Move over lips and eyes: suddenly, the wrist is the sexiest part of your body, as far as technology’s concerned. “Wearables” have dominated the mobile market recently, with the explosion of small, smart devices that we carry ever closer to us. They’re physically attached to us 24/7 and “listen” to our bodies, using sensors to track data and turn it into insights that we can use to change our behavior for the better. The first surge has been in the health/fitness space, with activity monitors leading the charge (see Catchword-named FItbit Flex, as well as Nike FuelBand, Jawbone UP, Striiv, and Larklife, to name a few).
Sometimes called “quantified-self devices,” “wearable tech,” or “wearable gadgets,” this category is ever-shifting, expanding to include headsets, shoes, eyewear, and especially smartwatches. Currently, the hub of our mobile world is the smartphone, but it’s still a limitation, an object that obstructs movement and of which we need to be (cracked screen, anybody?). By wearing compact, discreet, multi-functional devices, technology becomes less of a physical burden, and the smartphone becomes a communication hub that acts as a digital dashboard for our itty info bits. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the inception of the “Internet of Things,” a world where smart electronics and appliances are always on, connected, “aware” and sharing data through embedded sensors and wireless connectivity.
The wrist is a natural place to wear your tech (Dick Tracy was doing it in 1946). We are, when it comes down to it, manual creatures that rely on our hands to get the job done. And as much excitement as Google Glass, GlassUp, and Meta have created, eyewear is still invasive and clumsy. The wrist provides the perfect distance for viewing and interacting with data, and clearly, the tech giants have caught on. Samsung recently launched its Galaxy Gear smartwatch, and Apple, Motorola, Google, and are in the fray, along with hungry startups like Pebble.
So, we hear the Galaxy Gear is a little bulky and ungainly. It works with the Galaxy phone and tablet to notify you of emails, texts, messages, alarms, and calendar events. You can check the weather, make a call (through dictation), snap a picture, find your missing tablet, track your calories, and run up to 70 apps. Oh, and it keeps perfect time, just in case you were curious. It lets you carry your phone safely out of view and theft’s reach. Now, we question the value of adding one more device to our already complicated lives, but personal qualms aside, we’re sure tech-fiends will lust after it.
From a naming standpoint, Samsung Galaxy Gear itself is rare in that it leaves almost no impression. It’s incredibly bland, eliciting neither a good nor bad reaction, although we like the alliteration of the twin “g’s.” It sounds better suited for a family name of wearables, not just a single smartwatch, but perhaps that’s the intention of adopting such a broad name. The descriptive nature also enforces the strengths of the Samsung masterbrand and Galaxy sub-brand, which we typically recommend if you’re fortunate enough to have that kind of brand equity.
So, wrists and watches, after some years in the dark, it’s your time to shine—and only time will tell if the masses will catch on. Hopefully, you won’t end up in the wrong SPOT.
Overall Grade: C+
P.S. If you have a better name for “wearables,” feel free to contribute them here: www.PopNamer.com.