Samsung may have been one of the first major tech companies to enter the wearables world with its Galaxy Gear line of smart watches. But a new report claims that Samsung will be looking to catch up to Google in the smart glasses arena by releasing “Glass Gear” this September.
The news comes by way of a report in Business Korea (via Business Insider), which reports that Glass Gear will mimic more than a few of the features offered by Google’s smart glasses: it will have a display for one eye and a single earpiece for sound. However, one area that Samsung’s smart glasses won’t copy Google’s is in its operating system. For that, Samsung will stick with Tizen, the Linux-based, pseudo-Android mobile OS it uses for its Gear 2 smartwatch.
The report also quotes an unnamed “Samsung associate” who offered up some information about the company’s strategy in terms of timing Glass Gear’s release:
“We rolled out the smartwatch first, and have secured a considerable amount of smart glass-related technology and patents. Following the roll out of our smart watch Galaxy Gear in September last year, we are slated to introduce our smart glass Gear Glass this September.”
Using Tizen makes sense for Samsung – but only in terms of maintaining its cross-compatibility with its other devices. Undoubtedly, Glass Gear will be designed to work in concert with Gear 2 and the company’s other Tizen-based devices. Since Samsung is making a big push for developers to make apps for Tizen, it makes more sense still.
On the flipside, there are still more than a few challenges faced by any Tizen-based device. Google’s Android OS, and its forthcoming Android Wear OS for smartwatches, will certainly make a big splash. Already two other OEMs – Motorola and LG – are making devices based on that operating system. Developers won’t want to make too many different versions of their apps, likely only devoting time and resources to the OS with the highest adoption rate.
It’s obviously too soon to say with certainty, but it seems very likely that more users will go with Google and Apple for their wearable needs when they finally put all their cards on the table. As for Samsung, the only hope the company has for gaining more traction with Tizen is to release products that deliver unbeatable user experiences, and to do so before the competition can. Since Android Wear is hitting this summer, and Google Glass is already out there (albeit for a pretty high $1,500 price tag), releasing Glass Gear in September may be too little, too late.