Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch Could Be Coming To The Arm Race

A Samsung smartwatch is likely in the works and it is coming to a Galaxy near you.

In a patent filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Samsung details a smartwatch concept it appears to be calling "Galaxy Gear." According to the patent, the device is a watch or a bangle that can connect to the Internet and transmit data and messages.

The description from the patent filing:

Wearable digital electronic devices in the form of a wristwatch, wrist band or bangle capable of providing access to the Internet and for sending and receiving phone calls, electronic mails and messages; wearable electronic handheld devices in the form of a wristwatch, wrist band or bangle for the wireless receipt, storage and/or transmission of data and messages and for keeping track of or managing personal information; smart phones; tablet computers; portable computers.

A patent filing does not necessarily mean that a company will build a particular product. If you look back into the annals of patents given to tech companies, you will find such items as an iPod-like click-wheel iPhone. That product, thankfully, never made it to market. But Apple's engineers and designers patented it. 

Samsung smartwatch patent. Image source: Moveplayer. Samsung smartwatch patent. Image source: Moveplayer.

Smartwatches are an inevitability. Between the fascination with smartphones and tablets and the emerging trend of the "quantified self," the top mobile manufacturers will make, at the very least, a small foray into smartwatches.

When that will be, no one is quite sure. The initial thought was that companies like Apple, Google and Samsung would have consumer-ready products by the end of 2013. That may still happen but there has been a lack of tangible news (outside of these types of patent filings) that say that smartwatches will hit the mass consumer market any time soon. 

Yet with each successive patent, we have a better idea of what these smartwatches will do. Samsung wants it to be a device that can act like a smartphone on your wrist and be able to have its own wireless data connection (which stands apart from other smartwatch rumors that indicate the wearable devices will have to be paired with smartphones for data connectivity). 

Images from Korean news site Moveplayer showing Korean patents filings for potential Samsung smartwatch.