Samsung is making a smartwatch

It's something of a rarity that an executive of a major technology player takes to the press to confirm an unannounced product, but Lee Young Hee, Samsung's mobile boss, spoke to Bloomberg to say the Korean company is developing a "smartwatch".

The product would of course compete with Apple's unannounced 'iWatch' that the Californian company are reportedly developing. 

"We've been preparing the watch product for so long" Hee told Bloomberg. "We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them."

Hee wouldn't share any information on the pricing of the device, however she did accept that Samsung are racing Apple to release their smartwatch first. She commented "The issue here is who will first commercialize it so consumers can use it meaningfully."

Samsung have, however, voyaged into the wristwatch market before, releasing the "watch phone" - met with erratic success.

Of course, due to the small screen size compared to ever-growing smartphone screens, companies attempting to make a "smartwatch" have thus far failed. With a two-inch screen on your wrist attempting to emulate features of a five-inch Galaxy S4 smartphone, the issue around software is clear.

Software on a 'smartwatch' needs to be functional enough to perform basic tasks without taking your phone out of your pocket, but simple enough to warrant it being there in the first place. If a smartwatch complicates tasks that would be more quickly fulfilled by using the phone itself, the model breaks down. 

Apple were initially expected to modify the interface of the sixth-generation iPod nano for an 'iWatch', however an inside source claimed the company have opted to rewrite a version of iOS from the ground up. For an 'iWatch' to be a success, it must fit tightly into Apple's existing product line. Few people are going purchase a smartwatch unless they already have a smart device (like a smartphone or tablet) to connect it to.

The form factor of such a product will simply never let users browse the web or compose messages using an on-screen keyboard easily - instead it must act as a second screen for your phone or tablet, offering up notifications and news headlines. Apple are reportedly leaning towards their voice assistant technology, Siri, to solve the issue of text input on an 'iWatch'.

Recently released is the 'Pebble' smartwatch, using Kickstarter as its funding platform. The device has initially had mixed reviews, citing issues with its software and lack of compatibility with mobile platforms other than iOS.

Source: Bloomberg via GizmagImage: The Verge

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Imagine people watching Youtube and playing Temple Run on their smartwatches
Small screens have restricted use to me.

To me the least I want for such a smartwatch device is showing notifications from the smartphone, maybe weather too.
(For other stuff the smartphone can handle better on its bigger screen.)

Could Google Glass best these smartwatches?
Wearable tech swimming towards mainstream.

Maybe further into the future Google, Apple and Samsung would offer cybernetic implants

And they laughed at me when I said we'll see the return of Casio wristwatch calculators. And here you have it - same kitsch and no practical use whatsoever, all over again.

Of course people will buy this. I don't understand how people don't see the market especially when "fashionable" and expensive Apple ones are released. People will eat it right up. This happens all the time.

"Oh why would I want a tablet -- it's just like a laptop but with less power"
"Why would I want a touchscreen cell phone -- smudgy garbage. I want my keys"

It can't be that hard to see a future where a decent number of watches have a display that may not look like the one shown above because that's stupid to have a dialpad on your damn watch, but like a nice looking analog watch. And in the background have little notifications for text messages, voice mails, or status updates. They don't have to be ugly to be smart. I'd like a watch where I could check my notifications, but the battery would have to not suck. Good luck with that and bluetooth.

How many people who own cellphones even buy watches? I mean, I havent bought a watch since 1996. Before than I wore them all the time. But I got my first cellphone in 96 and I havent worn a watch since. I have been gifted 2 watches, and I love them both....but when I wore it for a day it felt stupid and heavy.

TechieXP said,
How many people who own cellphones even buy watches? I mean, I havent bought a watch since 1996. Before than I wore them all the time. But I got my first cellphone in 96 and I havent worn a watch since. I have been gifted 2 watches, and I love them both....but when I wore it for a day it felt stupid and heavy.

I see watches as an accessory as well as a device to tell me the time.
No smartphone, at least not in the foreseeable future, will convince me to ditch my Rolexes.

I've worn the same watch for the past 10+ years and I always use it for the time. It's just more convenient to look at my wrist than to have to fish my phone out of my pocket to see the time.

Anything fruit can do we can do better, we can do anything better than fruit
No you can't


I'm sticking with you
'Cause I'm made out of glue
Anything that you might do
I'm gonna do too

Make an actual functioning Pip Boy and you have a guaranteed sale, I'm not crafty enough to make my own like some of the awesome ones which are out there made by fans

I disagree about the term "Watch". It's not only a watch! Why when digital gadget comes to wrist, it's assumed to be a "watch"?! Anyway, I've grown up putting a watch on my left wrist, so I hope to replace it with this soon!

off course they are. and it will be crap. then there will be the iwatch and the next Samsung watch will be awesome and a clone of the iwatch.

because that is what Samsung does best.

