Samsung has a group of new patent applications it filed recently related to wearable tech (via 9to5Google), and these could describe an initial foray into Android Wear, which Samsung has said it would support in addition to its Tizen-powered Gear devices.
The filings depict a device with a circular face, much like the one featured in Motorola’s Android Wear-powered Moto360, and can work with a variety of hand gestures to trigger the activation of different tasks and features.
The patents talk about how you could move your wrist to call up different features, or tap on the screen to interact with remote controls for devices around your house. The device would also display the time when at rest inactive on your wrist, and it would be laden with sensors, including an optical one for monitoring pulse. The smartwatch could also be worn in other locations, including around the neck as a pendant, in a pocket, or on a keychain if the wrist-mounted paradigm doesn’t necessarily strike a chord with consumers.
One interesting tidbit is the ability of the smartwatch to recognize barcodes, images, objects and do optical character recognition (plus translation) for printed text. This could be a good use case for wearables, since it means instantly pointing a device you have at hand at something and finding out more about it. It removes a step from smartphone-based object recognition, and might help that tech become more generally useful.
That wouldn’t be the only party trick. The watch would also recognize wrist gestures beyond the simple screen activation you find in Samsung’s Gear line and also feature an optimized touchscreen interface and a rotating ring for tasks like scrolling.