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Samsung Patent Teases Wild Hybrid Smartwatch

Samsung might be working on a new smartwatch that could come with hybrid functionality.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The folks over at Phone Arena have obtained a Samsung patent that describes a technology for creating a hybrid smartwatch design. In one mode, the device would be used as a standard smartwatch with a touchscreen that supports apps, allowing you to use the device like any other wearable. However, the patent also describes how you can turn off the screen and effectively use the device as an analog watch.

According to Phone Arena, the patent describes a transparent touch screen that actually sits above analog hands. If you want to move those hands, you can simply hold your fingers on the touch screen and change what you need to change.

The patent says that the device will default to a smartwatch mode. However, when you turn it on to analog mode, your battery life will be dramatically improved and it'll take on the functionality of any old watch. Interestingly, the patent even suggests that Samsung could add a camera to the device.

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Samsung has been offering a smartwatch for years. And like many other device makers, it's tried to design its devices to look and feel like a real watch. For instance, the company's latest wearable, the Galaxy Watch, has a design that looks awfully similar to an analog watch.

Creating a hybrid smartwatch might not be groundbreaking at first blush, but could go a long way in helping Samsung's device appeal to the large contingent of people that still want analog watches. And if done properly, it could usher in a new generation of devices with a similar design.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, it's important to note that devices outlined in patents don't always make their way to store shelves. And while it's possible Samsung could be working on the device, it's also possible it isn't. So, until we hear more about a hybrid watch, take this one with the proverbial grain of salt.