Samsung is reportedly developing smart eyewear, with a target launch at the IFA Berlin show in September.
According to an unnamed company official cited by the Korea Times, Samsung hopes to benefit from an early mover advantage in the budding wearable devices industry and is currently developing a Google Glass-type device. The smart eyewear is tentatively dubbed Galaxy Glass, the official said, and Samsung is aiming for a release at IFA 2014 at the earliest.
Samsung introduced the Galaxy Gear smartwatch at IFA last year, and said it would release a second generation of the device along the Galaxy S5 this spring.
Samsung realizes that wearable devices will require long term investment, according to the Korea Times’ source, but the company is betting on the category as the next big thing:
The new smart glass to be introduced by Samsung is a new concept of wearable device that can lead to an exciting culture of communication. The smart glass will present our aim to lead the new market with proven capability. Wearable devices can’t generate profits immediately. Steady releases of devices are showing our firm commitment as a leader in new markets.
Back in October, the Wall Street Journal uncovered a patent application showing Samsung’s take on a smart sports glasses device (pictured below). Presumably similar in functionality with Google’s Glass, the device would connect to the user’s smartphone and display information for things like incoming phone calls, location, or fitness tracking.
Samsung has been rumored to work on smart glasses since May 2013, just months after Google released Glass to developers. The two companies announced yesterday a sweeping deal to cross-license their existing patents, as well as new patents for the next ten years. At least in theory, that means Samsung should be safe from IP attacks from Google related to upcoming Glass-like devices.
Besides Google and Samsung, a host of smaller players are developing smart glasses, including Epson and Vuzix, which we recently got to see at CES 2014. The wearable market as a whole is exploding, though until now most companies have focused on smart watches, rather than other types of wearables,