Samsung had another stab at dominance in the electronic market on Wednesday (September 4) when it launched its smartwatch Galaxy Gear at an event in Berlin.

The phone will launch in over 140 countries on 25 September and will cost $300 (£191).

Samsung said the SmartWatch could be as revolutionary as the smartphone, but a source said the device would be no game changer. It would be more of a fashion accessory than a bid to redefine the genre.

Samsung CEO, JK Shin, said it is the "ultimate fashion item": "It gives you crystal clear tangible display and ultimate productivity in a beautiful package."

And the customers and user were delighted by the new gadget, especially by its size.

"The watch is very impressive," Simon Koch said. "It is elegant, smart, small, and above all - it can do everything. One could expect it was only good for sports or fitness or for just a small camera, but it can do everything. ... It remains to be seen what the customers and the users think of it. But I think the potential is huge. It is a bit like Google glass but on the wrist."

Sony is also launching a modest update of its Android-compatible SmartWatch, while heavyweights Apple and Google have shown signs of interest in developing such technology.

Galaxy fans say the potential is vast. The market for wearable devices such as smartwatches and digital eyewear could be $50 billion by 2017, according to Credit Suisse.

Wearable devices, the argument goes, could take over many of the more cumbersome functions of a smartphone while adding functions we can so far only dream of.

But wearables have remained a niche for early adopters, such as fans of Pebble Technology's crowd-funded smartwatch, which has sold 100,000 units since its launch earlier this year, or health and fitness enthusiasts embracing Nike's Fuelband or Under Armour's FitBit.

First, technological hurdles remain, such as powering the devices. Batteries will need to be between five and 10 times smaller than those in smartphones, say experts.

Then there is a need for better displays. Both Apple and Samsung are working on curved glass. This year Samsung is investing more than $6bn on displays and it plans to launch a curved mobile device later this year, a source says.

And wearing a device is not quite the same as carrying one. For one thing it has to be stylish and consumers need to develop a more personal relationship with a wearable device than a handheld one.

Presented by Adam Justice

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