The Doppio smartwatch, uncovered earlier this week, pointed to the issue of display size with current smartwatches, but it seems as though researchers aren't alone in their efforts to make smartwatches more like smartphones. According to a new Samsung patent, the Korean giant is also thinking of ways to extend the smartwatch beyond just a small, circular or square display.
The Samsung patent filed back in November 2014 shows a square smartwatch that looks similar to Samsung's first modern smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear (2013), with the wristband camera and shape (square not like the circular Gear S2) as a dead giveaway to the smartwatch's identity. The smartwatch projects information onto the skin in something of a "Virtual UI" that can be navigated on the skin instead of the smartwatch touchscreen. The Virtual UI projects menus, numbers, and letters for phone calls and other on-screen options. Images can be seen below.
We have no other information about Samsung's Virtual UI, but the company has not yet said anything in regards to this patent since it was published 18 months ago. At this point, Samsung has traded in the square form factor for its smartwatch with the circular Gear S2, giving users a traditional look on the wrist -- but this doesn't mean that Samsung is having second thoughts about its Virtual UI.
Keep in mind that companies often file patents for ideas that will never come to fruition but protect their intellectual ideas, so this could be one of those. And yet, if Samsung is always chasing "the next big thing," as is the case with this Virtual UI and other smartwatch patents that let you turn on and off the air conditioner, Smart TV, adjust Gear VR settings, etc., something tells me that this Virtual UI could suddenly pop up on the tech scene one of these days. What do you think?