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Just because Samsung is looking to bury the hatchet with competitor Apple, that doesn’t mean that the two won’t still be fiercely competitive when it comes to its new smartphones. Today, Bloomberg posted an interview from CES with Samsung executive vice president Lee Young Hee, who explained that the Galaxy S5 will likely be heading for store shelves this coming April. Along with that, the company will also be releasing a new, streamlined version of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, made to work specifically with Samsung’s smartphones.

So what kinds of improvements will be made to the Galaxy Gear? Lee says it’ll have “more advanced functions, and the bulky design will also be improved.” Moreover, the Gear smartwatch will also add more health-monitoring functions, like caloric intake, heart rate, and stress levels.

As for the Galaxy S5 itself, that might include some biometric recognition tech, similar to that of the iPhone 5s’s somewhat controversial fingerprint scanner. Always looking to copy and then one-up the competition, apparently Samsung might shove an eye-scanner into the thing.

Said Lee:

“Many people are fanatical about iris recognition technology. We are studying the possibility but can’t really say whether we will have it or not on the S5.”

Additionally, the design of the new handset will apparently “go back to the basics,” and will seek to make a big change from the S4’s design in terms of the device’s display and “the feel of the cover.” What that might actually entail is anybody’s guess, but maybe it’ll go with a curved display after all. Though, that’s not really going back to basics, is it?

I’m keen to find out what the new Galaxy Gear will look like. I’m still unconvinced that wearables are the next-big-thing in tech, but there’s enough news and juice about them that they’re hard to ignore. And if the secondary devices actually start to offer up functions that seem worthwhile, I might be able to figure out a reason to get a smartwatch. There’s no way to know whether or not these things are actually the future of tech unless more OEMs make them. Hopefully Samsung will figure out a way to make the Gear more than just a superfluous accessory.


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