Samsung is working on a smart watch

2013 could be the year that so-called “smart watches” go mainstream. In the past year we’ve seen new companies such as Pebble and i’m grab headlines by introducing watches that perform many of the duties we usually associate with smartphones.

But this year some big players in the consumer electronics space are expected to enter the market. Apple is rumored to be working on its own smart watch, and now a Samsung executive has confirmed that the Korean company has one in the works too.

 

Sony SmartWatch

Sony SmartWatch

Samsung vice president Lee Young Hee tells Bloomberg that a watch is just one of the new products the company is working on.

Unfortunately, that’s about all he’d say. It’s not clear when it will launch, how much it will cost, or what exactly you’ll be able to do with it. But he probably wouldn’t even have mentioned the watch if it wasn’t relatively close to launch… or unless he wanted to steal a little thunder from competitor Apple.

Samsung and Apple wouldn’t be the first two major electronics companies to introduce a smart watch. Sony introduced a product last year that’s, cleverly enough, called the Sony Smartwatch. It hasn’t yet completely revolutionized the way the world uses mobile devices, but it does let you pair the watch with an Android phone to view weather forecasts, control music playback, and receive email and other notifications on their wrist.

Originally priced at $150, you can now pick up a Sony SmartWatch for about $115.

  • Renee Auclair

    I’d like to see a watch that required charging once a week, if not once a month. One of the ways this could be done would be via an e-ink display. Even better would be one that charged by kinetic motion, or solar panel, so you wouldn’t have to think about plugging it in.

    • ddevine

      I’m doubtful that kinetic charging will be effective enough to support wireless communications (which are *essential* in a smart watch) – as for the rest of your features you should check out Pebble. You can use an existing battery pack or solar charger with USB output to charge the Pebble.

      • Renee Auclair

        I meant for the solar panel to be integrated in the watch, such as being the band. The next best thing to a watch that self-charged, would be wireless charging, where one could put the watch down on a charging surface when one takes it off. The idea of remembering to plug in something to juice the device up goes against human nature as it’s yet another thing to remember to do, which wearers won’t always remember. Devices like this should be as low maintenance as possible.

      • ddevine

        Yeah wireless charging would be nice – but I’m not sure it would offer more value than the current magnetic charger – taking it off and putting it on something is the same as taking it off and attaching the magnetic charging cable IMO (I don’t say “plug it in” because you don’t actually do that with a Pebble).

        I think a small solar cell would have the same problem as the kinetic charging in that it would be basically worthless. Those small cells you used to find on calculators are really really weak. Besides, a lot of people will think that they’re ugly.

        I wonder how charging from the warmth of human body would fare… You could even increase the area to harvest energy from by having it integrated into the watch band as well.

        I totally agree that these devices should require absolute minimum maintenance.

  • ddevine

    It will be interesting to see the design philosophies that will emerge. Pebble offers functionality but for the most part stays right the hell out of your way… But I’m Watch is at the opposite end of the scale and yes it offers great amounts of functionality, but at the cost of demanding your attention.

    I’m guessing that most companies will take a very heavy handed (how apt!) approach to designing smart watches – yes the hardware will be amazing – but it will no-doubt turn into a pointless and stupid dick-waving contest in terms of features.

  • http://www.facebook.com/yogibimbi Jörg Löhken

    ummm, what about the MotoActv? That’s much more of a smartwatch than the Sony ever was. It has even been rooted already. Bummer only that it is not waterproof.

  • gadgety

    Combining a smartwatch with a phablet makes a lot of sense. Except for Google – going for the Glasses – which partly explains the abandonment of the MotoACTV. the market leader in the workout smartwatch segment. The MotoACTV did show what is possible which I’m sure has spurred Samsung on. Looking forward both to the Sammy and Apple BT watch offerings.