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Samsung could be making a hybrid-flexible-wearable smartphone

A patented design shows that the Korean giant could be planning to combine flexible displays and wearabless – and the results are pretty interesting.

Samsung is no stranger to the world of wearables. With expectations running high for the multiple successors to established devices launching at IFA 2017, another area where Samsung could make a big splash in the future is flexible wearables. And if a particular patent owned by the Korean giant is something to go by, they are well on their way – theoretically.

As the reveal by Patently Mobile shows, the design directly solves one of the biggest issues plaguing wearables for a while – tiny screens. With an interactive touchscreen that can curve around your wrist, there’ll be no dearth of real estate if this design comes to fruition.

Source: Patently Mobile
Source: Patently Mobile

The dual states shown in the patent design is not to be taken lightly. While the curved, wearable state targets the ‘smartwatch’ segment, the extended state, if rigid, could act just like another smartphone, giving rise to the possibility of this product being a combination of two categories that Samsung has significant stakes in.

The everything wearable

According to the patent filing, Samsung has thrown pretty much everything into this device, and then some. According to the filing, the device “could be a mobile TV, be a medical device that could measure a heartbeat, blood sugar, blood pressure and temperature. It could include a magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) device, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) device, a computed tomography (CT) device, a scanning machine, and an ultrasonic wave device), a navigation device, a global navigation satellite system (GNSS), an event data recorder (EDR), a flight data recorder (FDR), a vehicle infotainment device, electronic equipment for a ship (such as, a navigation device for ship and gyro compass), avionics, a security device, a head unit for a vehicle, an industrial or home robot, a drone, an automated teller machine (ATM) of a financial institution, a point of sales (POS) device of a store, and an Internet of things (IoT) device (e.g., a light bulb, various sensors, a sprinkler device, a fire alarm, a thermostat, a street light, a toaster, sports equipment, a hot water tank, a heater, and a boiler)”. You might as well start selling off all other gadgets already.

That being said, a broad filing like this goes against the spirit of competitiveness among tech companies. Keeping the scope of your product, one that hasn’t even been prototyped properly yet, this wide prevents other companies from making headway in the same area and might even result in stagnating innovation.

A wearable boost?

It is no secret that Samsung has been struggling when it comes to smartwatch adoption, even with niche features like LTE support on its smartwatches. But this design could put Samsung in a league of its own when it comes to wearable. It shows a lot of potential and could very well change the world of wearables completely. The question is, will Samsung be gutsy enough to actually make this device and launch it, even if it has all the tech ready to do so?

If you ask us, it’s unlikely.

Arnab Mukherjee

Arnab Mukherjee

A former tech-support desk jockey, you can find this individual delving deep into all things tech, fiction and food. Calling his sense of humour merely terrible would be a much better joke than what he usually makes.