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Samsung patents smartwatch that projects a UI onto your hand

by Killian Bell | May 15, 2016May 15, 2016 1:00 pm PST

The biggest downside to smartwatches is their tiny displays, but Samsung is working to change that. The South Korean company has patented a near wearable that projects a larger user interface onto the back of your hand.

Samsung’s filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office describes a device that is capable of identifying the shape of your hand, and then using a tiny projector to beam a user interface onto to display more information and larger controls.

A camera built into the watch then detects how your other hand interacts with that interface.

Samsung’s diagrams show the interface being used to provide a zoomed view of a map displayed on the watch, and a larger dial pad. They also suggest that parts of the UI could even be projected onto the back of fingers, extending it even further.

It seems like a pretty crazy idea, and there are plenty of hurdles Samsung will have to overcome to make this possible — like battery life limitations. But if it can do that, this is one way to make smartwatches infinitely more useful than they are now.

By using your hand as a secondary display, you could use your smartwatch to reply to text messages and emails, play games, and even watch videos — all of which are incredibly difficult to do on existing devices due to their size.

Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...