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Can we expect Samsung Galaxy Glass in the future?

While wearable tech is certainly nothing new, it is undeniable that Google Glass has propelled the concept to the center of our attention. As these concepts gain traction, it is only logical to assume that other companies would want to put their hat in the ring. As one of the largest consumer electronics companies in the mobile space right now, how long will it be before Samsung gets involved?

On so many levels, Samsung is a force to be reckoned with right now. Their smartphones continue to gain market share at an explosive rate, but the company has a hand in just about every other kind of consumer gadget as well — their televisions are among some of the best in the world, their laptops are popular, and even their household appliances (washers, dryers, refrigerators, etc.) stand out in a sea of white cubes. There’s a lot to this company, and it is clear they are not afraid to experiment. Seeing a rise in wearable tech — especially one powered by Android — wouldn’t just be an invitation for Samsung, it would be a challenge worth rising to.

There’s plenty of room to improve on Google’s design for Glass. While it certainly seems like an elegant solution given the current technology, it’s still early days for the smart glasses. Samsung’s display technology is a perfect example of how the company could approach the wearable scene from a fresh perspective. While we’ve seen headsets that place the screen close to the eye, Glass was the first to do so with the help of a transparent medium. Samsung could accomplish something very similar without the need for a strange looking prism with their transparent display tech, which has been demonstrated on an off for a couple of years now.

It’s important to also remember that Samsung has been showing off flexible displays for quite a while as well, which would be equally well suited for a form-fitting headset of some kind. The key to any of this technology is to make it small, light, and to offer users little to no reason to take a device off during the day. Google Glass is often criticized as looking awkward and unusual, so much so that outside of the tech sphere few people would want to wear them all the time. These are problems that Samsung would be uniquely able to overcome.

Samsung Galaxy Glass

Software is just as important as hardware when it comes to wearable technology, so that’s another place where Samsung can exceed. The TouchWiz UI that the company has been working on for years is an extension of Samsung, reflecting how it feels users want to interact with their smartphones. Most of what Samsung has been working on here can be applied directly to wearable technology. Using your eyes to determine when you want to interact with the device, gesture controls by waving your arms in front of the device, and behaviors dictated by how you move the piece of hardware are all things that would work well with a headset. Samsung, as seen in the Galaxy S4, has a unique take on interacting with hardware, and it has been very successful for them so far.

It wouldn’t be a requirement for Samsung to work with Android in the wearable space, either. Google’s focus for Glass is to create a convergence device for all of their apps and services, but it doesn’t explicitly run on Android or rely on Google Play. The apps built by third party developers for Glass don’t function at all the same way as Android apps, so it wouldn’t benefit Samsung to rely on Android for their hardware. Samsung’s work with Tizen could use Samsung specific products to create an entirely self reliant piece of hardware that runs on software controlled 100% by Samsung, an creating their own unique experience.

As with any new kind of technology, a huge hurdle with adoption will be demonstrating to the user why they need to have it. This is, once again, an area where Samsung would be uniquely suited. Samsung’s recent partnership with Best Buy would offer them prime real estate in one of the biggest electronics stores in the US to showcase their hardware. Users would be able to come in and put them on, actually use the technology for themselves and see what the big deal is. Samsung did this with their Chromebooks, and as a result it was almost impossible for Best Buy to keep the $250 laptop on their shelves this past holiday season.

Samsung has, of course, not mentioned any plans to release a piece of wearable tech. Like the rumored smartwatch they are supposedly working on, this just seems like a logical extension of the products they already have on the market. With over 8,000 people in Google’s Glass Explorers program, the popularity of this hardware category is set to increase dramatically over the next year. For Samsung to not have their hand in that basket would seem to go against their existing strategies. It would be very interesting to see Samsung enter this market within the next year and possibly even compete directly with Google on wearable computers.

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