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Samsung working on standalone smartwatch: WSJ

Announcement could come as early as June

The Gear 2 is a companion device and cannot function in isolation. Samsung’s latest rumoured wrist-wear project would be a full-functioning smartwatch.
The Gear 2 is a companion device and cannot function in isolation. Samsung’s latest rumoured wrist-wear project would be a full-functioning smartwatch.

Samsung is working on a smartwatch that would operate as a standalone device, and still retain phone functionality, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Samsung's Gear line of wrist wear requires linkage to a smartphone to function and the devices have limited standalone capabilities. The South Korean firm could publicly announce the new project as early as June according to WSJ sources.

The standalone smartwatch, like the latest models in the Gear range, will run on the open-source Tizen platform, as Samsung continues to move away from reliance on Google's Android mobile OS.

A number of tech firms are reportedly working feverishly to become early players in the wearables game. Samsung will launch a competing product for Google Glass at German tech exhibition IFA in September, according to a report earlier this month by English-language portal Business Korea. Other companies set to enter the eye-wearable arena soon include Sony and Epson, while Apple, Microsoft, and LG Electronics have all filed smart glass-related patent applications.

Apple is strongly rumoured to be working on a so-called iWatch. The company's chief executive Tim Cook has promised "new categories" this year, but as Apple has yet to officially confirm the existence of the iWatch project, it is not clear if its wrist device will be a companion device like those in the Samsung Gear range or a standalone gadget.