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Samsung's Smart Watch Coming September 4th, Without Flexible OLED Screen 89

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the where-are-the-smart-pocket-watches dept.
First time accepted submitter lager_monste sent in a tidbit from Mashable about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Gear Smart Watch: "Samsung will launch its smart watch, the Galaxy Gear, on Sept. 4 ahead of the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin, Germany. Lee Young-hee, VP of Samsung's mobile business, confirmed the date and some details about the device in an interview with The Korea Times." Ars Technica notes that the Gear is nothing like what was expected from a patent filing for a watch with a flexible OLED. Maybe next generation.
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Samsung's Smart Watch Coming September 4th, Without Flexible OLED Screen

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  • If it's also a phone and doesn't need another phone to work, I want one.

    • Sure, and it's got an 85" 4K screen too, I bet you didn't expect that!
    • by tuppe666 (904118) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @12:57PM (#44697837)

      If it's also a phone and doesn't need another phone to work, I want one.

      I am more concerned that these devices seem to be full computers themselves. I am looking forward to a smartwatch, but having the large screen, with large battery, with large processing power in my big pockets. I would rather a watch be a dumb device and your smart device being your phone.

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        Likewise. I'm still waiting for my Pebble, which is getting less and less thrilling looking with some of the new devices coming out. Oh well, they seemed to stir up some excitement in these devices anyway.

      • by Andy Dodd (701)

        That's why I'm avoiding the Omate TrueSmart.

        I have a Sony Smartwatch, and it is specifically designed to be a dumb second screen for your phone.

        Its battery life is not as good as the Pebble or Metawatch due to the full color screen. The MW seems to be a good compromise - reasonably standalone, but still primarily a display for your phone. (The Sony SW is a little "too" dumb when disconnected.)

        • These "smart watches" seem completely without utility to me. What use do you find for it?

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            These "smart watches" seem completely without utility to me. What use do you find for it?

            They've got plenty of utility, given how big screens on phones are. I mean, if you've received a text, and one hand is busy doing something else, it can be difficult to dig your phone out of your pocket, unlock it and then see the text with your remaining hand. (I'll leave the question of why you can't use both hands up to the imagination - but say, you're carrying a bag or an umbrella...).

            Android innovation in hardware

          • I got the Pebble as a lark (and a toy); it's turned out to be profoundly useful for me. Here's how:

            1. I'm in meetings much of the day (and anyway, having a loud cell phone is an obnoxious thing in an office environment), so I usually keep my phone on vibrate/silent; I'd routinely miss calendar reminders on my phone (and may be in a meeting that's 1o1 and involves me putting my laptop away). The Pebble buzzes me with calendar reminders so missing a reminder is a thing of the past;

            2. Same thing about phone

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Invest now in the iDildo. SSD storage up the ass! Put the cloud where the sun don't shine!

        This product is not returnable.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Based on your rumor that there may be an iDildo, Samsung is proud to present the Samsung Stuffer, offering even fuller penetration and a 2x larger circumference! And to one-up your iDildo, we are proud to introduce the used Samsung Stuffer marketplace, where you can buy Samsung Stuffers previously used by well regarded to skanky porn stars.

      • by timeOday (582209)
        You will certainly get what you want (a wearable display for your phone) long before a practical standalone smartwatch is feasible. Currently, wristwatches with just a GPS receiver (no transmitting) have an 8 hour battery life, at most. There is no way somebody is suddenly going to release a smartphone small enough to pass as a wristwatch.
        • by mspohr (589790)

          These people (Omate) seem to be making a good try at a standalone smartphone as a wristwatch.
          http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/omate/omate-truesmart-water-resistant-standalone-smartwa [kickstarter.com]
          I've been thinking about getting one. Looks it will have everything I would want. It operates as a standalone smartphone including touch screen, speaker, microphone... even a camera. Nice design and a bit smaller than the "sport" watch I currently wear. Can also link to a "full size" smartphone via WiFi or Bluetooth. Even wat

          • by timeOday (582209)
            I saw somebody posted the link a few messages down. To me the specs look like they from about 4 years in the future, and I find it hard to believe it won't be very compromised in some way - battery life, size, or reception. It would be so fantastic if I'm dead wrong.
      • If it's also a phone and doesn't need another phone to work, I want one.

