Samsung opts for Android Wear in latest Gear model
Gear Live uses wearable-centric OS, ‘allows information to move with user’
Samsung Electronics unveiled the Samsung Gear Live powered by the Android Wear OS, on Thursday at a special event in San Francisco, California.
The wrist-wear features a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display and a 1.2 GHz processor. It allows customisation of the clock face and one-touch device wakeup. According to Samsung, the Gear Live meets the IP67 standard in protecting the device against the effects of dust and water immersion. Samsung also claims the wearable has an "all-day" battery.
The device comes with a standard 22mm band, which is swappable. The unit allows users to monitor their heart rate and relay the data to multiple fitness apps.
Samsung's previous Gear models came preloaded with its open-source Tizen operating system, but the South Korean vendor is once more aligned with Google for the latest device. The design of Android Wear is based around wearable computing and is aimed at "allowing information to move with the user", giving live updates and responding to verbal questions, much like Apple's Siri. Wearables running the platform can be paired with any device running Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) or higher.
Users preface questions with "OK Google" to get answers to queries such as what time a flight leaves; the score of a match; or to order a taxi, send a text or make a restaurant reservation.
"Samsung has been a pioneer in the quickly-evolving wearable market, and the launch of Gear Live furthers our efforts to deliver a simple and intuitive wearable experience to consumers," said JK Shin, CEO and president, IT and Mobile, Samsung Electronics.
"Through our long-term close collaboration with Google, we have successfully incorporated the capabilities of Android Wear into the Gear Live... I am confident that Samsung and Google together, will grow the smart wearable market."
The Gear Live will be offered in Black and Wine Red with interchangeable strap options. It is available to order through the Google Play Store and will subsequently go on sale in Samsung Retail Stores. No specific information is available for the Gulf region regarding price or availability.