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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch Review (Wearable Technology wish list)

The Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch Review (Wearable Technology wish list)

I was at the mall the other day and there was a pop up retail kiosk set up 100 feet away from the Apple store. The kiosk was staffed with a multi-cultural team of brand ambassadors that piqued shopper interest and created line ups.

What is the buzz? It seems the Galaxy Note 3, being the oversized smartphone (bigger may be better) of choice and the new add on of a watch.  I wonder how many consumers thinking they wanted an Apple product ended up buying a tablet, watch and shiny new phone from Samsung??

Wearable technology is the most anticipated next step for the smartphone manufacturers to gain market share and drive new revenue streams.

Samsung has fired the first salvo in the wearable technology battle and just before Christmas. Not sure what the boys back in Cupertino are doing but for every Samsung watch sold means one less Apple smartphone sale as consumers jump ship to seek a better integrated lifestyle’s platform. Sony is thinking the same thing if they can ever get a real ecosystem going their market share will improve.

The joy of syncing your BlackBerry with your Playbook was a neat trick but Apple killed that idea when you can now sync your MacBook with your iPhone, iPod and iPad tablet. Samsung now adds a watch to the mix and it is a clever device.

Pebble created the wearable technology craze when it kick-started over $10M in funding. Actually, historians will remember the Microsoft  SPOT in 2004 which was great for weather reports and stock prices. Let’s see what the girls in Redmond will create with Nokia and it could add a killer Xbox interface for Call of Duty. Imagine calling in air strikes with your watch.

So what does a $300 watch do for your fashion sensibility and first adopter status?  It does a lot in street credibility and showing off at slumber parties. I am sure the neon orange will outsell the white or black models.

Currently the watch only works with the Note 3 as the Koreans scramble to bring the other Samsung devices into the mix.

What does it do for you? It notifies you of messages and texts and you can make telephone calls by voice activation. This is a brilliant idea as it keeps the big Note 3 secure in your jacket pocket; however, you still need to reach in a check the message details. Remember, it is just notifying you of a message.
Solid construction, clear and sharp LED display, 1.9MP camera (kind of poor) and battery life is short needing a daily charge is the short and sweet.

There are some clever apps that can be a driver to buy the watch with Evernote allowing voice to text memos, Path is the photo sharing program, Pocket reads back stories you saved and Run Keeper and SnapChat fill out the 4GB internal memory. It also includes the favourite PSY app that can add gangnam style to everything you do (JOKES).

Expect more apps to fill up the catalog over the next few months.

I was kind of expecting a WOW moment but after spending time with the watch it is definitely a great start and a move in the right direction. It is a notifier of activity and an input/output device that marries with your smartphone.  It is not a standalone smartphone or micro tablet.

  • You’re driving in your car and you get a call and answer with the watch or you make a voice dial to call someone. That is handy.
  • You get a text during a meeting and you glance at your wrist when it vibrates and take note of it.
  • It wakes you up during your mid afternoon nap.
  • It feeds content into your Evernote world
  • You have one additional device to now charge before you go to bed.
  • Everyone notices that bright neon orange watch and you become the center of attention for several moments. You have proven first adopter status in your circle of influence now that Google Glass has worn off.

I would consider this to be a great add-on to your Samsung world and definitely has some very useful apps and ways to interact with your email, texts and phone calls. I look forward to the next release which promises more capabilities as the consumer demand becomes the watch being more of a standalone device than an add-on but the power of Sync between apps will become stronger. Now your
Consumers will expect an embedded Fitbit device, GPS, a better camera, spy video stealth mode, more memory and a eBay/PayPal app.

Now when you get outbid on the Batman Dark Knight lunch box, you get notified on your watch and you can click to increase your bid. Very useful when you are in a 3 hour sales meeting and can’t get your desk in time to win the auction.

Consider this opportunity for bringing efficiency and happiness to your world:
Your Samsung world is linked to your Amazon account. As you make your way to the bus stop, you fancy a Thai dinner. You open your  Smartdinner app and choose the Thai Shrimp Red Curry on Rice, it  pings your Samsung refrigerator and Smart Pantry  to see what’s in stock, and it reports back that you need coconut milk, red curry paste and red peppers. You also need to buy your girlfriend the new Lady Gaga CD, and buy Nancy Duarte’s new book on presentation skills. No problemo, with a triple flick of your wrist the amazon app opens up and you speak your demands, answer yes as it confirms, and charges your credit card. As you get on your 1 hour bus ride, you feel so happy that when you get home the purchases are in your courier delivery box. You are even happier that your girlfriend got your text and is making dinner while dancing to the new CD you bought her.

Happy, Happy, Happy

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