Alleged pictures of Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch emerge

Samsung is set to launch its Galaxy Gear smartwatch on September 4 | Google buys smartwatch maker.

VentureBeat has published what it says are photos of Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch, due to be unveiled September 4 (September 5 NZT; a date that's seen by some as a spoiler for the launch of Apple's next iPhone, which is tipped for September 11).

The photos are said to be stills taken from a promotional video, shot by a company working with Samsung.

VentureBeat calls the gadget "a blocky health tracker with a camera." Read the site's full report here.

As smartphone and tablet sales begin to level off, smartwatches are seen by some as the Next Big Thing.

Apple, Microsoft and LG are among other companies tipped said to be developing smartwatches.

On his Technologizer blog, Time magazine's Harry McCracken points out smartwatches have been tried before. "Microsoft’s SPOT watches were remarkably crummy, and went absolutely nowhere in the market. Fossil’s Palm OS-based Wrist PDA fared no better. Dick Tracy would not be pleased," he writes.

So far, Google's signature wearable Android device has been its Google Glass smart glasses, now nearing commercial release.