As great as smartwatches are, their very size means that we often have to compromise on things such as screen size, battery life, and more. Now, Samsung it seems is trying to squeeze a little more screen out of a small smartwatch after it has filed for a patent on a new smartwatch rim display. This display would add a second screen to your smartwatch around the rim of the watch.
The patent application was initially discovered by Patently Mobile, and it describes a display around the edge of the watch much like a single-line scrolling display you see at airports, train stations and even along the bottom of your television during newscasts and sporting events. “Last week the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Samsung that puts a new twist to flexible displays. Up until now Samsung’s Patents relating to flexible displays have been primarily in context with future bendable, foldable and/or scrollable smartphones and tablets. On Thursday a Samsung patent came to light that revealed a secondary display being added to Samsung’s Gear smartwatch around the rotary dial area first introduced in Gear 2. However, the watch could be a new edition rather than a replacement. In this current design, Samsung notes that the rotation of the display is limited to 90 degrees.”
Many believe this is simply an evolution of the bezel twisting that was first introduced with the Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch. Currently, turning the bezel allows calls to be answered, volume to be adjusted, and app lists to be scrolled. With a screen size so small, you can expect that it will only be a single line of information, but it still could provide you with useful information and even be used to change the information output of the main watch screen.
Here’s a little information straight from the patent application to wet your whistle: “A smart watch comprising: a body portion having an upper surface and a side surface adjacent to the upper surface; a front display panel disposed over the upper surface of the body portion and comprising a round edge when viewed from a front direction; a side display panel disposed over the side surface of the body portion and curved to surround the edge when viewed from the front direction; a driver circuit board disposed over the side surface of the body portion, wherein the driver circuit board comprises a first pad area adjacent to the front display panel and a second pad area facing an end of the side display panel; a first conductive film configured to connect the first pad area and the front display panel; and a second conductive film configured to connect the second pad area and an end of the side display panel.”
This idea is definitely an interesting take on smartwatch design, but since the patent has just been applied for it looks like we will have to wait a bit before we see it reach a final design ready to be released to the public.
What do you think about this new design from Samsung? Do you think it will be a hit or is it more of a novelty that won’t really provide any real usefulness to a smartwatch? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.