Get ready, world: The smartwatch wars have begun. Samsung on Wednesday announced the Galaxy Gear, its first-ever smartwatch. The Gear’s specs include a 2.5-inch OLED touch display, a dual-core processor, an accelerometer, Bluetooth 4.0 and Android 4.3. Samsung is describing the device as a companion to its popular smartphones such as the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 2, which can control settings on the Gear using the Samsung Gear Manager mobile application. The device will only be compatible with the just-announced Galaxy Note 3 at launch, however. The new device will launch on September 25th in more than 140 countries around the world.
Being the first major tech company to launch its own smartwatch is a minor coup for Samsung, which has beat Apple, Google and Microsoft to the market with its wearable computer. Although smartwatches aren’t typically seen as potential revolutionary devices as smartphones and tablets have been, they should be a nice complement for mobile users who want ways to get access to certain applications and to see notifications without having to pull out and unlock their smartphones.
Apple is expected to release its own smartwatch sometime over the next year while Google has been gearing up to release its own smartwatch by buying wearable computing designer WIMM Labs. Google has also been experimenting with mobile headsets as potential wearable computers and will likely release its Google Glass device to the market in 2014.