According to Samsung, they plan to roll out a new smartwatch that will include a standalone phone this summer. While the device, which is slated to have a SIM card, can be coupled with a Bluetooth, it will not need to be synced to any other phone in order to both receive and make phone calls. In addition to being a standalone phone, the watch will have the ability to send and receive email. It will also include a camera, a heart rate monitor, and numerous apps.
While Apple and Google have yet to release their own versions of a smartwatch, this will be the fifth such release by Samsung. The Galaxy Gear was the first such watch on the market by the company and was released less than a year ago. Since then they have also released the Gear 2, followed by the Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit. During this same time, the company also switched their operating system from Android to their own Linux OS. The new standalone phone smartwatch, rumored to be named the Samsung Gear Solo, is set to be released this summer under the new system.
Recently, Samsung has filed patent applications for a number of different watch features. One of the patent applications is for gesture-based usability. It appears that the company is requesting patents for technology that would allow the user to trigger the phone to perform different tasks based on wrist or hand movements. Another patent filing is for a plethora of sensors which could be incorporated into the wearable device. One of these sensors could be capable of scanning different barcodes in order to retrieve reviews and pricing information on a product. Another possible sensor would calculate the number of calories burned during a user’s workout routine. In addition, while this is currently being touted as a watch, it appears the company has plans for the device to be worn in a number of different positions, such as around the bicep or as a necklace or keychain.
The Samsung phone-watch is set to be released sometime between June and July. It will run on the company’s Tizen operating system, which was developed in cooperation with Intel Corp.
The Samsung Group, originally founded as a trading company in 1938, entered into electronics in the 1960s. In the 1990s, the company began to increase the globalization of its products and activities, focusing particularly on both semiconductors and mobile phones. Mobile phones have become one of the company’s important income sources under the subsidiary Samsung Electronics.
Until the company’s new phone hits the market at the beginning of summer or until more information is released, the actual specifications for the watch will remain conjecture. The patents filed may or may not have any bearing on the device set to come out and, as of yet, no price point has been set for the wearable phone. Rumors abound not only as to the applications which may be included on the watch but even about something as basic as the shape of the equipment. The patents filed for the possible scanner and calorie counter seem to indicate that the wearable device will have a round face as opposed to the more standard oblong or rectangular face for these types of watches. Answers should be available shortly as Samsung has indicated that the release of this new smartwatch with its standalone phone will be in the next month or two.
By Dee Mueller