Samsung Introduces Dick Tracy's Watch

#Technology

Thu, Sep 5th, 2013 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

Remember in the 80s when watches came equipped with fully functional calculators? The novelty was neat, but it wore off pretty quick. I wonder, then, how well will a smartwatch do in today's market and how many players will compete to get first place. Samsung has started the race with the Galaxy Gear, "a three-hundred-dollar smartwatch," which will come with a "1.63-inch touchscreen with a 320x320 resolution, a camera, a microphone, and a handful of sensors, like an accelerometer. The Gear will have dozens of dedicated apps, like RunKeeper and the read-it-later service Pocket."

Given the current constraints of input technologies, most interaction with any kind of a smartwatch has been driven by its screen, and that continues with the Galaxy Gear. With the necessarily diminutive size of a watch's face, it's going to be inherently sub-optimal at doing the things you actively do on a smartphone, like writing e-mails and texts, browsing the Web, or watching videos. (In fact, one preview of the Galaxy Gear already laments its interface, as does another preview of Sony's SmartWatch 2. And while voice-recognition technology is good, and getting better, it's certainly not precise enough for most people to rely on it exclusively to dictate texts and e-mails into a watch.)

A smartwatch, then, is still best at surfacing information that can be consumed and digested in a split second, just like a regular watch. The obvious cases are the kinds of things that you already get notifications for on your smartphone right now: new messages, fresh interactions on Twitter, breaking news, an alert that you were tagged in a terrible Facebook photo.

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