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SAN FRANCISCO — For Samsung, wearable devices are all about “glanceability.”

Speaking onstage at Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored event, Samsung VP and head of design Dennis Miloseski explained that the company’s approach to wearable devices comes from the idea that we should be able to glance at them — and spend more time not looking at them.

“We actually pull our phones out of our pocket 150 times a day,” he said.

This means that we spend a tremendous amount of time not only pulling them out, but also looking at them. As part of its research, his team walked around San Francisco observing people too caught up in their phones to look around — one person even walked into a pole, Miloseski said.

“We started to a see a growing trend around … glanceability. We asked, ‘Can we build a glanceable future?’ It was about having the right information at the right time,” he said.

Miloseski then applied this to the common example of location-based check-ins: “Why do I have to take my phone out, unlock it, launch an app, and check in on Foursquare?”

In a glanceable world, a person would just raise their wrist, tap a button, and that’s it — they’d be checked in.

New technologies such as haptic feedback (such as an Apple Watch vibrating while you walk to tell you to turn left) also simplify things: Devices signal you when you do need to check them.

It should be noted that Samsung has now announced six separate smartwatches in the span of a bit more than a year, with the Gear S being the latest.

This naturally raises the question of whether or not these glanceable devices will work. The fact that they’re smaller, more efficient in showing us information, and easier to glance at might mean that we spend less time looking at them.

Or it could mean that we check them even more.


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