Samsung Unveils Galaxy Gear Smartwatch
BERLIN, Sept. 4 — Samsung Electronics unveiled on Wednesday its highly anticipated digital wristwatch that can snap photos, track workouts and use an array of apps — gadgetry that the company hopes will catapult it into a market of smart portable devices that leave cellphones in users’ pockets.
Named the Samsung Galaxy Gear, the so-called smartwatch will join Google Glass as the latest example of wearable technology. The watch is synced to a cellphone, allowing users to answer calls and receive text messages from their wrists. The timing of the release could also give Samsung a leg up over Apple, which has yet to unveil a similar device but has long been rumored to be working on one.
At a much-hyped unveiling ceremony ahead of Berlin’s Internationale Funkausstellung, one of the world’s largest trade shows for consumer electronics, Samsung’s head of mobile communications, J.K. Shin, introduced the new device by pretending to receive a text message on stage.
“Don’t forget to mention Android,” Mr. Shin’s message read.
He then raised his left arm, exposing the watch to applause from both the Berlin crowd and people in Times Square in New York, who were patched into the event via video stream. Like other smartphones and tablets Samsung produces, Gear runs on Google’s Android operating system.
From the Gear’s small screen, which measures 1.63 inches diagonally, users can also receive e-mails, share pictures and use myriad apps designed for Gear. It does not, however, function as a stand-alone device and must be paired with a Samsung phone or tablet.
Pranav Mistry, the head of research at Samsung Research America, said the watch was “packed with technologies from the next decade.”
The watch has a rubbery wristband in which a small 1.9-megapixel camera is embedded. Its display surface has stainless steel bezels with four visible screws in each corner.
The watch is activated by pressing a button on the...
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