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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.
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