Just a few days ago, I casually polled other people at CNET for their predictions on what Samsung could make next. The Korean company seems willing and able to make anything that anyone else can think of -- be it a gold smartphone, a smartwatch, or a flexible phone. The first response I got was that Samsung could come out with a cheap knockoff of Google Glass.
Well, guess what new Samsung product is now rumored to be coming out next spring?
Eldar Murtazin, a blogger, analyst, and sometimes leaker, issued this tweet late Sunday that declared the coming of a Korean version of Google's augmented-reality eyewear:
Samsung developing own version of Google Glass. We will see it (probably) around april-may under Gear Glass brand— Eldar Murtazin (@eldarmurtazin) October 7, 2013
Murtazin's predictions don't always come 100 percent true, but he definitely seems to have some solid sources at Samsung that have delivered in the past. It certainly makes sense for the company to take a shot at getting in on the Glass game, given the sustained hype around Google's product that's been ongoing for almost a year and a half at this point.
But there's one thing in this particular rumor that gives me pause -- the name.
I'll be shocked if Samsung so blatantly rips off the Glass name. This is a company that likes to drown its products in its own branding, marketing, and irritating software. The only way "Gear Glass" makes sense to me is if it were to be done in partnership with Google, like the Google Play version of the Galaxy S4.
If that's what is actually in the works -- a Samsung-branded version of Google Glass that could be packaged with a new Samsung Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Gear watch this spring, all for under say ... $700 with a carrier contract -- then this rumor definitely has my attention.
Of course, it could also be that this rumor is total bunk, or that the name "Gear Glass" is more of a codename and not the official name of a Glass knockoff in the works. Or maybe I'm wrong and Samsung would have no qualms with ripping off the name.
Last we heard was that Google Glass won't be coming out until 2014. We'll see if it rolls out direct from Google first, or if it launches for consumers in all kinds of "flavors" like Warby Parker Glass and perhaps "Gear Glass."
Let us know in the comments who you'd like to see make their own version of Glass, be it Samsung or another name.