By the Blouin News Technology staff

Will the race for wearable tech create a new Apple?

by in Enterprise Tech, Personal Tech.

The new Galaxy Gear smartwatch stands on display at the Samsung stand at the IFA 2013 consumer electronics trade fair. Getty/ Sean Gallup

The new Galaxy Gear smartwatch stands on display at the Samsung stand at the IFA 2013 consumer electronics trade fair. Getty/ Sean Gallup

A report published on Friday said Intel and Microsoft are quietly working on developing wearable tech. The report said the two technology companies have teams assigned for “new devices” (a stealthy, purposely non-descriptive name). Apple has also been reported to be working on wearable tech. CEO Tim Cook has said that the space is “ripe for exploration”; Apple hired former YSL CEO Paul Deneve in July to work on special project for CEO Tim Cook. Deneve’s background led to speculation about the fact that he was brought on to develop a luxury iWatch.

Sony and Samsung have already released their smartwatches. The Galaxy Gear smartwatch, which hit shelves on September 25, received lackluster reviews, mainly for its limited functions. The watch served as a second phone-screen connected to the latest Samsung Galaxy models; it would make and receive phone calls, alert users of incoming emails and texts, and run most apps. Users could not update Facebook statuses or Tweet from the account. The battery lasted only a day. Most users and reviewers expected a more autonomous device with more surprising capabilities.

The Sony smartwatch was dubbed a “geek watch” by many reviews, as it failed to become popular in the mainstream despite it minimalist design and good reviews that praised its usefulness. The device — released in June and September — shows incoming calls, notifies users about texts and emails, and works on any Android phone. (An Android app needs to be installed to connect the phone to the watch.) The battery life is better than the Galaxy Gear, at four days, but it is too dependent on a Bluetooth connection to a smartphone nearby.

Even though some say Apple is behind for not having entered the smartwatch market like its competitor Samsung, the race for creating an autonomous watch the mainstream would want to wear still continues. Intel and Microsoft are following Apple’s example of silence about upcoming products. Now that more companies have witnessed the importance of design in Apple’s several-year reign on smartphones, tablets, and laptop, will Apple continue to be the leader in simplicity and user-centric design, or will another manufacturer take its place?