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Smartwatches and other wearables offer big development potential

Matt Hamblen | Oct. 30, 2013
The Galaxy Gear smartwatch is just a starting point, Samsung developers are told

Bluetooth Low Energy, version 4.0, offers the opportunity to place beacons in a shopping mall or other large venue to precisely locate a person -- if wanted -- or be used to offer coupons or special offers, panelists said.

A shopper in the men's section of a store might be able to get a coupon for a special deal when entering the department. The low energy features of Bluetooth 4.0 would allow it to work well with small devices with small batteries, like a smartwatch or smart glasses, the panelists said.

The potential for geo-fencing on small devices is also getting a boost from Samsung's software development efforts involving Mobile Wallet 2.0 tools available to developers, Samsung executives said.

Analysts have said wearable technology is in its infancy, even though several manufacturers, including Apple, are expected to launch smartwatches. Meanwhile, Google has been demonstrating Google Glass for more than a year.

The panelists agreed that wearables are just beginning to arrive, but compared their development potential to the early days of e-commerce, which quickly took off.

"We're still trying to figure out what's going to happen with wearables," Ho told developers. "Keep building [applications], because we'll eventual hit something powerful."


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