Samsung is expected to launch their new Gear A smartwatch on August 13th. The watch, code named Orbis, will feature a rotating, functional bezel. The concept sounds similar to what Nest thermostats employ. The rotating bezel will be used to control on screen elements such as zooming in / out of images, navigating lists, and interacting with games. It appears the bezel will be functionally equivalent to Apple Watch’s digital crown. The inclusion of an additional input method seems to suggest recognition that Apple made a sound UI decision by delegating some interface interactions to a mechanically rotating element; or perhaps Samsung is simply continuing its trend of throwing every conceivable idea at their wearables hoping something sticks.
Besides the bezel, a few other details of the smartwatch have been released. The watch will feature a 360 x 360 (presumably circular) display and will include WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and a heard rate sensor. It should be noted that the device will run on the company’s proprietary Tizen OS, which means it will likely be only compatible with Samsung devices.Continue reading