Galaxy Gear Companion Phone App Confirms NFC Pairing

After a slew of leaks about the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch endeavor in recent days, a newly leaked pair of screenshots for the watch’s companion smartphone app shows that users can pair with the watch by using NFC, or near field communications, on their smartphone.

This will suggest that Samsung will likely continue to offer NFC support on its line of phones, and that NFC support can potentially extend beyond just the company’s high-end and mid-range smartphones in the future as Samsung pushes its smartwatch ambitions.

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NFC helps to facilitate the Bluetooth pairing process between smartphones and accessories. Nokia had long relied on NFC for this purpose while rivals had banked on NFC for sharing or to help with digital wallet and digital payment technology. In using NFC for pairing, devices could authenticate with each other automatically when a user taps them together. In this way, users don’t need to enter a PIN or passcode when pairing, thus simplifying the process while still keeping things secure.

The screenshots were leaked by @evleaks and show that the watch would carry the model number of SM-V700. The screenshots indicate that Samsung would release a companion app to allow users to have control over features of the smartwatch, likely which notifications to push from phone to watch and the frequency of notifications. For instance, users can enable email and SMS notifications, disable Twitter alerts, and have select Facebook notifications pushed to the watch.

And though the ease of use is there, there are still questions about the smartwatch. An earlier leak yesterday suggests that the Galaxy Gear would have a battery life of just ten hours each day, which could be too short for many users and would require the consumer to charge both the phone and the watch each night.

The Galaxy Gear is expected to debut at a private press event at the IFA show in Berlin on September 4th alongside the Galaxy Note 3 phablet. Rival Apple may not have its smartwatch ready until 2014; the iWatch was recently speculated to not be ready until the second half of 2014, which means that the device may not be released until the iPhone 6 gets announced.

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