Is this the shape of Samsung's smartwatch plans?

Is this the shape of Samsung's smartwatch plans?

Summary: US and South Korean trademark and patent applications could be providing a window into Samsung's smartwatch project.

Drawings from an South Korean patent application suggest Samsung's smartwatch could have a flexible screen that wraps round the wearer's wrist. Image: Samsung

Samsung's plans for a smartwatch have just become clearer, thanks to a recent US trademark application and some images from earlier South Korean patent filings.

The US application, which was filed late last month, is for the registration of the name Samsung Galaxy Gear as a trademark. Included in the document is a 72-word description of the devices to which the new name could apply.

It details the possible products as: "Wearable digital electronic devices in the form of a wristwatch, wristband or bangle capable of providing access to the internet and for sending and receiving phone calls, electronic mails and messages."

The description concludes by saying the devices are "for the wireless receipt, storage and/or transmission of data and messages and for keeping track of or managing personal information; smartphones; tablet computers; portable computers".

Korean website Moveplayer has published several images, apparently from patent filings made at the Korean Intellectual Property Office since the start of 2013.

The images show three variations on a smartwatch design based on a curved screen almost the full width of the band that curls around the wearer's wrist.

Microsoft, Google, Samsung and Sony have built smartwatches for years — with limited success. These smartwatches tend to function as a second screen for a smartphone — for example, offering a way of reading emails or other updates while the phone stays in the user's pocket.

But as the smartphone market becomes saturated, tech companies are looking at new form factors, and this trend, along with the success of the Kickstarter-financed Pebble smartwatch — and suggestions that Apple is also working on such a device — have reignited interest in smartwatches.

Further reading

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Emerging Tech, Google, Microsoft, Samsung

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  • I really don't get this

    I stopped wearing a watch many many years ago and never looked back... What can this watch do that any smartphone can't ? I'll just stick to my Lumia 920 and Iphone 4S. They can keep their dead weight.
    • Really?

      So you reach for your smartphone every time you want to know the time?
      • Uh

        ....a lot of people do. I haven't worn a watch in over a decade, and before smartphones it was reaching for the cellphone.
        RattyRatty Twitchie
      • Yes if I don't have my ultrabook or an stb

        or some other device with a clock on. I'm way beyond the ten year with no watch mark and also never going to wear one again. I think people with mobile life styles have also just stopped caring so much about what time it is. We can work anywhere anytime anyplace and get reminders for scheduled things.
        Johnny Vegas
      • That of look at something else with the time on

        36 years old, never worn a watch, never will.
        Don't care if every tech company in the world produces a smartwatch, I'll pass.
        (I'm waiting for the direct plug wi-fi chip to the brain............)
        • edit function

          please zdnet. That's got to be one of the top 3 requested features on the site.
          1. Edit feature
          2. No stupid slideshow articles
          3. Order comments, newest first.
          (ok there's a 4th)
          4. Silence OwlllllllNet (forever)
    • Phones Lousy For time

      Why pull out a phone, turn it on, and have to put it back up when you can raise your arm and get the time with a watch?

      Watches will never go out of style, at least for logical people