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Patent Images Show Potential Samsung Smartwatch Design

With everyone and his dog apparently planning a smartwatch, Samsung is patenting its version of the device, and it might just have a flexible screen.

Samsung has filed Korean patents that, as revealed by MovePlayer.com, are all about a potential smartwatch design. This news, alongside rumors that Samsung has allocated a model number to a smartwatch and may even pre-empt Apple’s rumored iWatch plans, makes it look a lot like Samsung really may be selling a wrist-worn computer soon. The new Samsung patents may remind you a little of an earlier patent by Apple, which Samsung was accused of “slavishly copying.”

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The patents describe a device that wraps around the user’s wrist and has a conformal screen which may or may not be flexible. The screen appears to have touch controls for simple menu navigation, and a physical power button that may be accompanied by a loudspeaker–the wristband may also include a microphone. If all these features are correct, we can infer that the device Samsung has patented is less of a simple smartphone companion like the successful Pebble smartwatch and more of a full-featured device that may be able to act as a headset. Separate rumors have talked about a model number of SM-V700 and suggested a September launch date.

Apple, Samsung’s strongest rival in mobile device markets, has itself patented a smartwatch design that is flexible like a slap-bracelet and incorporates touch controls. The company recently bought a small chip company, Passif Semi, which may have IP and expertise related to mobile chips with low power consumption–the perfect match for a device like a smartwatch. It’s also said to have assembled a huge team to work on the product.

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