The New Samsung Galaxy Gear Smart Watch

Samsung Galaxy Gear Smart Watch


by John Sealander  

Is Samsung’s Galaxy Gear Smart Watch
The Next Big Thing, or Just a Waste of Time?

SamsungWhen Samsung introduced the Galaxy Gear on September 5th, 2013, many industry pundits said the company’s innovative new smart watch signaled the beginning of a new era in wearable technology. At first glance, the Galaxy Gear certainly is impressive. The 2.6 ounce smart watch can make phone calls, surf the web, and even take picture with a built-in 1.9 megapixel camera. A built-in speaker and voice activated operation allows users to make hands free calls directly from their wrist.

Will Smart Watches Catch On?

The unanswered question is whether there is a market for devices like the Galaxy Gear. It is clear that many people think there is. Sony has already introduced a smart watch that syncs with Android phones and will soon introduce another smart watch that can be used as a second screen for its Xperia Z1 smart phone. Tech giant Qualcomm has developed a new connected wristwatch called the Toq. And startup Pebble is already taking orders for it’s innovative e-paper watch, funded entirely through the popular crowdsourcing site Kickstarter.

The Europeans have entered the smart watch arena as well, with the fashionable Italian designed I’m Watch. The latest entry into the smart watch race is automaker Nissan, who recently introduced their Nismo watch, which can capture the wearer’s biometric data and even monitor vehicle performance, at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The elephant in the room, of course, is the long rumored iWatch from Apple. All these new devices have the potential to revolutionize personal communications. Just imagine a device you could wear on your wrist that could establish your identity and eliminate the need for passcodes. Or how about paying for gas just by waving your watch at the pump? A smart watch could easily track your workouts and monitor your physical activity. Of course, all these innovative watches would also tell the time with near perfect accuracy.

How Will Smart Watches Affect Your Favorite Watch Brand?

Is all this innovation enough to motivate watch aficionados to abandon their favorite Fortis, Rolex and Versace timepieces? Probably not. Watches have become an important fashion accessory for both men and women and it is unlikely that technology will trump fashion any time soon. Since the market for fine timepieces continues to expand, it is very likely that there is a market for traditional timepieces and smart watches. The growing popularity of wristwatches as a fashion accessory will probably ensure that there is a market for Samsung’s new Galaxy Gear and a host of other innovative smart watches that will appear in the near future.

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the exclusive US representative for select European watch brands, distributing and servicing luxury, fashion and sports timepieces at a wide range of price points. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair department staffed by master Swiss watchmakers. Contact Gevril Group by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

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Are Brick-and-Mortar Stores a Dying Breed?

Retail Jewelry Store


by Maggy Michaels Durrenberger  

“Absolutely not” is the short answer. Yes, the rate of online sales continues to climb each year. But let’s not leap into an abyss of despair by interpreting that trend as the inevitable death knell for the physical retail store. The U.S. Census Bureau News reported that e-commerce represented only 5.5 percent of total sales in the first quarter of 2013. That means brick-and-mortar retail is still doing 94.5 percent of the business.

Visionary Apple Returns to Brick-and-Mortar

The disruptive nature of technology will continue to impact and shape our world, but the power of technology is not without limits. With all the things it can do, the human experience is completely missing. That’s why Apple shocked the world back in 2001 when it opened physical stores across the nation. After all, electronics was one thing that most people were happy to buy online. But Apple knew better. By tightly managing employee-to-customer interactions, along with every detail of the store, Apple was wildly successful at creating a fun and casual customer experience.

Will Behemoth Amazon Follow Suit?

So many rumors were flying around about Amazon opening physical stores that PBS talk show host Charlie Rose asked the question directly to CEO Jeff Bezos last November. Bezos said, “The answer is we would love to, but only if we could have a truly differentiated idea.” Keep in mind this perspective comes from the kingpin of online retailers. The phenomenon of Internet marketing is barely out of diapers and yet a few of the giants are already recognizing its shortcomings.

The Call is Clear: Do It Better

The real challenge facing brick-and-mortar stores, particularly those on the higher end, is the ability to respond creatively to today’s new multi-channel world. Saving a few dollars is not going to be the highest priority for many potential buyers. More than ever before, the physical retailer needs to create value-added, pleasurable shopping experiences that keep customers coming back.

Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren summarized it well in a Reuters interview when he said, “It’s clear to me that the consumer likes shopping online. I am focused on [this]: how do we make them feel as comfortable and ready to buy in our stores as they do online?”

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the exclusive US representative for select European watch brands, distributing and servicing luxury, fashion and sports timepieces at a wide range of price points. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair department staffed by master Swiss watchmakers. Contact Gevril Group by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

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Apple iWatch Rumors

Apple iWatch Mock-up, by Yrving Torrealba


by John Sealander  

Is the World Ready for an Apple Watch?

AppleRumors abound that Apple’s next blockbuster product will be a watch. The concept of a smartwatch isn’t new. There are already several of these enhanced wristwatches on the market. You can already purchase a watch that uses GPS to track your location. Other currently available smartwatches use miniature accelerometers to track your workouts and other physical activity. The problem with these first generation smartwatches is that almost everybody already has a watch. Today’s smartwatches are very specialized and don’t add much functionality to traditional timekeeping.

An Apple iWatch might change all that. The Apple infrastructure already includes thousands of innovative apps that add impressive new functionality to your phone, tablet, and computer. Just imagine if you could access these apps on your wrist. Using Bluetooth and the cloud to communicate with other devices, an Apple iWatch could be a game changer.

Possible Apple iWatch Functions

Some of the most useful applications for this new watch might have nothing to do with timekeeping. Imagine a watch that could eliminate the frustration of passcodes in an office environment. An iWatch could eliminate the necessity of entering your passcode ten or twenty times a day. With the addition of fingerprint recognition on the touchscreen, the watch could easily establish your identity in a variety of situations.

Do you frequently lose your phone? Just use your watch to find it. How about paying for gas just by waving your watch at the pump? Apple’s Siri technology could make it easy to communicate with your watch without using a keyboard. Even traditional timekeeping functions could be improved using smartwatch technology. Your iWatch will probably change time zones automatically for you while you travel. As Apple continues to improve its Passbook payment technology, your watch might even know when you’ve boarded your plane and where you’re going.

What will this amazing new watch look like? Nobody knows for sure, but with Apple’s design expertise, chances are that it will be spectacular. Many people think that an iWatch will incorporate Corning’s new curved glass technology, using a band of flexible curved glass that wraps around your wrist as a display.

When can you expect to see an iWatch on the market? Nobody knows. Many people think it would be wise for Apple to get on the smartwatch bandwagon as soon as possible though. The Bluetooth enabled Pebble smartwatch is already available and Sony already markets a smartwatch that works with Android smartphones. Do you think it’s time for an Apple watch? We may soon find out if Tim Cook agrees with you.

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the exclusive US representative for select European watch brands, distributing and servicing luxury, fashion and sports timepieces at a wide range of price points. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair department staffed by master Swiss watchmakers.

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