Samsung (News - Alert) has unveiled the latest wearable devices that will be joining its product line later this year – the Gear S smartwatch, and a unique pair of earphones called the Gear Circle. The latter device is a sort of collar with magnetic clasps for being worn around the neck.
The Gear Circle pairs with a smartphone using a Bluetooth 3.0 connection and can receive calls and play back audio. Thanks to an on-board 180-mAh battery it’s expected to last up to 300 hours on standby, or for 11 hours of continuous voice communication and nine hours of audio playback. The earphones include a microUSB port for charging and support both Wi-Fi and voice commands.
Only concept drawings of the Gear Circle are available at the time, but it appears that it is intended to fit snugly around the user’s throat. Although there are many situations where this could potentially be convenient, it is hard to imagine many people wearing them when considering the comfort and aesthetic aspects.
In addition, the earphones have a vibration function in order to signal incoming calls and notifications, which would probably be a strange sensation for the neck. The Gear S is the first of its kind to offer vibration alerts, but several competing earphone devices with Bluetooth connectivity are already on the market.
The drawings also indicate that the actual earphones themselves are intended to retract into the collar when not in use, and there is a single button on the back that will presumably toggle the device on and off. So far it appears that it will only be offered in black and white varieties.
Samsung has stated that both the Gear Circle and Gear S will begin phasing into global markets beginning in October. More details and images are expected to be released within the next couple of weeks.
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