You’ve probably seen the recent commercials for Samsung’s new [easyazon-link asin=”B00FH9I0FQ” locale=”us”]Galaxy Gear[/easyazon-link] smartwatch. It cleverly compares their new wristbound smartwatch with pop culture’s famous future watch computers from shows like the [easyazon-link asin=”B0001MZ7IC” locale=”us”]Jetsons[/easyazon-link] and Star Trek. Of course the Galaxy Gear is nowhere as cool or handy as some of the gadgets in the commercial, but it is a step in a new direction for smart technology (especially for those of you who pined for the futuristic technology Samsung plays on in their Gear commercials).
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Reports show that the Gear feels more like a prototype than a fully realized product, probably because Samsung wanted to get it out before any of their competitors got their own out. Without a doubt once the top smart tech providers work out the kinks, smartwatches will be an incredibly lucrative market.
Like most others, the Gear talks with your phone via Bluetooth, relaying information like phone calls, music player controls, and even photos (the Gear has a 1.9 megapixel camera built in). Within another generation, the Gear should be able to talk to most Samsung smartphones, making integrated smartwatches available to ~25% of the U.S. market share in smartphones. And it’s only growing.
Last year Strategy Analytics estimated Bluetooth phone sales will reach over 1 billion units in 2013. So one in every seven people globally will have a Bluetooth-enabled phone. On top of that, 75% of handsets sold in 2012 were Bluetooth-enabled. With uber cool devices like smartwatches (and Google Glass) operating via Bluetooth you can expect those numbers to rise in the next few years.
It’s uncertain if smartwatches will take off and become as ubiquitous as other [easyazon-link asin=”B004E10KI8″ locale=”us”]bluetooth devices[/easyazon-link]. While Samsung’s Gear and its current competitors aren’t quite there yet in terms of usability and features, we’ll see the big phone makers roll out increasingly better models in the next few years. If smartwatches do become as useful (read awesome) as the watches Samsung alludes to in their latest ad, well then it goes without saying that we’ll all be clamoring for one.
Image Source: Flickr
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