Patent Reveals Samsung’s Smartwatch Plans
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
A recently released patent application has revealed Samsung’s plan to ship a smartwatch called the “Galaxy Gear.” Samsung’s description of the Galaxy Gear details a device with much the same similarity of other rumored devices, including syncing between smartphones and tablets and the ability to control these devices from a person’s wrist. Though the patent application gives a clearer picture of how the wearable device could operate, it’s still unclear if this device will run Google’s Android operating system or another platform.
In an interview posted earlier today on CNet, Samsung’s co-CEO J.K Shin said he wants their custom OS called Tizen to run on all of their gadgets as an alternative to Android. Earlier this year, another Samsung executive said the company has been working hard on developing a watch to compete in what many expect to be a booming “wearable computing” market with Apple, Google and Microsoft.
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) filing, Samsung describes the new Galaxy Gear as “Wearable digital electronic devices in the form of a wristwatch, wrist band, or bangle capable of providing access to the Internet and for sending and receiving phone calls, electronic mails, and messages.” The patent application also claims the wearable device could provide wireless storage and allow users to manage their “personal information.” This assumedly could include calendars, contacts, and more. Like Apple before them, Samsung has been sticking with the Galaxy brand to sell new devices, such as the popular Galaxy S4 or Galaxy Note “phablets,” a name given by tech media to describe a device between a smartphone and tablet.
This isn’t Samsung’s first attempt to build a watch, however. In 2009, the Korean company released the S9110, a 1.76-inch touch screen on a wristband that came preloaded with Outlook email access. The company has also been hard at work to perfect their flexible displays and have been showing off such devices since 2011. Though it’s not listed in the USPTO application, such a display could find a home in Samsung’s Galaxy Gear Smartwatch.
In March, one Samsung VP, Lee Young Hee said the company has been preparing their entrance into the smartwatch industry for “so long,” indicating that Apple’s largest competitor is ready to take the market by storm.
“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,” said Young Hee in an interview with Bloomberg.
In recent years, Samsung has become the largest Android partner with a number of Galaxy devices which run the Google operating system. The company has grown so large, in fact, that reports about a rift in the partnership between Google and Samsung emerged earlier this year. According to a number of reports from the fourth quarter of 2012, nearly 70 percent of all Android smartphones were shipped by Samsung.
An interview released by Cnet today suggests the company may be looking to push forward with their new operating system, Tizen, for the new Galaxy Gear watch.
According to J.K Shin, Tizen could be a platform that not only runs on phones and tablets, but banks and cars as well.
“Cross-convergence is the one [area] Samsung can do best since we do have various parts and finished products,” said Shin in the interview.