The Baselworld 2017, dubbed as the "world watch and jewelry show" is in full gear, and Samsung is poised to use it as a venue to let everyone take a peek at its very intriguing concept: a pocket watch. Yes, you read that right.
Samsung's Hybrid Gear S3 Pocket Watch
Samsung just unveiled via a press release the three new series of concepts from Yvan Arpa, a Swiss watch designer, inspired by the company's own line of Gear S3 smartwatches. The concepts include a pocket watch hybrid version of the Gear S3, which is such an odd phrase in this day and age. But "concept" is the key term here, and reactions suggest that such a concept intrigues as much as it baffles.
Samsung is playing the laconic card, however, offering very little details about the pocket watches in question. Reinventing the long-lost necessity of pocket watches by giving it more updated internals should have probably been enough of an innovation. But Arpa went further ahead: not only are the internals of the Gear S3 inside the pocket watch enclosing, he even repurposed the back of the case for a classic mechanical clock movement altogether.
In addition to being a pocket watch per se, the lid also functions as a compass, staying true to the whole theme.
"We understand that a watch is more than just a time keeper, it caters to personal style and interests," says Younghee Lee, Samsung's executive VP for global marketing, mobile communications business. "The Gear S3 is more than just a smartwatch, it is a beautifully designed watch that puts a timeless spin on the smartwatch category, crafted for both watch aficionados and tech enthusiasts."
According to Samsung, its partnership with Arpa is "a testament to Samsung's ongoing focus to push traditional boundaries and deliver meaningful innovations."
As TechCrunch reports, the idea of a similar device isn't novel; several others have taken a crack at it in the past, with varying levels of mileage, to note. But no one other than Samsung has decided to commit to creating a niche concept the likes of pocket watches.
Will They Ever Grow Beyond Being A Concept?
The big question is if these devices will ever see the light of day, and by extension, will reach consumers on a commercial level. In spite of the slim likelihood of that ever happening, however, there's isn't much of a smartwatch audience to rattle — the wearable industry isn't as big as the smartphone, where a bold move like this could fail to take off.
The Smartwatch Industry
But this is the time to introduce quirks. While many companies are incurring inroads in smartphone development, the industry itself is pronouncing less than stellar sales figures. Drought, or the hints of a forthcoming one, usually compel the key players to introduce bold new ideas, risky as they may be. Samsung, it looks like, is taking the first plunge to challenge the smartwatch status quo.
What isn't clear for now is whether smartwatches can mimic the growth of smartphones, which were once perceived as luxury devices at best before rapidly becoming an essential and core part of everyone's productivity workflow. Simply put, smartphones are now can't-live-without-devices for the modern person; smartwatches are not — at least not yet — and there's no telling if it will ever be.