There’s money in them hills, and Samsung knows it. This past Thursday, the U.S. Patent office published the particulars of a Samsung patent application, filed last August, that describes a round faced smartwatch. At first glance, it appears to be not unlike the Moto 360, but then it dives into a different take on mounting and touch-less gesture support.
The description of the smartwatch offers next to nothing in terms of specifications and dimensions, we’ll have to wait for the FCC filing for that. Instead, we are treated to a long list of UI functionality, physical configurations and gesture based interactions.
A bunch of the renders include expected functionality and looks, including different watch faces, weather reports and fitness tracking/mapping with built-in features that could include a heart rate monitor.
Not seen in Today’s batch of smartwatches is Samsung’s proposed flexibility of mounting this unit. Taking it well beyond a watch, the round main unit can be removed from a wristband and attached to a clip, necklace, keychain and even utilized as a TV remote.
There is a camera built into the wristband, familiar to the original Galaxy Gear smartwatch, but mounted slightly lower on the band. The idea is to optimize the viewing experience for the user – plainly put, they want to ensure that the camera is looking where you are when the watch face is pointed straight at you. Let’s avoid the funky ‘twisted wrist to get the right shot’ problem some have expressed of earlier devices. In addition, images from the camera can be run through image/object recognition, barcode scanning and even text OCR with translations.
Finally, the built-in camera offers a new set of touch-less gestures to control the device. The patent goes on to explain many examples of finger and hand position detection and certain movement recognition. The interesting thing here is that with the camera mounted so low along the back side of the band, you perform the gestures below your watch attached arm, eliminating the need to obscure your own view of the display.
It is still early on, and this is only a patent application, but it is interesting to see where Samsung may be headed with their tech. Based off of what you see here, do you think Samsung will impress with their next generation of smartwatches?