The Gear 2 started cranking in April, but Samsung is almost certainly already planning its successor.

Indeed, some clues about the next Gear may be found in a Samsung patent that recently surfaced for something called a smart "bangle," according to Patently Mobile.

Then again, they may not, as this smart bangle is significantly different - and most would say an upgrade - over existing Samsung wearables.

The bangle seems to have some major design improvements and vastly expanded capabilities, including a bigger and more versatile display, e-wallet features and more.

Wearables: the next generation

So what we're actually looking at here might be the next generation of wearables, which means Samsung might want to re-brand it as something unrelated to the Gear brand all together.

The smart bangle patent shows a device that features a moving, sliding display that could show different apps in different positions, among many other innovations.

Not least among those are the ability to interpret wrist gestures as motion commands and photo/map viewing and zooming capabilities.

This hypothetical device even has a camera that can recognize users' faces and unlock the smart bangle automatically when a user looks at it.

Samsung smart bangle patent
Why can't phones do this? (credit: Patently Mobile)

Everyone seems to agree that wearables are one of this year's top tech trends, and all that remains is to watch companies like Samsung continue to iterate on and evolve their existing offerings until smartbands, smartwatches and "smart bangles" become something the average consumer actually wants.

Where this patent fits in with that is a mystery for now.