Doppio: a smartwatch prototype with a removable 2nd screen

We're still waiting for some manufacturer, probably Samsung, to finally deliver the foldable, dual screen smartphone of our dreams. In the meantime, however, someone else is dreaming up the same thing for smartwatches. That someone is Xing-Dong Yang and his fellow researchers from Dartmouth College who presented the prototype of a smartwatch with two displays, one of them removable. In addition to showing a different or supplementary information, the position of the second display affects what is displayed on the primariy screen as well.

Literally "double" but perhaps more known as two shots of espresso, the Doppio prototype was presented at CHI (Computer-Human Interaction) Conference last week, which is an opportune time for intriguing, sometimes even insane, experiments and ideas such as this. Doppio definitely looks the part of a prototype, but if you can ignore the absurd thickness, you'll find a promising though perhaps too advanced idea that could make smartwatches even more interesting and useful than they are today.

Calling it a dual display smartwatch is a bit of an understatement. Technically, it does have two displays, but it is almost more accurate to call it a "display plus". The second

display is totally removable and displays its own thing but the two act in concert, depending on where the second display snaps to.

For example, when it lies on top of the primary display, the second displays a watch face. Lift it up, however, and the first display reveals notifications you might have ignored previously. Put it on the right side of the main display and both displays could show two halves of a single image. On the opposite side, it could should more information that could fit in a single smartwatch screen.

The current implementation if, of course, crude and the second screen just begs to be replaced. Perhaps a more sensible design would be to have a second screen that attaches via a hinge and opens up like a locket. Ideally, they'd also be very thin. Suffice it to say, it's going to take a while before a more refined prototype becomes available. Which is probably OK since it gives the market enough time to actually make sense of smartwatches in the first place.

SOURCE: Eureka Alert!