Business Technology

Sunday 22 October 2017

Will new Smartwatch really hit the big time?

Around 3,000 journalists. 2,000 exhibitors. 50,000 punters. Yet, this year's IFA tech expo in Berlin boiled down to one thing: smartwatches.

What is the first thing you do when presented with a smartwatch which, you are told, can make and take phone calls? If you're a 40-year-old tech journalist, you will hold it up to your mouth to see if it 'fits'. You will then glance to see if anyone is looking. If they are, you will quickly lower the watch from your mouth and pretend to examine its screen apps.

When all is said and done, this may be the issue Samsung must overcome with its Galaxy Gear smartwatch, which has grabbed most of the limelight: will you walk down O'Connell Street having a conversation with your wrist? Moreover, will it be any less rude to incessantly glance at your watch for new messages and alerts than at your smartphone?

Will gadgets like this enrage those who already think we've ceded too much attention from physical company to virtual society?

If you're still excited, Samsung's smartwatch has a microphone, a speaker and connects automatically to your (non-iPhone) high-end smartphone. It also runs apps and has fitness-related tech features, namely a pedometer, accelerometer and gyroscope. It even has a camera.

The gadget itself is bulky and, at 74g, is relatively heavy too. It is expected to sell for €250 to €350 next month. Will it be the next big thing? I'm sceptical.

Irish Independent

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