Samsung exec confirms smartwatch development

When screenshots of Samsung's rumoured Galaxy Altius smartwatch leaked recently, the company had not acknowledged that such a project is underway. Now, however, Lee Young Hee, Executive Vice President–Mobile Business, Samsung, has confirmed that a watch is definitely in the pipeline, reports Bloomberg. Lee made the revelation during an interview in Seoul. He said, "We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long." Lee elaborated that "the company was preparing products for the future and the watch is definitely one of them."


That being said, however, Lee did not say about the features of the wristwatch, or its cost or launch timeline, for that matter. Samsung's rival Apple too has been in the news for its iWatch. Lee said, "The issue here is who will first commercialize it so consumers can use it meaningfully." As per the Bloomberg report, Apple is toying with the idea of allowing users to make calls using the iWatch. Among other features under consideration is introducing caller ID capabilities and the ability to check map coordinates. Interestingly, the report suggests that the watch would come with a pedometer and sensors to keep a track of health-related data, like heart rates. Will Stofega, Program Director, International Data Corp., Framingham, Massachusetts, makes an interesting point here. The report quotes Stofega as saying that Samsung may be able to "undercut Apple on price", since it makes its own displays and chips.  

Purported screenshots of the Samsung Galaxy Altius watch

Purported screenshots of the Samsung Galaxy Altius watch



Going by the leaked screenshots that surfaced earlier, our earlier report pointed out that the UI looks very much like Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8’s Live Tiles and there is a SIM slot in the watch for cellular connectivity thanks to the indicator showing the mobile network of South Korean carrier SKT. One screenshot also reveals that the OS is going to be named Altius.


Other features of the watch-like device include a music player and the ability to display emails and messages. It also looks like there’s a Maps app built into the device. There’s also a scrollbar on the bottom, which has quite a way to go till the end, so maybe Samsung has included more smartphone-like features in the watch. It is not known how much internal storage is in the device, but a couple of the screenshots do show a memory counter increasing from 235 to 236MB and a percentage of the used space. We performed a simple math equation to arrive at 13.8GB, which looks like the user-accessible memory of the watch. So 16GB NAND Flash storage looks like the default storage. 


Apple has a team of 100 people working on the iWatch to enter the wearable tech space and it looks like it is the hot technology of the year. Even Google is preparing a 2014 launch for its Google Glass wearable device, which rests on ears and projects an image in front of the user’s eye, and emits sound through a unique bone conduction technology. 

Published Date: Mar 19, 2013 13:50 PM | Updated Date: Mar 19, 2013 13:50 PM