Smartwatches were once considered the next big thing in the world of technology after smartphones. However, their dismal adoption rate and lack of killer features, means they are far from reaching the critical mass achieved by smartphones. Most smartwatches in the market are let down by their poor battery life, which has turned them into one more device to charge at the end of the day.
Smartwatch manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung and Fitbit have tried to fix the issue to some extent, but most smartwatches last through one full day. However, Samsung seems to have found a fix for the issue, which could be seen in the next iteration of its Gear smartwatch. The South Korean electronics giant has filed a new set of patents that hints at company bringing new features to its next smartwatch.
The patent details a new solution that could increase the battery life of smartwatches. Samsung wants to sell smartwatches with watch straps that features an integrated battery inside. The patent details a design where the battery seems to flexible and thin enough to fit within the watch straps.
The application, spotted by LetsGoDigital, cites use of not one but two such batteries, on both sides of the watch strap. While Samsung is adding battery to the watch strap, it is not neglecting the aesthetics part of the design with the patent indicating use of materials including leather, polymer, rubber or fiber.
On the watch module, Samsung is planning to include a camera, a fingerprint or light sensor alongside proximity, infrared and heart rate sensors. It is no doubt that smartwatches are becoming fitness-first devices and inclusion of these sensors will appeal among fitness enthusiasts.
The patent also highlights a new sub-display residing underneath the rotating bezel that will present a different menu when the user rotates it. It is not clear whether these new features will make it to Gear S4 but Samsung seems to be focused on one critical flaw of most smartwatches – battery life.