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This Week in Technology - Samsung Galaxy Gear

If you were watching the Houston Texans unravel against the San Francisco 49ers last week, you may have seen a really creative commercial announcing the launch of Samsung’s new Galaxy Gear, a new smart device that you wear on your wrist. The Gear, to be powered by the Android operating system, is set to handle calling, texts, email and even photos, among other functions.

Samsung’s new Galaxy Gear

At 1.6 inches and with a price tag of $300, the price-to-screen size ratio might seem a little steep. And given the less than rave reviews of the device thus far, the cost may not be the only thing that keeps consumers from jumping on board. According to a business insider review, the Gear is an attractive device, “but so limited that [you] can’t even justify an excuse like, ‘well, it’s just a first-generation product that will get better in time.’ The Gear feels more like an unfinished product, something Samsung rushed out just so it could be first to market.”


So what’s the problem, exactly? Apparently, there aren’t a great many apps available for the Gear just yet, even for big dogs like Facebook and Twitter. Furthermore, the Gear is extremely reliant on the user carrying a Samsung smartphone as well—not only because of the need for the Android interface to sync up between the phone and the watch for simple things like phone calls, but because the Gear has no SIM card or stand-alone data connectivity capability at all; it’s totally reliant on piggybacking off of your smartphone for data.

And while limiting the customer base with such restrictive compatibility is never optimal, it was probably necessary in order to allow the device to work sans SIM. But not having aSIM isn’t a complete drawback. When a device has a SIM card, it automatically means that there’s going to be some sort of separate data plan, and ergo, data charge. Maybe even a contract, if you are an evil enough wireless carrier (I’m looking at you, AT&T). The phone’s ability to circumvent this costly necessity could be a blessing in disguise.

While the likes of Business Insider and CNet aren’t pleased with the current version of the Gear, I personally believe this device has a lot of exciting potential. The problem for the gear is that this sort of background inter-device relationship that is required for it to work across multiple platforms is still in its infancy. While we have come a long way since the launch of the first fully touch screen phone in the iPhone in 2007, the smartphone “revolution” has until now sort of been in a plateau. The Gear could be the first in a new wave of smart devices that connect us to the digital world more conveniently. Now if we could just agree on when and when not to use them for ettiquite’s sake.

See the commercial and read more at:

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