Samsung Eyeing a Smartwatch Display Beamed on the Back of Your Hand
Today's Samsung Gear S2 smartwatches display their information and alerts to users via a small display right on the face of the smartwatch, but that could change in the future based on a recent patent application submitted by the company.
The 28-page Samsung patent application describes a wearable device that includes a built-in "image projector" that can be controlled by the user to display its on-screen image on any nearby surface, including the back of the user's hand when the watch is on their wrist. The patent application, which Samsung filed on June 4, 2015, with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and published on May 5, 2016, describes a process in which the on-device screen can be enlarged by an integrated projector to make it easier for the wearer to read the screen's contents.
The system could include a camera, a virtual user interface and a processor that can detect the target area for the projected display, which would combine to give smartwatch wearers a new way to view the data from their devices, according to the patent application.
The idea for the alternative screen display comes from broader requirements from customers who want new devices and technologies to use in their everyday lives, the application states. For those users, new ideas in wearable displays are needed to find innovative ways of presenting information to users, the application continues.
A recent Samsung patent application envisions a tiny projector in a smartwatch that can project a device display image onto anything.
The application describes a design that could allow users to control the virtual screen by tapping the virtual buttons produced by the image projector, or by using gestures to activate functions.