        I am more concerned that these devices seem to be full computers themselves. I am looking forward to a smartwatch, but having the large screen, with large battery, with large processing power in my big pockets. I would rather a watch be a dumb device and your smart device being your phone.

        While true and I'd like to see it too, I wonder if Palm's history isn't a gauge to think about. It was a different time for sure (a whole 6 years ago!) but they tried to release the Foleo to be a companion to their smartphones but due to tech writers and others outcry, it never was launched. Sure it's just another accessory to your phone like a cover or speaker or something but I would imagine the market is pretty small for smart watches that only work with a particular brand.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        I am more concerned that these devices seem to be full computers themselves.

        Not to mention the drain from the screen. Old LCD watches used tiny hearing aid batteries that lasted for months. Of course, the radio would use a lot of power when it was being used as a phone. I don't see a good watch phone having a lot of processing power, but that seems what they're aiming for.

    • If it's also a phone and doesn't need another phone to work, I want one.

      Well, this one works like you want: slahdot story [slashdot.org], kickstarter [kickstarter.com]

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        The problem is "The specs are impressive". I want good battery life and only need it to make phone calls and tell time. I'd want a reflectively backlit LCD screen on it so I could tell time in sunlight and the batteries would last.

        I had an old original Razr that held a charge for three or four days, depending on how much time I spent watching YouTube videos. It was only a tiny bit too large to be a watch. Something like that only a little bit smaller with a touchscreen rather than buttons with a low power L

    • Re:Dick Tracy? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Wingsy (761354) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @01:39PM (#44698131)
      You have any idea how much talk time you would get from a battery that can fit inside a watch? We need a few of those revolutionary battery breakthroughs that we've read about for years to happen first.
      • by danomac (1032160)

        Until they figure out how to incorporate the battery in the wrist straps. Problem solved!

      • by mjwx (966435)

        You have any idea how much talk time you would get from a battery that can fit inside a watch? We need a few of those revolutionary battery breakthroughs that we've read about for years to happen first.

        How small can you make battery cells? Small enough to fit inside the links of the watch band?

        Erm... Patent pending.

        • by Wingsy (761354)
          This should be obvious, but maybe not...

          Yeah, they can surely make them small. But with smallness comes small capacity. It should go without saying but a battery 1/10th the size of today's typical cell phone battery would only get 1/10th the talk time. So, what, 30 minutes tops?

          And another thing: How would you use it to talk? Like Dick Tracy does? That's fine if you don't care about others near you hearing both sides of the conversation (and being intensely annoying to some bystanders). What do you do
          • by mjwx (966435)

            This should be obvious, but maybe not...

            Yeah, they can surely make them small. But with smallness comes small capacity. It should go without saying but a battery 1/10th the size of today's typical cell phone battery would only get 1/10th the talk time. So, what, 30 minutes tops?

            This should be obvious, but maybe not.

            on a typical watch that is connected by links (you know, the metal studs) there is significant area in the links themselves. If you were to put a cell in each one and link them together, you can reduce the size of the face.

            And another thing: How would you use it to talk? Like Dick Tracy does? That's fine if you don't care about others near you hearing both sides of the conversation (and being intensely annoying to some bystanders). What do you do for a private conversation, hold it to your ear? Imagine that for a minute. It would look about as ridiculous as someone talking with a phablet.

            This may be obvious, but maybe not.

            We already have a solution to this, I use it to skype on my 10" tablet.

            It's called a headset. I connects via bluetooth.

    • Nothing quite like having a futuristic wristlojackimator. And it saves a bunch of hassle in reaching into a pocket to pull out a cell phone.

      Of course, it makes it quite a bit more awkward to film everything in sight, but that's not something I do anyways.

  • Why do some people seem to bummed that the screen isn't flexible? Considering it was just a few tech demos and a patent filing it's not like it's a major let-down or anything. How about looking at the device's functionality? TFA says almost nothing about it, like what OS it runs or what capabilities it has.

    This story is pretty lame.

    • Screen Real Estate (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tuppe666 (904118) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @01:08PM (#44697851)

      Why do some people seem to bummed that the screen isn't flexible?

      Because without it being flexible it is limited to 2" by 2" display as opposed to a 6" by 2" display. Whatever you think of that.

