Being one of the co-founders of Apple alongside the late Steve Jobs, it comes as no surprise that Steve Wozniak is tech crazy (and also just plain crazy), embracing everything from Android to Windows Phone to Google Glass to smartwatches.
The typically outspoken chap reckons there is some merit in the smartwatch concept, but says that merit is not evidenced in the “worthless” Samsung Galaxy Gear.
Speaking at the Flying Car innovation conference in Milwaukee last week, big beardo says he was less than impressed with Samsung’s first foray into wearable tech, a sector that’s repeatedly tipped to explode over the next few years.
“That was the only technology I bought to experiment with that I threw out after half a day, sold it on eBay because it was so worthless and did so little that was convenient,” Wozniak says of the Samsung Galaxy Gear, which launched at IFA 2013 last September.
Samsung initially claimed to have “reinvented the watch”, a classic case of marketing hyperbole, and indeed even Samsung went on to concede – just a few weeks after launch – that it “lacks something special”.
Or, as Wozniak puts it: “You had to hold it up to your ear and stuff.”
It’s largely accepted (by me) that this first wave of Android wearables is largely intended to pre-empt the launch of the iWatch.
See, the tablet concept wasn’t entirely original when Apple launched the iPad, but the Californians successfully – against all logic – popularised the idea of a giant phone without phone capabilities.
Similarly, the iWatch will likely be the first big name in smartwatches, the one that suddenly makes people wonder how they lived without a watered-down wrist-based smartphone.
As such, Apple's rivals are clearly trying to stake their claim before that happens, hence utterly pointless devices like the Samsung Galaxy Gear.
“When one company does one thing very strikingly different, and everybody says this company got it right, this is the way of the future,” purrs Woz.
“In the past, it’s been Apple a number of times—not always. So I’m really hoping that Apple’s the big breakthrough.”