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Google smartwatch patent has camera underneath the display for some reason

We're assuming the camera would be for video chatting or very covert selfie-taking.

Published onAugust 27, 2019

Google Pixel Watch with Camera Mockup

Last year, the hype was big for a Google Pixel Watch to launch alongside the Google Pixel 3. However, we didn’t see a Google smartwatch at all last year and haven’t heard any reliable rumors to suggest we’ll see one this year, either.

However, just because there likely isn’t a Google smartwatch in the pipeline, doesn’t mean Google isn’t thinking about it. A new set of unearthed smartwatch patents (via Let’s Go Digital) prove that Google is at the very least working on launching a smartwatch at some point in the future.

Curiously, the patents suggest Google could put a camera either underneath the display or within a cutout of the display, similar to what we saw recently on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10. Check out the patent images below:

Google Smartwatch Patent Image

The patent itself is titled “Camera Watch,” which makes it pretty clear what Google has in mind.

However, a camera within the face of a Google smartwatch — or any watch — is pretty peculiar. If the camera lens itself is underneath the display — a technology we’ve only barely seen so far — one could feasibly conduct video calls on their watch, which would be totally cool. You could also take covert selfies or record social media videos without needing your phone.

This patent, though, is from 2017 (the confidentiality agreement expired on August 27, 2019). Back then, the idea of having a camera underneath a display was just a dream, so it seems very unlikely that that’s what Google had in mind. Instead, this camera is likely a cutout meaning the lens would be visible at all times when using the hypothetical Google smartwatch.

Related: Best Fitbit trackers and smartwatches

This seems like a poor choice of design as users would be very limited in what they could do with the camera since a huge percentage of already-limited screen real estate on the face of the watch would be taken up by the camera lens. This is likely why we haven’t seen anything come from this patent yet.

What do you think? Is a camera in your smartwatch something you want, or is this patent barking up the wrong tree? Let us know your opinions in the comments.

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