      • Screen real estate would be a real issue if you think of a smart watch as a wearable version of cell phones as we know them. If that's the standard, then even a 6" x 2" screen will disappoint.

        Cell phones have already displaced watches. Why? Because they have bigger screens? No, not really. The bigger screen is useful for other phone features, but it didn't really improve much on what watches do best. It's more that most of us didn't see a need any longer to keep two timepieces, so we ditched our watch

        • by cayenne8 (626475)

          Cell phones have already displaced watches. Why? Because they have bigger screens? No, not really. The bigger screen is useful for other phone features, but it didn't really improve much on what watches do best. It's more that most of us didn't see a need any longer to keep two timepieces, so we ditched our watches.

          Well, I guess many that only had cheap timex or mickey watches would ditch them, but many folks have nice ones that are not only time pieces, but considered jewelry too.

          Some people like to dres

        • by bonehead (6382)

          It's more that most of us didn't see a need any longer to keep two timepieces, so we ditched our watches.

          Speak for yourself. There's no way I want to dig something out of my pocket and turn it on just to check the time. And, yes, seeing someone using a phone as a timepiece does affect my assessment of their intelligence.

      • Judging from recent attempts, I can only see one side of my wrist at a time. Having a display that wraps around my wrist would constantly put at least half of it on the wrong side. I would suggest placing the display lengthways, parallel to the forearm, but then you're hindered by long sleeved clothing. Wrist mount displays? There's got to be a better way.
      • by H0p313ss (811249)

        Why do some people seem to bummed that the screen isn't flexible?

        Because without it being flexible it is limited to 2" by 2" display as opposed to a 6" by 2" display. Whatever you think of that.

        A 6" by 2" watch is not a watch... it's a wearable computer.

        Remember the casio calculator watch from the 80's and how much of a nerd you had to be to wear one?

        • by H0p313ss (811249)

          Why do some people seem to bummed that the screen isn't flexible?

          Because without it being flexible it is limited to 2" by 2" display as opposed to a 6" by 2" display. Whatever you think of that.

          A 6" by 2" watch is not a watch... it's a wearable computer.

          Remember the casio calculator watch from the 80's and how much of a nerd you had to be to wear one?

          And I'm thinking in metric... 2" x 2" ... ? That's almost half the size of an iPhone, still well in "spot the nerd" territory.

    • by rsborg (111459)

      Why do some people seem to bummed that the screen isn't flexible? Considering it was just a few tech demos and a patent filing it's not like it's a major let-down or anything.

      Because it's vaporware and only diminishes what shipping products today [1] have beat Samsung to doing. I hated the vapor-filled promises put forth by Microsoft in previous years and this year's vapor by Samsung isn't any different.

      [1] http://getpebble.com/ [getpebble.com]

  • The article says, "we will be introducing a new wearable concept device..." So is this going to be marketed, or just a concept vehicle (perhaps to let some air out of a possible Apple iWatch announcement?)
    • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @02:52PM (#44698757)

      The article says, "we will be introducing a new wearable concept device..." So is this going to be marketed, or just a concept vehicle (perhaps to let some air out of a possible Apple iWatch announcement?)

      I the whole iWatch rumour mill has me completely confused. One thing I do know, if Apple managed to sucker everybody into building 'smart-watches' just by leaking the product name 'iWatch' and the damn thing turns out to be their long rumoured TV thingamabob (as in: iWatch TV) I'm going to laugh my head off.

      • by Quila (201335)

        Apple has hired people who best match a wearable device product, such as the fitness guru behind the Nike band. It's not going to be the TV.

        • by timeOday (582209)
          It is all a question of timing, but it is practically unavoidable fairly soon. Having shrunk from mainframes to minis to workstations, desktops, laptops, netbooks, now smartphones, the next size reduction must be a "wearable" of some sort, and Google seems to be getting a lot of resistance to Glass. My guess is an iPhone-tethered watch.
    • by gtall (79522)

      Wow, a wearable concept device!!! That sounds metaphysical. "Hi Harry, what are you doing there?"..."Oh, hi Larry, I'm confused, do we live to be or be to live? This wearable concept device keeps coming up with 'The mist falls steeply, the trees abide.' I don't get it."

