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Lubricating Samsung’s Gear

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Bit Depth
Time to wrap up this outing. The Samsung Gear Fit in the field, photographed using the S4. PHOTO: MARK LYNDERSAY

In creating a smaller Gear device, Samsung has chosen to sacrifice the potential of the new Gear line, which runs Tizen, an open source Linux variant. 


The Gear Fit runs a runtime OS, not Tizen, so there won’t be any cool new developer software coming for it. 


It is, at least in this version, a closed box to developers save for any updates and additions that Samsung chooses to push into it.


That’s a shame, because it puts the development of the device squarely on Samsung and cuts off inventive third party developers of hardware and software.


As a rather pointed for instance, let me point out that I’d love to take the Gear Fit along for some work in the pool, but it isn’t designed for sustained immersion, just the usual splash and sweat proofing you’d expect in a watch designed for active use. And there’s no software supporting lap counting or analysis anyway.


I’ve got a US$30 lap counter I wear on my finger that’s more useful for swimming that the Gear Fit ever will be and that’s a shame.


Samsung might want to think more about the possibilities in the Gear Fit’s shape and build an immersible watch band and software to support lap timing and swim session analysis. The folks who need that sort of thing would leap at having computer capabilities on their wrist or forearm.


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