Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Samsung Taps Dick Tracy and the Jetsons to Help Sell Its Galaxy Gear Watch

It’s not clear yet whether customers want the smartwatch that Samsung has built. But there’s no doubt that Americans have long been fascinated with wrist-worn tech.


Samsung plays this up in one of its initial Galaxy Gear ads, which traces the obsession through its TV roots. Indeed, the notion of wrist-based communications has played roles on everything from “Star Trek” and “The Jetsons” to “Dick Tracy” and “Inspector Gadget.”

All those shows and more play a cameo in the Samsung spot, which is posted on YouTube. A second spot traces the same evolution in slightly different form.

Of course, how the Galaxy Gear lines up with science fiction and TV fantasy is another question. The device is a smartphone companion that, for now, is limited to working in conjunction with the Galaxy Note III. It displays texts and emails and can even mirror the phablet’s screen, but it is clearly being marketed as a phone accessory rather than something that the modern-day Dick Tracy can use for all his technology needs.

Much of the Twitter commentary Sunday was on how cool the commercials are as compared to the rather lackluster reviews of the product itself. Some, including Matthew Panzarino, also pointed out the similarity between the Galaxy Gear spot and the approach Apple took in its first iPhone advertisements.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald