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10 features the Samsung Gear smartwatch must offer to preempt the iWatch

Evan Dashevsky | Sept. 4, 2013
Your wrist may become the next great mobile battleground.

Easy secure mobile payments
The Gear should let you pay for your morning coffee simply by holding your wrist out to the counter clerk for a quick, easy transaction. A recent round of rumors suggests that the Gear will come equipped with NFC connectivity, indicating that mobile-payment functionality should at least be possible. Let's hope the device uses its NFC radio to do some tricks we haven't seen before.

Actions enabled across multiple devices
The smartwatch will be the newest screen to join our multiscreen lifestyles. As such, it would be great if you could, say, begin to read an email message on your Samsung smartwatch and then continue reading it on your tablet or laptop.

A one-click, top-notch camera
Due to a smartwatch's diminutive size, a mega-spec camera  is unlikely to fit. Still, we'd like to see a camera with at least some brawn to it (VentureBeat says the watch will pack a 4-megapixel sensor). How many times have you missed a great photo because you had to dig out a phone from your pocket, unlock it, and open the camera app?

A Samsung smartwatch with concise one-step camera access could solve that problem.

Drum-tight waterproofing
Because of where the device lives, a smartwatch is subject to more elements of nature than a pocket-based phone. Therefore, we'd like to see a Galaxy-branded smartwatch that's at least as waterproof as the Galaxy S4 Active smartphone, which Samsung claims can survive being submerged for up to 30 minutes under 1 meter of water.

Design options—it is wearable tech, after all
A smartwatch is a far more visible accessory than a smartphone, so people are going to want design options to express their unique personalities. The Gear should not be a one-size-fits-all proposition.

Also, Samsung should keep in mind that men and women wear watches differently: Women tend to favor the smaller wrist ornamentation, while men don't mind sporting a big ol' behemoth. Samsung's designers would be wise to consider the wants and needs of female users, whom they have tended to disregard in the past.

Home-control options
Home security and control systems such as those from AT&T and Comcast commonly use smartphone apps to control devices and appliances inside the house. But a smartwatch might be an even better device for that. A couple of quick screen taps or gestures performed at the front door might be a good way to unlock the door, deactivate the security system, and turn on the lights—all without having to fish around for a smartphone.

What we know now
Back in July, Samsung submitted a U.S. trademark filing for "Samsung Galaxy Gear." The trademark is associated with "wearable digital electronic devices in the form of a wristwatch, wrist band, or bangle capable of providing access to the Internet and for sending and receiving phone calls, electronic mails and messages."

 

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