Samsung wants to put another screen on the side of your smartwatch

samsung secondary watch display patent hands on  gear s3 classic and frontier 0304
Malarie Gokey/Digital Trends
Flexible displays have been popping up in Samsung’s phones for a few years now, and even some of the company’s smartwatches. But we haven’t seen one quite like this before. A patent application filed by Samsung that surfaced last week, retrieved by Patently Mobile, shows a watch with a secondary display running along the side of the body.

The screen occupies space along the bezel that is typically used as a rotating dial on Gear smartwatches for quickly changing apps and other functions. In the application, the strip relays basic information, like date, time, and weather. It runs most of the way around the watch, with a space in the middle omitted to house the driver circuit board.

The patent notes that, in this particular application, the display can only be rotated 90 degrees. It is also split into two sections — upper and lower — for an undisclosed purpose, though the diagrams often show them acting together as one panel.

As space comes at a premium when designing a device so compact and complex, it is understandable that Samsung would look to smartwatches as the next class of devices that could benefit from the recent advances made in flexible display technology.

The application itself was filed in September 2015 and published last week. While patents are no guarantee of the future, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Samsung bring this idea to term in the next Gear iteration. It could help the device stand out in a crowded market.

Patently Mobile goes on to note that the secondary display could also serve as a test bed for another, future idea Samsung is considering — a bracelet with a screen that almost fully wraps around the user’s wrist. Once proven, the tech employed here might function at a much larger scale in the unique form factor of a bracelet. Apple has also shown interest in such a design, which indicates a possible direction forward for the smartwatch industry. The question is, how long until that vision can be realized?

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: AI-powered cat toys, wallets, and food containers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

A ThinkPad tablet with a foldable screen could be in Lenovo’s future

Lenovo may be working on its own version of Project Andromeda. The company is reportedly working on a 13-inch tablet that can fold down to just nine inches for travel by leveraging LG Display's foldable screen technology.
Mobile

LG V40 ThinQ vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Can the V40 unseat the king?

The LG V40 ThinQ is packing a massive display and an incredible five lenses, making it a unique offering in the market. But is it better than the Galaxy Note 9, another phone with a huge display and great cameras?
Product Review

The Huawei Watch GT’s battery life gets a tick, but the software may not tock

Huawei’s track record with smartwatches is strong, having releases two models and several spin-offs to general acclaim. This is the Watch GT, and it moves away from Google’s Wear OS to focus on fitness, yet stays ahead of the…
Wearables

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.
Product Review

The all-new Palm wants to be many things, but it’s really just a tiny smartphone

The all-new Palm is here, and it’s tinier than ever. Exclusive to Verizon, it syncs to your primary smartphone and acts as a secondary device -- with features to help you disconnect from technology. But at $350, is it worth the high price…
Mobile

Montblanc’s $995 Summit 2 watch stays on your wrist for longer between charges

Montblanc has taken the wraps off of the new Montblanc Summit 2 -- the first watch to feature the new Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor. The watch features a premium design and Google's Wear OS.
Mobile

Inferiority is a feature now! Palm's new plan is psychotic

The Palm is a smartphone to reduce your smartphone usage, or a small smartphone for when you don't want to carry your big smartphone. Palm itself doesn't seem sure which it is, but either way, it's a product that's so witless, we're amazed…
Mobile

With Spotify for WearOS, you no longer need your phone to stream music

A Spotify app will soon be available for download on Wear OS smartwatches. Whether you're working out or lounging at home, you'll soon be able to access and control your music straight from your wrist.
Deals

The best Apple Watch deals for October 2018

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Mobile

The Verizon GizmoWatch puts a quick-communication device on your kid’s wrist

Verizon is taking another shot at building a smartwatch for youngsters. The company announced the Verizon GizmoWatch, which boasts 4G connectivity and helps parents keep track of their children.
Wearables

Skydio’s self-flying drone now has an Apple Watch app for flight prep

Skydio's clever R1 autonomous drone now has its own Apple Watch app, making flight preparations simpler than ever. The $2,000 flying machine is now also selling at its first retail outlet — Apple Stores in North America.
Deals

Start your fitness journey with the best Fitbit deals available now

If you're ready to kick-start your fitness regimen (or just take your current one to the next level), we've created a quick rundown of the best, most current Fitbit deals to help you decide which one is best for you.