Samsung to Release Improved Galaxy Gear and Eye-Tracking Galaxy S5 in April

Alex Spencer

Samsung Galaxy GearThis April, Samsung will launch the next iteration of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch alongside the Galaxy S5, which may incorporate eye detection technology, according to a Bloomberg interview with mobile executive vice president Lee Young Hee.

In the interview, Lee confirmed that the manufacturer is “studying the possibility but can’t really say whether we will have it or not on the S5.”

Meanwhile, the next model of the Gear looks intended to address common criticisms of the original, by introducing more advanced functions and improving on its “bulky design”.

Hee also teased that Samsung would announced at least one more wearable device this year, without specifying what, although the smart money would surely be on a pair of smart glasses.

The Galaxy S4 or S3 - could you confidently identify this handset?Alex Spencer writes:
After Samsung's recent pre-earnings guidance report for Q4 2013, which showed a minor growth on last year's revenues and a five per cent drop in profits, these announcements gave a sign of where the manufacturer is headed in 2014: namely, trying to innovate a little more.

With each new smartphone announcement being harder and harder to distinguish from the previous incarnation, and from the competition's offering, it's easy to cry for more innovation in the industry.

But there's a difference between innovation – which by definition has to address a need, whether existing or new – and gimmicks.

The fingerprint reader Apple introduced with the iPhone 5S – which almost certainly has a bearing on Samsung investigating eye detection technology for its own flagship handset – helped make a lot of headlines back in September, but has it really changed how people interact with the technology? It's not something I've heard users discussing. In the end perhaps all the fingerprint reader achieved was helping tell people the difference between two devices which, on the surface, are remarkably similar.

It's true that the step between Samsung's Galaxy S3 and S4 handsets was minimal, which many people have identified as a factor in the company's disappointing results, as consumers saw little reason to upgrade.

But perhaps the problem isn't that we need more tangible differences between releases, but the big fuss we make of each yearly update to a familiar formula.