On Your Side

Wearable Technology 11/18/13

Several companies now have smart watches on the market. Even Apple is rumored to be working on one. What do these "smart watches" actually do? Consumer Reports just took a look at two to see if they deliver.
That'st today's On Your Side.
In this commercial for Samsung's new Gear smart watch, it seems like the future has arrived. "I'm on my way." Consumer Reports checked out the Samsung Galaxy Gear to see if it delivers. The Gear does do a lot more than your average watch. It can make and answer phone calls, for example. "Hi, Ann Burr. Mike." You can also take pictures with the Gear with a simple command. Mike Gikas "Smile." Click. But the quality isn't very good. Plus the menus are hard to use on the small screen. And there's another drawback. "At 300 dollars, it's about twice the price of other smart watches, and it only works with one phone, the Galaxy Note III, which is also expensive." Another smart watch - the 150-dollar Pebble - works with many Androids and iPhones. It alerts you to calls, texts, and e-mails, as long as you're in Bluetooth range of your phone. Carol Mangis, "It's a soundless little vibration, a little buzz. And then what appears on the watch face is the person who's texting you's name and a few lines of the text." And while the Pebble doesn't take photos, you can use it to trigger the camera on your phone, so you can take photos of yourself from across the room. Carol thinks the Pebble watch will be especially appealing to women. "I carry my phone in my pocketbook, and I don't want to have to haul it out every time I hear a buzz or a ring or something, and I can just look at my wrist." And it's a watch, too. You can download other basic apps to your Pebble watch, including fitness apps that will let the watch track how far you run, for example.
And Consumer Reports expects more apps to be developed for the Pebble.
I'm Martha Koloskiand that's today's On Your Side. ."

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