Samsung wants to take advantage of the human real estate located next to its smartwatch, configuring the gadget in such a way as to be able to use the back of the wearer's hand as a second screen.
In its patent filing, Samsung describes the device as a wearable that is intended to be worn on the body of a user. Included in the device, according to the filing: "an image projector configured to project a virtual user interface (UI) screen, a camera configured to capture an image, and a processor configured to detect a target area from the image captured by the camera...."
According to Gizmag, the fact that Samsung has applied for such a patent isn't necessarily a sign that an actual product will make its way to the market anytime soon. The concept product would have the capability of scanning the back of the wearer's hand in order to get a sense of the size and scope of the display area. Then, the device would project some interactive panels -- such as a number pad and, say, a toggle button to switch display languages. In other words, the projected display would add functionality to the smartwatch screen.
The wearable device is expected to be available on September 25 for $299, the company recently announced.
The move is seen by many as Samsung's attempt to lead the market rather than follow it, thereby changing the company's reputation as a "me too" tech maker.
The Galaxy Gear will have the capability to run Android-based apps and also interact with any of Samsung's smartphones. The anticipated launch date will beat Apple to the market. However, questions are already being raised about the device's technical limitations. Will consumers plunk down nearly $300 for a watch that has a relatively small screen and only functions when paired with one family of phones?
Adoption of new technology is usually slow, with each complete overhaul of a particular product line taking years. But the tablet market, which was kicked off in earnest with the release of the first iPad in 2010, has overtaken the market quickly. Younger generations are especially quick to choose a tablet as a sole computing device, especially children, who are able to use a Kindle Fire HD or iPad Mini before they've even seen a laptop or desktop computer.