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Samsung to launch a smartwatch before Apple

samsungSamsung is set to launch its much anticipated new gadget – a smartwatch, on Wednesday, marking a major milestone in the emerging product category amid concerns that the smartphone market has reached its peak. The company has been looking for a fresh niche to boost sales. That, or the news of Apple coming up with iWatch have triggered a rush between companies to compete on the market.

The watch, thought to be called “Galaxy Gear,” is expected to be revealed at IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin), a global innovations show in Berlin, on Wednesday evening. A report in the Korean Times, which cited comments from a senior Samsung executive, boosted hopes of the launch, but event organizers would not confirm the release, stating only that the presentation should “not be missed.”

It will be the first smartwatch release from one of the worlds top two smartphone manufacturers, in a new but promising product category that is currently dominated by less known startup firms. A smartwatch is a computerized wristwatch with functionality beyond simple timekeeping and Samsungs device is expected to be an accompaniment to a smartphone, rather than a standalone device with its own sim card.

According to VentureBeat it has about 3 inches diagonally, being larger than regular watches. It has a 4-megapixel camera built into the strap, and tiny speakers in the clasp. You can measure health data through the camera says a person who used the prototype. The smartwatch has Bluetooth to connect with the Galaxy S family of smartphones and tablets, although it may also connect to all Android devices. It also has Wi-Fi for Internet access, including e-mail, even when it’s not connected to a smartphone.

A source also revealed that a health startup, based in Palo Alto, Calif, has been working with Samsung to develop fitness apps for the watch for several months. Some of the features the smartwatch would offer are voice commands, social media and health management apps, internet access, 10+ battery life.

Samsung lost 1.24% while being up more than 10% on a yearly basis.

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