Samsung Gears Up To Make Health-Related Announcement

Will it be a new smartwatch, health partnership, or none of the above?

Samsung is gearing up to make a health-related announcement Wednesday morning from San Francisco in an event called Voice of the Body.

Thus far, the Korean electronics company has been mum on details, but as is the case when a tech giant sends out invitations to the media, speculation is rampant. The timing is certainly intriguing, as it will give Samsung a leg up ahead of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference next week. Apple is widely expected to launch a fitness-tracking app called Healthbook at the conference.

Samsung's health announcement could possibly be yet another smartwatch. On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported the company was developing a standalone smartwatch that can purportedly make and receive calls, shoot photos, send emails, monitor heart rate, and more. Samsung already has four smartwatch models on the market, but all of them are dependent on smartphones to make calls or browse the web. Though an emerging category, smartwatches have yet to find mainstream appeal, something that can be attributed to their clunkiness. It's also possible Samsung might announce updates to the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit, which were unveiled at Mobile World Congress.

Less likely is a virtual-reality headset. Samsung is rumored to be developing a lower-priced Oculus Rift competitor that will be powered by new Galaxy devices, Engadget reported last week. However, because this device is catered toward gaming, it doesn't fit with the theme of tomorrow's announcement.

According to Re/code, there won't be any new products at all. The event will be hosted by Samsung's Strategy and Innovation Center, which invests in and partners with companies. It's possible Samsung could tout another health partnership. Earlier this year, it teamed up with the University of California San Francisco to validate new sensors, algorithms, and other health technologies.

[Image: Flickr user John Biehler]

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