Samsung wearables rumors: An Android-based smartwatch & new AR glasses

While the rumor mill might not be the most reliable source of information, it sometimes hints about potential projects. A couple of well-known leakers on Twitter have tweeted about what Samsung has up its sleeves in the wearable segment.

Let’s start with the product that’s more likely to surface first: a new smartwatch.

Will Samsung make an Android comeback?

Samsung ditched Android Wear (now Wear OS) back in 2014 when it launched the Gear 2 line. But according to Ice Universe and SamMobileSamsung plans to revisit offering Android on its smartwatch. 

Ice Universe’s words their tweet to refer to Android instead of Wear OS, suggesting Samsung might be using a customized version of Android instead of relying on Wear OS.

Not much else is known about what the new smartwatch could be. But GalaxyClub reported two model numbers that hint at Samsung releasing a smartwatch in two sizes. It doesn’t mention the software the wearables will use, though.

Why would Samsung make the switch now? 

The Tizen-based smartwatches are known for better power efficiency and performance. But these are lacking when it comes to app availability

Despite Wear OS not really putting up as big a fight against Apple, it does have a better ecosystem of apps than what Samsung’s Linux-based operating system offers. Maybe the company thinks it’s worth the tradeoff now. And Google will be more than happy for Samsung to inject some fresh blood into its wearable ecosystem.

Introducing Glasses Lite?

As for Samsung’s augmented reality glasses, this rumor is a two-parter. One of them seems farther along in the development process, while the other is more theoretical in nature.

WalkingCat shared a couple of videos that 9to5Google pointed out look more like conceptual videos than actual products coming out soon. The Glass Lite video even gets the caption R&D Vision Concept ?.

At the start of the clip, you see the title card, Samsung Glasses Lite. The video has the feel of Samsung’s usual product videos, giving us a look at the product and what it can do.

Samsung Glasses Lite at work (Source: WalkingCat/Twitter)

It gives a good look at sunglasses with thicker frames but not too clunky as AR glasses from other companies. You can see a transparent screen embedded into the lenses, and the top edge of the lenses is blacked out to hide the components.

As for its use cases, Samsung offers a few typical scenarios we expect AR glasses to work. We see it switch from playing a racing game to watching videos via what it calls Integrated Control or using a Galaxy Watch to switch between the modes.

Integrated Control also allows the person in the video to switch from watching a film on the glasses to Dex Display, where they reply to an email using a physical keyboard. Simultaneously, a floating desktop appears in front of him to show the email they’re typing.

The clip also showed a Video Call scenario and a New Dimension Display that shows the user controlling a drone with a flight HUD.

Samsung Glasses Lite function as regular sunglasses, too. (Source: WalkingCat/Twitter)

The Glasses Lite also gets a Sunglasses Mode that turns the frames into actual sunglasses by hiding the AR displays and tinting them.

Samsung’s Next Wearable Computing vision

As we mentioned, the second leaked video looks more like a concept Samsung is exploring when it comes to implementing augmented reality technology.

If you’ve seen Microsoft HoloLens videos, then this scenario might seem familiar.

The video on these Samsung AR Glasses focuses on work and virtual collaboration. The shape of the glasses looks similar to the ones seen in the Glasses Lite video.

It shows an AR Office where the user types on a projected keyboard, and then it allows them to zoom into what looks like floor plans. From there, they enter into a Holo Call with a couple of full-body virtual guests. All of them enter an AR Simulation of the room or store they’re designing. 

As Engadget pointed out, AR is still considered one of the “next technological frontiers.” Companies like Apple, Lenovo, and Microsoft invest resources into this technology to make it more viable. It makes sense that Samsung is, at least, thinking about what it wants to offer in the space.

For now, it still looks like it’ll be a long wait until we reach the point these videos offer.

We have to remind you that these are rumors, so these products may or may not see the light of day. But if they do, will you be interested? Sound off on our socials!