Excuse me. I just wanted to ask: did you know I was taking a picture of you with my watch?”

This is what I asked a barista at a coffee shop near work, because, moments before, that’s exactly what I did. Wearing a smartwatch on my wrist, I captured a snapshot of the barista making my coffee.

“No, but I heard the sound of a camera phone snapping,” he replied, referencing the distinctive sound effect that the smartwatch makes. The smartwatch, in this case, was the Samsung Galaxy Gear, which was about to be released in the US. The sound effect, which cannot be deactivated, actually served a purpose as it made capturing photos less inconspicuous.

Having a camera on a watch may seem like an unusual feature. However, it does have its practical applications. The Gear’s camera, with 1.9 megapixels and 4GB of storage, surprisingly delivers decent image quality. Despite its functionality, most individuals would still prefer using their smartphones for photography due to the watch’s slower performance.

The introduction of a camera on a smartwatch is indeed a significant advancement. Unlike other smartwatches in the market, the Gear stands out with its embedded camera. The potential uses for this feature are intriguing, such as scanning barcodes or capturing visual reminders associated with events.

While the Gear boasts various features like health tracking, notifications, and voice commands that are commonly found in other devices, the camera sets it apart. It represents a new direction in wearable technology, similar to the concept behind smart glasses like Glass. Both aim to integrate cameras into everyday devices, offering assistance and convenience to users.

The discreet nature of the Gear as a watch makes it appealing for regular wear. However, the presence of a camera raises concerns about privacy and ethical use. The ability to take both photos and short videos discreetly underscores the growing ubiquity of cameras in our surroundings.

As technology continues to evolve, the integration of cameras into different devices will likely become more commonplace. While this may raise some social challenges, it also signifies a shift towards a more interconnected digital world.

If you are interested in exploring further details about the Samsung Galaxy Gear, please read CNET’s review.


  1. What is the standout feature of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch?

    • The standout feature of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch is its integrated camera.
  2. Can the camera sound effect on the Gear be disabled?

    • No, the camera sound effect on the Gear cannot be deactivated.
  3. How does the Gear’s camera performance compare to smartphones?

    • While the Gear’s camera offers decent quality, the slower performance makes smartphones a more preferred option for photography.
  4. What are some potential uses of the Gear’s camera?

    • The Gear’s camera can be used for tasks such as scanning barcodes and capturing visual notes linked to events.
  5. How does the Gear differentiate itself from other smartwatches?

    • The Gear sets itself apart by introducing an embedded camera, a feature not commonly found in other smartwatches.
  6. What implications does the Gear’s camera have for privacy?

    • The discreet nature of the Gear’s camera raises concerns about privacy and the ethical use of wearable cameras.
  7. How does the Gear contribute to the evolution of wearable technology?

    • The Gear, along with devices like Glass, signifies a new direction in wearable tech by integrating cameras into everyday devices for added functionality.
  8. What challenges may arise with the increasing presence of cameras in various gadgets?

    • The growing ubiquity of cameras in devices like smartwatches may pose social challenges regarding privacy and surveillance.
  9. Why is the discreet design of the Gear appealing for everyday use?

    • The Gear’s watch-like appearance makes it convenient for regular wear, blending seamlessly into daily activities.
  10. How does the Gear reflect the advancement of digital technology?

    • The Gear exemplifies the ongoing evolution of technology, showcasing how cameras are becoming more pervasive in our connected digital world.
  11. How does the Gear compare to other smart gadgets like Glass?

    • The Gear shares similarities with devices like Glass, as both aim to introduce cameras into new contexts and enhance user experiences through innovative features.
  12. What does the integration of cameras into devices signify for the future of technology?

    • The integration of cameras into devices like the Gear indicates a trend towards a more interconnected digital landscape, where capturing moments and accessing information seamlessly are key components.


The Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch created a buzz with its unique feature—a built-in camera. This innovative addition allowed users to discreetly capture photos and video clips. While the camera functionality opened up new possibilities for scanning codes and recording visual memos, it also raised concerns about privacy and surveillance. The Gear’s design as a watch made it convenient for everyday wear, but the presence of a camera highlighted the ongoing integration of technology into our daily lives. As cameras become more prevalent in various gadgets, the challenges of balancing convenience with ethical use and privacy considerations come to the forefront. The Gear, along with similar devices like Glass, symbolizes the evolution of wearable technology and the seamless integration of cameras into our interconnected digital world. Explore the world of wearable cameras and stay tuned for the latest updates on tech innovations.