Samsung's latest smartwatch patent puts a screen on the rotary dial


One of Samsung smartwatches' defining features for a while has been their rotary dial (or at least it has for the circle-shaped models, anyway). So it's no surprise the company would be looking into ways to upgrade that feature in new ways, as evidenced by a new patent application for a screen-equipped dial which is to be possibly used in a future smartwatch.

While, as usual, we advise against getting overly excited for a patent, as there's very little guarantee such a product is anything more than a Samsung engineer's fever dream at the moment. First off, while the company has been using curved displays for quite a while, namely in its flagship smartphones, there's no proof yet whether a 360-degree curved screen is possible with current tech, let alone cost-effective.

On the other hand, the document is overly specific in a few areas, making the possibility of an actual prototype existing a distinct possibility. Firstly, there's the problem of rotation: while Samsung's current rotary dials allow for 360-degree rotation, the proposed one here is limited to a 90-degree angle only, a limitation that may fully well be the result of real-life prototype testing. Also, the patent describes the screen as comprising of two separate parts, which are, curiously enough, stacked vertically on top of each other.

While the patent is a little short on possible software implementations of the feature, it's otherwise quite detailed in terms of chips and circuitry required to achieve a screen-equipped rotary dial. This may or may not be a sign of what's to come in the future for the company's wearables, so for now we'll have to just wait and hope for the best.

source: USPTO via Patently Mobile

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15 Comments

1. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

looks ugly, useless, and battery drainer... just my opinion.. but, maybe they can make it right :-/

3. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Samsung can't even make TouchWiz right. I don't expect them to make this right. They need to stop throwing features at the wall and seeing what sticks.

4. VasiliS7

Posts: 203; Member since: Jan 10, 2017

There is no Tachwiz. They call it Samsung Experience.

5. AlikMalix unregistered

"A rose by any other name...." (if you don't know what I meant, read a book once in a while)

9. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Yup. A simple duck test says it all.

8. Mxyzptlk unregistered

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it's a duck.

12. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

˄˄˄˄˄Mxyzptlk˄˄˄˄˄If it looks like a troll, walks like a troll and talks like a troll, then ist a troll...˄˄˄˄˄Mxyzptlk˄˄˄˄˄

15. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I guess you must be a troll then. But I think it's easier to just call you a bitter old man.

14. donfem

Posts: 708; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

For the fact that you have nothing better to say, why don't you just zip? Being an iclone makes you knowledgeable?

13. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

It wont be a battery drain with an LED display. Using the dial for info that scrolls once in a while isn't going to use more battery. Smartwatches are junk to begin with. Its an swer to a problem, no one has.

2. Feanor

Posts: 1415; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Looks very cool, but, like the curved screen of the Galaxies, Samsung needs to tell us what is the usage of these screen technologies, before they force a flexible screen on our toilet paper.

6. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1844; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

Pushing the envelope rather than just sticking with the norm...

7. palmguy

Posts: 986; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

It's magic

10. technitude

Posts: 263; Member since: Dec 19, 2013

As a programmer (and a watch wearer), I wish they would add a different feature. Would make watch apps more useful and easier to develop.

11. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 739; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

If this is gonna be on the galaxy Gear 4. Then I'm in. I would gladly save my money for this watch.

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