While many big players were announcing new wearable devices at CES this year, Samsung was busy highlighting some new use cases for its first wearable, the Galaxy Gear, which launched back in October.
Samsung was demoing a couple of concept apps on the showroom floor which illustrated how the Gear could be a central device for the connected car, smart home and in digital health.
Samsung and BMW showed how the Galaxy Gear could be used to control the climate in your car, control your windows and doors and even send addresses directly to the navigation of BMW’s all-electric i3 compact. Trek and Samsung were showing off concept bikes where the Gear could be mounted in the handlebar to act as a display to show cycling stats like speed, navigation, distance and calories. And in the Samsung Smart Home area, the Gear’s S Voice was being used to control lights, Smart TVs and other connected appliances.
Samsung’s focus on apps at CES embodies their focus for the year when it comes to wearables. “This year we are focused on extending the functionality of the Galaxy Gear to your everyday life”, Director of Product Realization, Vlastimir Lalovic, Samsung Canada told us when we caught up with him in Vegas. “Samsung is actively working with partners from a global and local perspective to increase the number of applications and extend the usage of Gear.”
To add to the app catalogue, Lalovic confirmed that Samsung will finally be releasing an SDK for the Gear this year. And there may even be a change in where apps are sold. When we asked Lalovic if the Samsung App Store will continue to be the only place to find Galaxy Gear apps, he said that “this decision has not been made yet, but for now the Samsung application storefront is the place where you download Gear apps.”
Although we may not see new wearable hardware from Samsung this year, Lalovic did confirm that Samsung will be continuing to add new device support for the Galaxy Gear including the entire 2014 line of Samsung devices. But Samsung currently has no plans to support non-Samsung devices for the Gear.