Samsung and Apple in a Race to Introduce both a Selfie Camera and Smart Band Display to their Respective Smartwatches
Within the last year Apple patent filings have covered a selfie camera for their Apple Watch (graphic below) and a secondary display built into the band. Is it any surprise then that a new Samsung's patent for similar features has just surfaced? No – as Apple and Samsung are always on a war footing trying to outdo the other. On one hand I'd like to laugh at the Samsung idea of a zoom camera lens designed to protrude through the display while on the other hand I'd be amazed if they could actually pull it off. The lens cover would appear to be a part of the display until a photo is taken using the zoom lens which would push outward. I still can't wrap my head around the idea being that a digital zoom would suffice. But only time will tell which route Samsung takes.
For now, both Apple and Samsung are racing to introduce a camera and a band display into their respective smartwatches. With Apple leading the smartwatch market globally and Samsung far behind, Samsung has to take more chances if they hope to catch up with the Apple Watch. Though with consumer's obsessed with taking selfies, it's likely to be a feature both want to bring to market sooner rather than later. This may end up being the feature of the year.
In a nutshell, Samsung describes their patent this way: "A wearable device and a control method are provided. The wearable device includes a display configured to display time information, a camera configured to photograph an image, a sensor configured to sense a user's motion, and a processor configured to analyze the user's motion based on a sensing value sensed by the sensor and to perform an image photographing if the user's motion satisfies an image photographing condition, thereby enabling the user to perform image photographing easily using the wearable device."
Of course there's a little more to the patent than their patent abstract. For instance, the camera will offer zoom capabilities as noted in patent FIG. 11 below.
Samsung further notes that "in the case where the type of lens #430 is formed in the central region #440 of the display #110 is a barrel lens, the lens may protrude externally and perform a zoom-in/zoom-out operation. That is, the lens may protrude externally or be inserted into the body #410 based on a manipulating direction of the bezel manipulator 161 and the jog dial #163.
Specifically, if at least one manipulating direction of the bezel manipulator and the jog dial is a first direction, the lens performs a zoom-in operation of protruding externally. Meanwhile, if the at least one manipulating direction of the bezel manipulator and the jog dial is in a second direction that is opposite to the first direction, the lens that had been protruding externally performs a zoom-out operation of being inserted into the body.
To learn more about Samsung's patent covering a smart band and smartwatch camera, check out Patently Mobile's full report here.
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