Samsung Gear smartwatch rotary dial could also have a screen

JC Torres - Mar 27, 2017, 3:15am CDT
Samsung Gear smartwatch rotary dial could also have a screen

Samsung has yet to prove that it can do flexible and foldable devices, but it seems to already be dreaming up of something different yet also ambitious already. A recent patent application reveals that Samsung has an idea for a rather interesting and almost literal twist to its Gear smartwatch. Instead of a plain, boring rotating bezel, future Gear watches might have dials that not only rotate but also display data at the edges. This way, you can take a glance at information whether you’re viewing the smartwatch from the top or from the sides.

On the one hand, Samsung does already have curved screens, as can be seen in its curved TVs. On the other hand, those screens don’t curve as much as this patent’s screen would. With this latest smarwatch-related patent, the screen would wrap around the circumference of a circular clock. That, however, apparently comes at a price, as the dial will only be able to rotate 90 degrees, compared to the current Gear S2 and S3’s full reach.

The purpose of the design is to have a ticker-like display visible from the edges. Presumably, this display could be always on, so as to relieve the larger, and therefore more power-hungry screen, of some duties. The patent images show the date, time, and weather visible from the sides. It can’t be too hard to imagine notifications also scrolling across the very curved display.

That does raise the question of whether such a fancy feature is actually practical, not to mention comfortable to use. Smartwatches are getting thinner and thinner, but such a display requires a certain minimum height to make the text on it readable. And having to rotate the dial to view more content will require your thumb or index finger to occlude part of the screen, defeating the purpose.

Of course, this is just a patent and, considering Samsung’s lack of activity on curved screens for mobile devices, there is little assurance this will actually see the light of day. Then again, there has been very few innovations in the smartwatch market and Samsung’s rotary bezel is admittedly one of those rare few.

VIA: Patently Mobile

Must Read Bits & Bytes