      • by H0p313ss (811249)

        Wow, a wearable concept device!!! That sounds metaphysical. "Hi Harry, what are you doing there?"..."Oh, hi Larry, I'm confused, do we live to be or be to live? This wearable concept device keeps coming up with 'The mist falls steeply, the trees abide.' I don't get it."

        Actually... it would sell like hotcakes with the wanna-be set.

        Dude, check it out! My watch is even more pretentious than I am!

  • by asmkm22 (1902712) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @01:16PM (#44697909)

    What exactly do these smart watches do? Do they just tell time and maybe connect to wifi for stock numbers or something? I don't get it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Hands-free pr0n delivery.
    • Nobody knows what they do yet. To me this seems like a way to get a drop on Apple and say that they had a watch out before. If and when an Apple device hits is when we'll see motion in the market, whether that device is good or bad.

      Not having the first product on the market has never bothered Apple before, so I'm not sure what Samsung is trying to get out of this other than bragging rights. Or, who knows, maybe everyone will want one!

      As it stands, I can't think of many things that sound more useless than a

      • by _anomaly_ (127254) <anomaly@@@geekbits...com> on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @02:30PM (#44698559) Homepage

        Nobody knows what they do yet.

        Wrong, unless you're only talking about these yet-to-be-released smart watches. Anyone with a Pebble or Metawatch can knows what they do.

        I finally got my pebble about 3 months ago, so let me give you my $0.02 worth.

        I don't use my phone a whole lot. It's a personal phone, so I don't use it for work, except when I'm away from the office I will occasionally check and respond to email. I purchased a pebble because I thought it sounded like a cool idea, and I could use a new, decent-looking watch (I already had a couple of standard watches that I'd use when camping, hiking, or doing other things outdoors where the watch may be subject to minor abuse). At the $150 price-point, it was not a big leap, even for someone who isn't using their phone non-stop.

        I not only thought the pebble looked good, but I also liked the idea of being able to have any number of customized watch faces and having the ability to create my own (with their SDK).

        I liked the idea of keeping my phone on silent, in my pocket, checking texts and incoming phone calls by glancing at my wrist when it vibrates. Being able to receive all notifications you would receive on your cell phone on the watch itself, without having to take my phone out of my pocket (or laptop bag, etc) was enough to sell me on it.

        And I think it's enough for there to be a market for these smart/dumb watches. This isn't even to mention the many "apps" out there being created for the pebble. One that I've actually used is the FreeCaddie app that uses your phone's GPS to send yardage information to your watch while playing golf. It may seem impractical in that most golfers I know don't want to keep their phone in their pocket, or a watch on their wrist, while playing, but strapping my watch to the golf cart and keeping the phone in my bag is a really convenient way to get GPS on the course, without spending $300 on another device.

        I think the fact that I'm not a hardcore hardware geek, only having used my pebble fairly lightly, and I still find it worth the money and useful is (albeit anecdotal) evidence that smart watches do have a market and I believe it's here to stay. The key will be getting the buyers to take that initial leap since, on the surface, they seem superfluous when you're already carrying around a smart phone.

        If and when an Apple device hits is when we'll see motion in the market, whether that device is good or bad.

        You may be right in that it could take a big player like Apple, or Samsung, to enter the market before we know if the general public will bite. However, since Pebble has hit Best Buy, we just might know before Apple does anything.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      What exactly do these smart watches do?

      Details, details [waves hand]

      People who buy these things will likely already own and regularly carry an oversized smartphone, an undersized tablet and a laptop on a regular basis. Note the massive functional crossover between these devices. The primary distinguishing feature is form factor.

      So there is your answer -- what smart watches "do" is induce people to spend money on redundant mobile capabilities, albeit in a different form factor.

    • by joh (27088)

      Nobody knows, that's the problem.

      But: Don't call it a watch. Or only if you call your smartphone a "pocket watch" just because it can display the time and you have it in your pocket.

      I think selecting features that make sense and executing this in a way that you want to use them is the really hard thing here. Just squeezing a small Android device with a tiny screen and battery into a huge watch isn't going to make it sell.

