Back in October of last year we first reported that Samsung was working on its own alternative to Google Glass, dubbed Samsung Gear Glass. Horrible name aside, the original rumor came from Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin, who has a hit-and-miss record when it comes to these kinds of reports.
While Murtazin originally suggested Gear Glass could be here by April or May, this timeframe has pretty much come and gone. So when will we actually see the alleged Gear Glass, if Samsung really is planning such a device? According to a new report from Business Korea, Gear Glass is on schedule for a September debut at IFA, alongside the Galaxy Note 4. The Korean publication says an unnamed Samsung associate tipped them to the Korean giant’s plans, and was reportedly quoted saying the following:
We rolled out the smartwatch first, and have secured a considerable amount of smart glass-related technology and patents, Following the roll out of our smart watch Galaxy Gear in September last year, we are slated to introduce our smart glass Gear Glass this September.
Providing the rumors are legit, what do we know about the device? Nothing solid, though rumors claim it will run on Tizen, just like the recent members of the Gear family (with the exception of Gear Fit). The hardware will consist of an ear piece and display and will allow consumers to listen to music with the right ear, look at the display with the right eye and should augment the Note 4 (and Galaxy S5) experience by providing notifications and more.
Does the idea of Gear Glass make any sense?
Honestly, we’d take all of this with a hefty grain of salt. While it’s certainly possible that Samsung would attempt to one-up Google and other would-be competitors by pushing forward into the headset wearable market, we find it odd that they’d use the name Gear Glass. For one thing, it’s too similar to Google Glass. While Google might have trouble copyrighting the name glass (though you never know), you wouldn’t think Samsung would want to anger Google by blatantly copying Glass’ name. One possibility is that this could be a Google sanctioned device, but if it really runs Tizen, we doubt that.
Even if Samsung doesn’t mind irking Google by using a similar name for its wearable, would using the Glass name even be a good idea? Whether you like Glass or not, there’s no denying that it has a lot of controversy surrounding it. If I were a Samsung exec, I’d suggest naming it something that won’t be directly associated with all the same problems as Google Glass has faced so far. Of course, Samsung Gear Glass might just be a placeholder and not the final name. If Gear Glass is real, we’ll find out later this year at IFA, one way or another.
What do you think, like the idea of a Samsung-made Glass alternative? Can Samsung find mainstream success with such a device, despite its struggles to break into the wearable market so far?