NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Forget boring old phones and tablets. Smartwatches are the hottest trend in tech, and Samsung is jumping into the market with the new Galaxy Gear.
The Gear watch links up with smartphones to give users notifications when they receive a call, text message or e-mail. Samsung co-CEO JK Shin unveiled the smartwatch at the IFA consumer tech conference in Berlin on Wednesday.
Samsung didn’t announce many details about the watch early in its event, but Shin said the 8-millimeter-thick Gear will be available Sept. 25. The Gear runs on Google’s Android operating system.
Shin called the Gear a “perfect companion” to the Galaxy Note III smartphone, which Samsung also revealed Wednesday.
“We really focused on how the Galaxy Note III feels in your hand,” Shin said of the slimmer, faster Galaxy Note III. Samsung also unveiled a new Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet.
Like the Gear, both the new tablet and new smartphone will also launch Sept. 25.
Samsung will face loads of competition in the smartwatch space. Startup Pebble smashed fundraising records on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, and big tech firms such as Motorola, Sony and Casio have released their own watches. Behemoth Apple is strongly rumored to be releasing an “iWatch,” and Google rumors are swirling as well.
The smartwatch innovations come as consumer tech evolves past phones, laptops and tablets. Fitness companies pioneered the field of wearable devices, with Nike launching its Nike Plus running sensor way back in 2006.
The products have become more tech-heavy since then: The current slate of wearables includes highly specific trackers focused on heart rate, exercise intensity and sleep patterns, as well as more futuristic applications like the eyeglass-computer Google Glass.
Smartwatches, however, have come under particular scrutiny, with critics questioning whether the devices will drum up enough consumer interest to become mainstream must-haves.