Google Glass vs Samsung Galaxy Gear – Wearable Computing Battle Begins

Even though I cannot refer to the Google Glass as a rival of Samsung, I can still compare the two devices, considering that both of them are wearables. And I must say that the resemblances between the two gadgets are a lot more than you could imagine. Despite the distinctive design of each, there’s not much worth mentioning. As a difference you can note the embodiment obviously and the looks, but both of them can be mostly operated through voice and both of them deliver a questionable type or amount of data. So, I have decided to put the two of them in tests and establish where it would be best to wear such a device: on my hand or on my face.

So, these gadgets were built as companions for mobile devices but since we’re talking about it, I could tell you that Google Glass is more reliable when it comes to using it without a phone. While both of them can connect through Bluetooth to your smartphone and use its data network, the Google Glass is the only one capable of operating through its own Wi-Fi connection.

Of course, using them with a smartphone can definitely improve your experience. You can use them both either for voice-texting or displaying texts or as a hands-free. For the latter one though, you would need a data connection. So far, I have considered Google’s voice recognition patterns to be way better than those of Samsung, but now the company claims that they have worked over and improved the voice recognition patterns. I can’t wait to test it and see for myself what Samsung did with it.

You can also use voice recognition in other areas, but the Glass uses it more. Actually, the devices can be operated as well this way: just tilt its head to wake it up, then the OK Glass.. followed by the voice instructions. Of course, in order to reach content or the message history, you would have to interact with its track pad.

On the other hand, Samsung’s gadget uses primarily the touch interface and secondly the voice recognition. Seems logic considering the positioning of the two gadgets on your body. From my experience I can tell you that it is better to have a device equally operable through both voice and touch. I do have to give credits to Samsung for doing such a good job in pairing the smartwatch UI with that of the smartphone.

As for the hardware part, the specifications are similar. While the Glass can capture 5 MP pictures, the Samsung’s camera can offer you a preview image of your shot which makes it easier to operate. On the Google Glass you can only estimate the positioning of the image. Despite this downside, the Glass can optionally extend its video resolution from 720p to as much as you want, as long as the storage capacity can permit you. Samsung’s device only has 4 GB and Google’s Glass has 12 GB.

One of my favorite features on the Google Glass is that it can guide you through GPS in a very simple and correct manner. All you have to do after positioning your phone is to tap the GPS and then let it guide you by car or by foot with directions placed up on your eyeline. Samsung’s wristwatch has nearly the same pair of sensors but uses them differently.

Another thing you should know about Samsung’s wristwatch is that you cannot ask it for directions nor perform web searches, but you can still open the Pocket list and open articles you have previously read and saved via text-to-speech. Google Glass on the other hand is able to perform web searches.

Now let’s talk about fitness tracking and health, where Samsung’s wristwatch holds its best scores. Samsung increased the accuracy of the measurements by incorporating a pedometer and specific ties with apps like MyFitness Pal an RunKeeper, while on the Memographer you can keep a journal of your activities and photos.

But in the other corner, the Google Now is able to track footsteps. At the beginning of every month, you will receive on your phone a Now card which compares the number of steps taken this month with the one obtained in the previous month. The downside is that the data doesn’t come more detailed than that, and neither how many steps you have made in a certain time-frame.

Since I started talking about Samsung’s Gear strong points I could also mention the easy app access. The company has already been working on, along with several developers, in the development of a Galaxy Gear app store which is expected to be up and running by the end of September, when the device will be launched. Google Glass only has support for apps such as Twitter, Facebook, Path and a rudimentary Evernote. But in contrast with the Galaxy Gear, Google did some developing of their own and incorporated a basic web browser which, as mentioned above, Samsung’s Gear doesn’t have.

The Google panel is smaller than that of the Galaxy Gear, considering that it is practically a piece of Glass floating in your eye-line, but the experience is better than that of Samsung’s 1.63 inch panel. Pretty logic considering that it is closer to your eye than the wristwatch display. Even the resolution is better. While the Galaxy Gear sports a resolution 360 x 360, the Google Glass goes for a 640 x 360 resolution and responds better in bright light than the Galaxy Gear. However, I haven’t yet seen what the Super AMOLED display is capable of outside.

Now that the Google Glass is out, I can’t wait to see what Google will come up with next, especially when they have just confirmed the acquisition of WIMM Labs, the smartwatch developer. Even though they haven’t said exactly what will they be using the team for, I have a strong good feeling about this.

Of course, one of the main factors when deciding over such a gadget is also the price. The Google Glass comes out of the box at the price of $1,500, while Samsung Gear could comes around $200. However, none of the companies confirmed the price yet so these are just suppositions heard here and there.

By next year, however, you won’t be able to buy the Glass. But at the end of this month you might see the Gear out and running, as well as the Galaxy Note 3.

I will come back with a full hands on versus review as soon as I get to test Samsung’s Galaxy Gear.