Samsung has filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a smartwatch with camera in its center. The patent, picked up by Russian website 3Dnews.ru, was filed last November but has only been published in the last month.
It appears that the watch’s camera would be built directly into its display and would feature an optical zoom, adjustable via the smartwatch crown (or perhaps the bezel). This would, naturally, render the center of the smartwatch unusable — for touch interactivity or purely as a display — and would likely get frequently covered in fingerprints. Still, it could be pretty damn cool.
In addition, the smartwatch would make use of a wristband display. This appears to be similar to the Edge panel as seen on Samsung’s curved screen smartphones, with quick access to things like Settings, Gallery, Email, Music and Alarms. So, presumably, it would be a touchscreen panel — and it looks like it could even be used to launch the watch’s camera.
These are barmy ideas, but as someone who’s not particularly impressed with what smartwatches can do currently, I can’t help but find them exciting. And with Samsung said to be gearing up for foldable display technology releases, the wristband idea could definitely be something we see in the near future.
As always, patents aren’t proof of actual product development — there are no guarantees that anything like this will reach commercial availability. Are these the kind of innovations that would make you invest in a smartwatch, though? Let us know in the comments.