This month two Samsung patent applications came to light at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office regarding possible future wearable devices. One invention covers a wide-band display smartwatch that's been a work in progress since 2013. Consumers in general haven't been so keen on smartwatches that look like traditional watches with tiny displays. The shift to a truly large wraparound display on a user's wrist could be the way to change gears and shake up the market. The other invention is a twist on a more traditional smartwatch-bracelet wherein the band or bands of this watch design could be stretched in different directions and by doing so triggers the display to change to different user interfaces for music, fitness, health, messages and so forth.
The First Samsung Smartwatch-Bracelet Device
Samsung's patent filing notes that in accordance with an aspect of the present invention, an electronic apparatus is provided, which includes a strap; a sensor configured to measure a position and angle at which the strap is bent; a display; and a processor configured to display a user interface (UI) element corresponding to the measured position and angle on the display.
In another aspect of the present invention, an electronic apparatus is provided, which includes a strap, a sensor configured to measure a position and angle at which the strap is bent, a processor configured to detect a user interaction corresponding to the measured position and angle, and a communicator configured to transmit a control command corresponding to the detected user interaction to another electronic apparatus.
In another aspect of the present invention, a method is provided for controlling an electronic apparatus including a strap. The method includes measuring a position and angle at which the strap is bent; and displaying a user interface (UI) element corresponding to the measured position and angle.
In a further aspect of the present invention, a method is provided for controlling an electronic apparatus including a strap. The method includes measuring a position and angle at which the strap is bent; determining if a user touch gesture is detected; and displaying a user interface (UI) element corresponding to the measured position and angle, only when the user touch gesture is detected.
Samsung notes that when an interaction as illustrated in FIG. 3A or FIG. 4A is detected, a user interface window displays a UI element corresponding to a current operational state. For example, when the current operational state of the electronic apparatus is a motion state, the user interface window displays a time UI, a day UI, a running distance UI, a heart rate UI, and a calorie expenditure UI.
Referring to patent FIG. 7 above, when a main body portion 110 is positioned on the user wrist and the additional strap 701 is positioned to the left of the main body portion and a hall sensor is disposed in the additional strap, the hall sensor may provide information indicating that the electronic apparatus is positioned to the right. Accordingly, through the information, the electronic apparatus may recognize that the additional strap is positioned to the left of the main body portion.
Here, the additional strap may be a separate strap that is physically separated from the electronic apparatus. Alternatively, the additional strap may be a partial region of the strap which is positioned next to the electronic apparatus by wrapping the strap around the wrist multiple times.
The first arrangement condition may be mapped to various management states, and for example, may be used as an office state indicating time information. For example, when a user pushes the additional strap to the right or left in the first arrangement condition, a UI element indicating the time information may be displayed on the display.
Referring to patent FIG. 29 below we're able to see the user put the strap #210 around their neck and grab opposite ends of the strap. A pressure sensor for detection of user grab may be disposed in a specific region of the strap. In response to the user grab being detected by two preset pressure sensors, the electronic apparatus may determine the user grab as a user interaction. This user interaction may be mapped to various functions. For example, this user interaction may be used to connect the electronic apparatus to a specific apparatus such as a TV. In FIG. 32 the user interaction may be used for receiving a phone call or pausing an image of a connected apparatus.
In Samsung's patent FIG. 36, strap 210 around the neck could act as a joystick. When an operation of a connected apparatus is a game and the user's grab is detected in the two preset pressure sensors, the electronic apparatus may identify the user interaction. Further, the direction manipulation of the user may correspond to a joystick and may also be performed to correspond to various moving forms.
In Samsung's patent FIG. 39 above the electronic apparatus may be hung on an object. In this case, a user may turn on a screen of the electronic apparatus by shaking the electronic apparatus. The electronic apparatus may signal message reception and so on through sound indication; In FIG. 40, a strap may be bent into a specific shape, which may control the electronic device to continuously output a preset sound like a Chime.
Second Wearable Device Invention
Samsung's secondary invention noted below was revealed earlier this month at the U.S. Patent Office. Here we see a wearable device that may transform between an annularly bent state and a flat state is provided.
The wearable device includes a plurality of segment members including a top portion and a bottom portion having a shorter length than the top portion; a plurality of connecting members that are disposed to correspond to the plurality of segment members, wherein each of the plurality of connecting members is connected to be mutually rotatable with two segment members disposed respectively on both sides thereof; a bistable spring that is supported on a plurality of segment members to provide elasticity in a direction into the annularly bent state and retentivity of the flat state; and a flexible display device that is supported on the top portion of the plurality of segment members.
This patent filing advances their work that first surfaced back in 2015. Most of the patent focuses on the locking mechanism of the wearable device. Samsung has been working on this for some time. Samsung's first such invention on this surfaced in the U.S. back in 2013. Another such design surfaced in August of this year. While everyone is expecting a foldable smartphone, Samsung may surprise the market with a vastly superior smartwatch/smartphone with a larger display than a traditional watch. Trying to make a traditional watch smart isn't turning on the public. Samsung may hope to shake things up with a truly modern smartwatch doubling as a phone sometime in the future.
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