Galaxy Gear 2: Samsung takes another whack at the smart watch

Samsung says it will launch a sequel to its Galaxy Gear smart watch this spring, in conjunction with the release of the Galaxy S5 smart phone. 

The original Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch.

Back in September, Samsung released the Galaxy Gear, a smart watch designed to be used in conjunction with Samsung devices such as the Galaxy Note tablet. Sales were tepid (or something worse than tepid, depending on who you asked), the North American advertising campaign was widely panned, and critical enthusiasm was muted, to say the least. 

Writing at The Verge, Vlad Savov, in a typical review, described the Galaxy Gear as a "rough first draft" of what could be a great product. 

But Samsung is apparently ready to take another whack at the device. In an interview this week with Bloomberg, Lee Young Hee, the executive vice president of mobile at Samsung, said a new Galaxy Gear would be debuted this year alongside the forthcoming Galaxy S5 smart phone. 

"We’ve been announcing our first flagship model in the first half of each year, around March and April, and we are still targeting for release around that time," Ms. Lee told Bloomberg. "When we release our S5 device, you can also expect a Gear successor with more advanced functions, and the bulky design will also be improved."

That's about all Samsung is discussing right now: A rough release date, and a promise of more features and a slimmer design. No word yet on price, or more crucially, whether the Galaxy Gear sequel – the Galaxy Gear 2? – will be capable of operating independently of other Samsung devices. Because it's hard to imagine a smart watch really gobbling up sizable market share if it has to be used in conjunction with a relatively small number of compatible devices. 

In related news, back in November, Sony filed a US patent for a vibrating, antenna-heavy "Smart Wig" that would facilitate – and we quote – "wig-to-wig communication." It's not clear whether the Smart Wig is yet in active development. 

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