      • by _anomaly_ (127254)
        He/she didn't, and no one else is. It's being a called a smart watch. Just like your smart phone isn't just a phone, like the rotary kind that used to sit on your (grand)parents' night stand.
  • Samsung panics and rushes out some thrown-together POS and the only thing it's going to accomplish is make whatever overpriced, walled-gardened bauble Apple finally rolls out look like the Second Coming in comparison. This is so bone-headed of them, it almost feels like 'sung and Cupertino are colluding.

    When the iWatch does come out, best wear some wading boots if you'll be around fanbois, as the excretions will be record-setting.
    • Only wading boots, I was thinking more along the lines of chest waders [fleetfarm.com].
    • by joh (27088)

      Do you know what's really funny? Even as you smirk at Apple and Apple's customers you totally expect Apple to come up with a better product than Samsung is able to.

      • by idontgno (624372)

        If you're even fainly unprejudiced, you'll realize there are two undeniable truths underpinning GPP's assertions:

        The self-evident "meh"-ness of Samsung's concept device, and the Pavlovian responsiveness of Apple's advocacy.

        As to your assertion, I'm pretty sure my 7-year-old could come out with something better than this loser from Samsung. Apple's engineering varies between fairly good and awesome, but you don't even have to be fairly good to get over the ridiculously low bar this proposed POS sets.

        • by Nerdfest (867930)

          Apple's engineering varies between fairly good and awesome

          True, but their control fetish varies between fanatical and fascist. While they have the advantage of being the sole hardware provider their products need to work with, they cripple their devices so much it greatly reduces the flexibility.

          • by joh (27088)

            Apple's engineering varies between fairly good and awesome

            True, but their control fetish varies between fanatical and fascist. While they have the advantage of being the sole hardware provider their products need to work with, they cripple their devices so much it greatly reduces the flexibility.

            Maybe, but flexibility is the last thing you want because then you would need to find out what the damned thing is actually good for all by yourself. You'd get maximal flexibility out of a smartwatch that just runs Android on a 2" screen. It also would be totally useless for most people.

            The point of such appliances really is that someone else already put lots of work and thought into what it's good for and optimizes the device for that. Some people call that "control fetish" other call it outsourcing boring

    • Samsung panics and rushes out some thrown-together POS and the only thing it's going to accomplish is make whatever overpriced, walled-gardened bauble Apple finally rolls out look like the Second Coming in comparison. This is so bone-headed of them, it almost feels like 'sung and Cupertino are colluding. When the iWatch does come out, best wear some wading boots if you'll be around fanbois, as the excretions will be record-setting.

      There were dozens of MP3 players out before the iPod, dozens of tablets before the iPad, and dozens of smartphones before the iPhone. None of these companies were "colluding" with Apple.

      Apple doesn't do things first, they do it *right* first. Then the Asian copycats come out.

  • by RedHackTea (2779623) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @02:02PM (#44698343)
    ...But does it have "Ctrl+Shift+T" functionality to see the last Time you looked at the Time on the watch? A sort of "Ctrl+Z" for the Time?
  • Carry whatever tech you want in your backpack (I do) but the thing on your wrist should be mechanical and made in Switzerland or you'll never get either a girlfriend or a job. Nothing that a tech company makes will ever be as beautiful as this [iwc.com]
    • by Dr. Zim (21278)

      Got both without spending $20K on a luxury watch I'd tear up inside a week. Spent the same money on a sport touring bike instead to spend long weekends with the (girlfriend->wife) and away from the job.

      If you need to spend $20k on a watch to impress people, you're compensating for something.

    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      the thing on your wrist should be mechanical and made in Switzerland or you'll never get either a girlfriend or a job.

      Now that's just bullshit.

      Yes, an elegant watch is a smart move to behave like an adult, trying to check the time on your phone when you're sitting down at a dinner or conference table is just made of fail

      No, your life won't completely suck if it's digital or made in Japan. It's no longer the 1980's, even bloody Casio makes dress watches [casio.com]. While some of them are still butt-ugly, this one [casio.com] does the trick and it's only $50.

      Personally I went for this pretty little number. [skagen.com] Elegant enough to wear in public without

      • by H0p313ss (811249)

        Personally I went for this pretty little number. [skagen.com]

        (And I was shocked by the number of compliments it drew from co-workers... "Hey! Nice watch!... for a $100 Japanese watch.... now that I think about it, if that's the effect it has perhaps a Swiss watch would get me laid by random strangers...)

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