Samsung today announced its latest smartwatch, the Gear Live. Unlike Samsung’s previous smartwatches, the Gear, Gear 2, and Gear Fit, this isn’t a Samsung-only, proprietary device. Instead, this is the first Samsung wearable device to use Google’s Android Wear. Android Wear is Google’s version of Android, and a collection of APIs and application functions, developed specifically for wearable devices.

Android Wear is intended

“…to help people get access to useful information the moment you need it, at a glance.”

according to Sundar Pichai, Senior VP for Android, Chrome and Apps.

Samsung says the Gear Live offers a simple and intuitive interface which shows targeted information and suggestions in real time. You can view SMS messages, posts and updates from social networking apps, chat sessions, and standard Android notifications on the face of the watch. You can even view photographs on the screen, although this wouldn’t seem to be the optimum display device. It accepts voice commands (using Google Now technology, not Samsung’s proprietary version). Say “OK Google” and interact with the phone as you would Google Now on your Android phone.

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From the hardware persepctive, Samsung has provided little information. Not surprisingly, it has a Super AMOLED display, but resolution, the size of the display (and of the watch itself) don’t appear to be available, yet. The watch will be available for sale in the Play Store later today, in Black or “Wine Red”, for about $200.

As with all smartwatches, the Gear Live needs to be paired with a smartphone (Android 4.3 or higher) for most of it’s functionality to work.

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