can interact with all of the sensors on the Galaxy Gear and leverage its persistent connections to the phone. The initial set of apps and connected devices (i.e. Samsung Galaxy Note 3) only scratch the surface of what’s possible with the device. There’s still no date specified as to when the API will be delivered though.
Same sensors as smartphones – Speaking of sensors, while the Galaxy Gear may be a part of a new generation of tech, it still features the same sensors as Samsung’s phones. Also, Samsung was asked why the Gear doesn’t include something like a heart-rate meter considering that it’s perfect for such a wearable piece of tech. Chief Product Officer Kevin Packingham explained that the regulations required for those types of sensors are more intense and require “the next level of accuracy.” He also added that if consumers want to use them in some sort of medical-advisory role, it would put an additional burden on Samsung.
Apps – There is expected to be about 70 third-party apps ready for the Galaxy Gear once it is launched in the U.S. this coming October. When asked whether the apps are going to be ported or built, they acknowledged that most are going to b built. In addition, Packingham clarified that since the apps are all Android-based, “it’s typically slimming it down, not a complete rewrite.”
Ignore calls with sleight of hand – If you get a phone call on your Galaxy Note 3, you can see who’s calling you by looking at your watch. If you don’t want to take the call, simply cover the phone with your hand (your palm does have to touch the screen though). When asked how the phone knows the difference between say, two fingers and a palm, Samsung Mobile’s Director of Product Marketing Ryan Bidan credited the math behind touch technology, but couldn’t clarify if the device can really recognize the difference.
Tap to charge – Galaxy Gear includes a charging device which wraps around the gear body and snaps closed. It has a USB charging port in the base and copper connectors inside that match up with the exposed copper on the base of the Gear. The charger also has built-in NFC, so basically, all you’d need to do it simply tap to pair.
When asked if we could expect more Gear devices or wearable tech in the future, Bidan said that a bag is a possibility, adding that, “you could put it anywhere. It’s a screen with some tech behind it.”