Google Hangouts already supports multi-user conference calls, but Samsung may be working on its own competing product. A new patent filed on July 26 through the Republic of Korea Intellectual Property Rights Information Service office (KIPRIS), and officially registered earlier today, details the design and look of “multi-party video calls” on an unspecified upcoming handset
The patent is only available as a downloadable Korean PDF document, but running it through Google Translate quickly confirmed that Samsung has patented its own layout for mobile video conference calls. Unfortunately, the patent doesn’t include many details beyond a few paragraphs describing a user interface that shows the members of a video call in multiple boxes on-screen while a series of function buttons are displayed on the right. Two renderings of the potential service show the same basic layout.
Samsung has made a tradition out of packing new—often gimmicky—features into its flagship smartphones, but it’s a bit strange that the company would develop a service already offered by Google’s own messaging app. Then again, with Samsung slowly edging away from Android and towards its own Tizen operating system, it makes sense that the smartphone-maker would develop its own conference calling service. Based on the screenshot above, though, it looks like this app is headed toward Android, if it ever launches at all.