Rumors continue to flow about intelligent connected watches. The latest report is that Samsung will be releasing a watch-like device called the Galaxy Gear next month, that can make calls, surf the web and read e-mails. This follows on months of rumors that Apple is releasing an iWatch.
One major company that's already released a watch device is Sony, whose SmartWatches were shown at the MWC2013 conference. Sony's SmartWatch doesn't operate independently, rather it connects to the user's smartphone and runs apps that display on the phone but run in connection with the smartphone. Examples include apps that connect to the Internet via the phone and display information in small format on the watch. Another example is the ability to control the phone's camera using the watch, for example, if the phone is on a tripod and the user uses the watch to check the image and take the picture.
Here's a video of the Sony SmartWatch in action, from last spring's MWC2013 conference:
Several other companies have also shown intelligent watches. Two are shown here, the Treviso from a company called I'm Watch, and a watch from Umeox Mobile:
So far none of the intelligent or connect watches have been meant to replace phones - they all connect to the user's smartphone's for calling and connectivity. The rumors of the Samsung Galaxy Gear and the Apple iWatch indicate that they'll be standalone devices with their own connectivity, but we'll need to wait and see.
This patent application shows that Samsung's been working on watch-like mobile devices for at least six years. Other major mobile companies have been researching this as well. The fruits of this research may be reaching market soon....