Does Samsung ever have an original idea?
All they've done for that past 5+ years is just steal ideas from everyone else.

ahhell said,
Does Samsung ever have an original idea?
All they've done for that past 5+ years is just steal ideas from everyone else.

Like Apple didnt copy this from the pebble? Oh, I forgot...Apple probably has had this in the works for a while huh. Kinda like what Samsung said.

As long as they dont rip off the design software/hardware wise...who the hell cares.

ahhell said,
Does Samsung ever have an original idea?
All they've done for that past 5+ years is just steal ideas from everyone else.

Dude this idea has been around for ages. Samsung and other companies had phone watch product out years ago.

I have wanted a "smart watch" for rather some time however, for me so far, the ones that i have seen are far too thick for me to want on my wrist.

I don't see the point in these 'smart watches' if all they do is connect to a larger device to gather and display info. Let's face it, you have your phone on you anyways, what's the difference?

I think something bigger is afoot. I bet Apples iteration will be an AIO device phone/computer/watch. It's the only way I can see this working out for anybody. Even that is a stretch though.

Also, I'm thinking this is going to have to be more of a wide band bracelet than the size of a watch strap to be useful.

I'd say it's more about convenience of not having to fish your phone out of your pocket or purse to decide if you want to answer the call or not or just to see what the text message was.

Am I the only one who doesn't see the point of 'smart' watches? :-\ Phones are expensive enough, I'd rather stick to a more traditional watch that just tells me the time/date.

its about ubiquity, since computers first emerged they have been trending on smaller and smaller sizes while getting more and more powerful, while getting cheaper. there smaller form factors have allowed them to become part of our everyday life.
the trend now is reaching wearable computers, smart watches, smart glasses etc then will become completely ubiquitous by becoming part of us, bodily.

mghaz said,
its about ubiquity, since computers first emerged they have been trending on smaller and smaller sizes while getting more and more powerful, while getting cheaper. there smaller form factors have allowed them to become part of our everyday life.
the trend now is reaching wearable computers, smart watches, smart glasses etc then will become completely ubiquitous by becoming part of us, bodily.
I get all of that, but I still don't see the point of carrying an accessory to go with a smartphone...The smartphone is already going to have a bigger screen that's capable of displaying more information anyways (I guess the watch can be a summary display). I still have no interest or see any way that someone can sell me something like this. I can see products like Google Glass taking off, but meh to 'smart'watches.

well people already use watches so this is an obvious next step for them. plus the point is to eventually replace the phone and that takes time, they need to warm people up to it. right now its biggest selling points will be the geek factor and the fitbit'esque factor. it, like glass, will remain a niche for a while, perhaps until v2, they may even work together.
im with you for now, I don't see this as useful, but I definitely see where its heading and that I like it

Neobond said,
I'm prepared to be proven wrong, but I don't even wear a wristwatch so I doubt this will ever appeal to me.
A wrist-strap for a smartphone would appeal to me more

I disagree, if you remove the word "watch" it makes sense.

In essence it's a shift from having a mobile computer on you aka tablet / smartphone and move it to your wrist.

When framed as a "watch" question, it doesn't make sense, since most people don't wear a watch any more. Watch implies the primary function is to tell time.

Edited by Jason Stillion, Mar 19 2013, 1:30pm :

techbeck said,
Still thinking smart watches are useless and see these failing. But hey, weirder things have happened.

like the old calculator watches!

techbeck said,
Still thinking smart watches are useless and see these failing. But hey, weirder things have happened.

Yeah same, at least with how people operate and interact with operating systems at the moment having a touch watch isn't very user friendly.

Jason Stillion said,
Watch implies the primary function is to tell time.

Just like phones primary function isn't really as a phone anymore, yet they keep their name.

I think everyone is thinking about these the wrong way. Packing a smart phone into a watch, I think will fail and is a bad idea. But making a watch an extension to your phone makes sense. It's sort of like an extension to the display of your phone. Configure it to get mail, texts, twitter, you decide. It's an extension of your smartphone not a replacement.

With more and more powerful phones coming out, the first company that figures out that people want to extend the display to new devices instead of adding another device is going to sell a lot of product.

joquer said,
With more and more powerful phones coming out, the first company that figures out that people want to extend the display to new devices instead of adding another device is going to sell a lot of product.

they *did* figure it out long time ago and made a lot of cash on it http://www.kickstarter.com/pro...atch-for-iphone-and-android, so I'm not really surprised to see bigger companies trying to jump on this bandwagon.

What Samsung/Apple are doing wrong though (for the consumer) is that they will tie the "watch" to a specific phone model instead of allowing a generic open interface like the Pebble does (mixing not just different brands of Android, but making it cross-platform with iOS)