Aug. 6, 2013— -- Samsung appears to have thrown its hat into the smartwatch ring with the Samsung Galaxy Gear, a "wearable digital electronic device in the form of a wristwatch," alongside Apple, Google and Microsoft.
The electronics company filed for a U.S. trademark late last month and for patents with the Korean Intellectual Property Office earlier this year for the wristwatch device.
The Galaxy Gear has been in development for a while. Lee Young Hee, the executive vice president of Samsung, said last March, "We've been preparing the watch product for so long."
But it's not the company's first foray into the watch market. It released the S9110 in 2009 and the SPH-WP10 in 1999.
According to the trademark application, the device offers Internet and email access, and can make and receive phone calls. The Korean blog MovePlayer posted several of the patents' technical drawings.
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Rather than stand alone, the Galaxy Gear is expected to act as a companion device to the Galaxy S family of tablets and smartphones. Unlike Pebble's smartwatch, which works with both iOS and Android devices through its app, the Galaxy Gear will likely come preloaded with Android.
Many of the major smartphone makers seem to be gearing up for the war of the wrist. Apple is said to be working on an iWatch, which will pair with an iPhone and display notifications on the wearable device. Apple trademarked the term "iWatch" in July and Apple CEO Tim Cook has called the wrist is an interesting "space."
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Although no official reveal date has been announced for Samsung's Galaxy Gear, rumors say that the watch will premiere at a Samsung event on Sept. 4 in Berlin. In addition to the Gear, Samsung is also likely to showcase the next version of its tablet, the Galaxy Note III, at the Berlin event.