With smartphones like Samsung’s “Edge” series or the LG V-series, both Samsung and LG have toyed with the idea of a secondary display where either the edges or the top portion of the phone could exist separately from the main display, thus offering up newer ways to access apps, information, notifications, and so on.
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 illustrated a secondary display being added to the rim of Samsung’s Gear smartwatch.
Whats their new idea ?
It looks like Samsung has filed for a patent for a smartwatch that comes with a secondary display around the rim of the watch, as you can see in the diagram above.What this means is that the secondary display will display information such as the weather, the date, songs that are currently playing, and so on. We wouldn’t be surprised if it could potentially be used to display notifications or flash a certain light when notifications come in. This will allow the main face of the watch to display more important information, or it could help with conserving battery when the main face of the watch is off.
However with this only being a patent, it’s hard to say if it will ever become a reality, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it were one day. Recently at Baselworld 2017, Samsung took the wraps off new Gear S3 models and concepts, but none of them were close to sporting this particular design, so perhaps if Samsung were to make such a watch it will be in future models.
Promising concept for future
Before Samsung can make the leap to larger and wider flexible display for a future smartwatch as noted above, their current patent regarding the addition of a flexible display around their rotary dial is where the concept can safely debut.
On that note the smartwatch concept looks very promising over the next few years as flexible display technology advances to the point of allowing displays to take on a stable rotary or circular form factor. The smartwatch market today remains a large niche market. In order to move it to a mass-market, designs have to go beyond the traditional look. In fact I believe that tech leaders like Apple and Samsung will eventually blur the line and create a hybrid between a smartwatch and a smartphone that could really excite the market.