Samsung Galaxy Gear: The App-Rich Smart Watch Goes Social With Path

  @KukilBora on September 05 2013 1:32 AM
Samsung-Galaxy-Gear
Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Gear smartswatch on Wednesday that works as an accessory to its market-leading Galaxy smartphones, with a small screen offering basic functions like photos, hands-free calls and instant messaging. Reuters

As Samsung (KRX:005930) unveiled the highly anticipated Galaxy Gear smart watch at a special media event in Berlin on Wednesday, Path, a social networking-enabled photo-sharing and messaging service for mobile devices, has announced that it will be among the first companies to make its app available on the device.

Path said that it has brought over most of the functionality, included in its mobile app, to the smart watch version. According to the company, the Galaxy Gear version of the app will enable users to share photos, give feedback to their friends and family members, post their location and receive notifications instantly.

“We’re so excited to elevate the ease and portability of the Path experience by building for the wearable device,” the company said, in a statement. “We’re honored to announce today that we have been exclusively chosen by Samsung to integrate into the new Samsung Galaxy Gear.”

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The Galaxy Gear is set to work alongside the new Galaxy Note 3 smartphone, and will use NFC technology to load Path from the watch to the phone if the user does not already have Path downloaded on the phone.

And, this is not Path’s first foray into the wearable-computing space. It was also among the first companies to create an app for Google Glass.

“Like building for Google Glass, we had the privilege to build Path on Samsung's Galaxy Gear from the ground up. Starting with a blank slate is one of the best parts of product development,” Ray Ho, senior Android engineer at Path, said. “Working with the new form factor and screen dimensions proved challenging, but we think the conscious decisions we made about what features to include will set Path apart.”

Path is among the 70 native apps including Highlight, Glympse, Evernote, RunKeeper, MyFitnessPal, TripIt, Line, Vivino and eBay, that will be available on the Galaxy Gear at launch.

Coming back to the Samsung smart watch, the device has a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display panel with a resolution of 320 x 320. It also features a strap-mounted camera with a 1.9-megapixel back-illuminated sensor and an auto-focus lens, capable of capturing low-resolution images and 10-second 720p videos.

The Galaxy Gear is powered by an 800MHz processor and a 315 mAh non-removable battery. It features two built-in mics, a speaker, Bluetooth 4.0 and an accelerometer and gyroscope. In terms of storage, the smart watch has 4GB of built-in memory and 512MB of RAM.

One thing about the device that may be of concern for consumers is its limited compatibility. According to Samsung, the Galaxy Gear will only work with the Galaxy Note 3 and Note 10.1, which run, for now, on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

Samsung will release the Galaxy Gear with the Galaxy Note 3 in more than 140 countries around the world starting from Sept. 25, while customers in the U.S. may have to wait until October to get their hands on the smart watch for $299.

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