Samsung's Galaxy Gear is not the first smartwatch to hit the market, but it is the one that has made the biggest splash.
The electronics manufacturer said the $299 Gear, which will go on sale September 25, will tell time, make calls, take photos and be able to surf the internet. The device, which also includes a fitness tracker, will sync with tablets and smartphones running on Android.
"Samsung Galaxy Gear benefits consumers by integrating smart device technology even deeper into their everyday lives, and bridges the gap between the mobile device and fashion worlds to create truly wearable technology," said JK Shin, CEO and president of IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics, in a statement.
"Students look at wristwatches today the same way that their grandparents looked at pocket watches in the middle of the last century, as an unbelievably old-fashioned thing," Paul Saffo, a futurist and professor at Stanford, told USA Today. "But that is about to change."
A big deal has been made in a number of reports that Samsung has gotten a head start on Apple with the introduction of its smartwatch. Even so, many believe the iWatch, whenever it debuts, will be a formidable competitor.
"We expect Samsung Galaxy Gear to sell reasonably well, but it is most likely to be Apple that catalyzes the smartwatch industry," Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, told Bloomberg News. "Apple should be able to blend the iWatch into its iOS ecosystem in a much tighter way than the fragmented Android community."
How likely are smartwatches to have the type of success achieved by smartphones and tablets?