Battery life in smartwatches is still a major drawback, but a fresh patent filed by Samsung could hint towards a solution to the problem.
Uncovered by LetsGoDigital, the Korean tech giant appears to be looking develop wearables that harbour batteries within the straps — something that could pop up on the Samsung Gear S4 expected to launch later this year.
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The filing indicates that one or two batteries could be housed inside a strap, located on either side of the bezel. And since watch straps are made to be flexible, we can only assume the batteries would be able to bend, too.
Interestingly, while batteries held within the strap could help boost the life we typically see — which averages around two days — the technology detailed within the patent may actually be used as a gateway to free up room under the hood of the smartwatch. Without the need to place a battery within, space could exist for a larger processor, as well as the likes of a fingerprint sensor, more advanced heart rate tech and perhaps even a camera.
And while it's a development we imagine we'll see unfold sooner rather than later, it isn't the only thing the folks at Samsung is looking to cook up.
Another filing uncovered by LetsGoDigital shows off a plan for a sub-display within the rotating bezel of a watch, something which could help users to access different areas of the Tizen OS more easily. Currently, users simply use the rotating bezel to navigate on the main screen.
However, the circular display detailed by Samsung would be divided into equal segments, with each section corresponding to a specific area of the watch. For example, between 12 o'clock and 2 o'clock you may have a segment which shoots you straight into your music when you rotate, and twisting further could send you into your unread notifications.
As is the case with all patents, there's a strong chance neither of these filings come to life within a future Samsung smartwatch. With that said, the company has been at the forefront of developing flexible components for some time, so seeing this realised at some point in the future would come as no real surprise.
In our minds, the rotating sub-display is a bit more of a wildcard. We're big fans of how the current rotating bezel works, though, so adding more functionality would likely only improve one of the device's real strong suits.
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