Samsung unveils smartwatch to talk to Galaxy phones, tablets

Sept. 4, 2013 at 3:39 PM
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BERLIN, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Samsung has confirmed what has long been rumored, the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, unveiling it Wednesday at a consumer tech show in Germany.

Samsung executive J.K. Shin, showing the smartwatch at the IFA consumer tech conference, said the $299 Gear will begin shipping to 140 countries on Sept. 25 although the United States and Japan will have to wait until October, CNNMoney reported.

The Gear watch is not a phone but rather a wireless link to Samsung's Galaxy smartphones and tablets to let wearers know when they've receive a call, text message or e-mail.

The Gear runs Google's android operating system, and presents information to the wearer on a 1.63-inch display face.

The watch is intended to let users keep their phones in their purses or pockets, Samsung's Pranav Mistryor said, and make hands-free calls directly from the watch as well as dictate email, set alarms and check the weather using just voice commands.

Gear users can also capture videos and photos, just "point your wrist and shoot," Mistryor said.

More than 70 apps will be available to download on the Gear when it launches, Samsung said.

The smartwatch arena is quickly becoming crowded as Motorola, Sony and Casio have released devices and both Apple and Google are reportedly working on their own take on wearable technology.

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