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Touch-sensitive bezels for smartwatches could be coming soon

Huawei's new patent allows for eight zones that can recognize swipes, taps, and a "screw" motion. They are also pressure sensitive.

Published onJanuary 12, 2018

  • HUAWEI received a patent for touch-sensitive bezels from the World Intellectual Property Organization.
  • The patent shows eight individual zones which can act as buttons for a smartwatch.
  • The zones can sense swipes, taps, and a “screw” motion, and are pressure sensitive.

Huawei just received a patent on touch-sensitive bezels for smartwatches. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) issued the patent, which allows HUAWEI to add extra controls without the need for additional buttons. According to the patent, the edge of the watch will have eight zones that can send commands to the watch. The patent also allows triggering multiple zones at the same time.

The images indicate the bezel will have eight symmetrical zones around a circular watch face. The zones allow swipes and clicks, and appear to be pressure sensitive too. There is also a “screw” gesture mentioned, but it’s unclear if that would be reserved for a crown.

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A touch-sensitive bezel could completely change how we use smartwatches. Instead of swiping through screens and menus to open apps, these zones could act as quick recall buttons. They could also be used in place of touching on-screen menus. When you’re trying to tap something on a smartwatch, you often cover up the entire display. These zones could act as buttons to dismiss notifications, accept calls, or even function as game controls.

Huawei’s most recent smartwatch, the HUAWEI Watch 2, was announced just under a year ago. If they plan to follow it up anytime soon, we doubt it’ll include this type of technology.