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Samsung's answer to the Digital Crown is a rotating metal bezel

By Shawn Knight
May 13, 2015
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  1. samsung apple watch digital crown apple sdk tizen watch ui smartwatch smart watch bezel apple watch digital crown rotating bezel tizen os gear a project orbis

    With the simple but practical Digital Crown on its first wearable, Apple solved a dilemma that no other manufacturer had been able to: how to navigate a smartwatch UI without obstructing the small screen. Touch works fine on a smartphone or tablet but it’s simply not practical on a tiny watch display.

    I mention that because Samsung recently released its next-gen smartwatch SDK to developers. As SamMobile notes, the SDK includes a wealth of documentation, sample apps and explanations regarding the company’s next Gear smartwatch, codenamed Project Orbis.

    The device will feature a 1.18-inch circular display with a resolution of 360 x 360 (305 PPI), a 2G data connection and will run Samsung’s homegrown Tizen OS. It’ll also come loaded with a bevy of sensors including GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, heartbeat sensor, pressure sensor and magnetic sensor.

    samsung apple watch digital crown apple sdk tizen watch ui smartwatch smart watch bezel apple watch digital crown rotating bezel tizen os gear a project orbis

    But what’s interesting here is the way users will interact with it. The wearable will feature a metal bezel that, when turned, can be used to navigate the UI, adjust volume, zoom in and out of photos and so on. It’s similar in theory to the Digital Crown (turning a dial for navigation) but it’s on the watch face instead of on the side of the smartwatch.

    Most expect Project Orbis – perhaps called the Gear A – to arrive alongside the Galaxy Note 5 at IFA 2015 in September.

    All images via SamMobile

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,609   +295

    Digital Bezel instead of Crown. I'd think the bezel would get moved accidentally more easily. Unless it's like divers bezels on some watches that have hard clicks to keep them in place, but then that wouldn't be a very nice mechanism for navigation. I guess if it is disabled when the watch is in "sleep" or "screen off" mode then it might be a better implementation of a crown controller.
     
  3. NeurotechHD

    NeurotechHD TS Rookie Posts: 61   +19

    Hmm, yeah, that would seemingly solve the problem - but that would mean needing to manually turn off the watch's screen after every glance/ use. I'd rather they make it touch-activated, like how a touchscreeen needs a small conductive charge of a human finger before it works.

    This does seem like a much better solution than the Apple Watch's digital crown; much more intuitive.
     
  4. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,906   +954

    well, no. Just look at any other limited input GUI around and there have been plenty of solutions around for 15+ years. We act like embedded computers are a new thing, they are not. People have been using turn dials on radios for over 100 years. Hell, things like a turn dial can be traced back to the antikythera mechanism which is well over 2000 years old

    Essentially Apple took an idea that's thousands of years old and is being praised for "coming up with someone no one else could". Hell, how old is a turn dial on a watch? The mechanical watch was invented in the 1500's so the idea of a turn dial on a watch is another 500 years old.

    And after all that, what in the world is a smart watch actually suppose to do? Tell me I got a text? Tell me what time it is? Show me pictures that are too small to see on that tiny screen? And the whole health thing is fubar, there have been fitness trackers out for 10 years now that function more accurately than apples smartwatch. Nothing about the smartwatch is new. It isn't even the first attempt at the smart watch.

    Sure, Apple makes some good products, but can we please stop pretending that they are full of infinite wisdom? Because that's really what pisses me and most consumers off about Apple. They take ideas that have been around for years(in this case thousands) and claiming it as their own. And then the masses are flocking to it as one of the most innovative products around. It's a nice looking gimmicky watch, that's all it is.
     
    wiyosaya likes this.
  5. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,043   +274

    I second the motion!
     
  6. Adam1

    Adam1 TS Rookie Posts: 28

    rotating bezels are nothing new on watches, I'm surprised its been this long to come out. If normal watches can be made with rotating bezels, these certainly can without a problem.
     
  7. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,609   +295

    Indeed, don't think I said anything to the contrary other than I'm not sure if the mechanism will be free moving and smooth or have click stops like traditional bezels on watches. Click stops wouldn't be as nice for easy navigation and smooth movement would be too easy to move accidentally. I guess moving the bezel won't wake/operate the watch without some other imput first to limit accidental operation. Will be interesting to see what system they come up with.
     

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