Samsung's latest idea is a smartphone that bends into a bracelet

Samsung's next wearable might be a bracelet that turns into a smartphone

Patent applications are always interesting fodder for speculation - even if they never turn out as real products, they give a window into the thinking and prototyping going on inside the major companies.

With that in mind we present to you Samsung's latest idea for a wearable: an OLED bracelet that can wrap around your wrist as well as roll out flat and function as a smartphone. The screen is made up of individual segments that give the device its flexibility.

Everything from incoming calls to weather reports could be displayed on your wrist, though the hardware looks a little too bulky to be worn on a regular basis. We'd hope the final version of the kit is a lot slimmer than the diagrams included with the patent application would suggest.

Your next-gen smartwatch?

Patently Mobile says the device could support both multimedia and communication modules, so you could play your music and call home on the same gadget. There are also hints of a rotating display that would move with your arm.

Touch input would be supported and it looks like there would be a transparent protection panel on top to guard against knocks and scratches. The rest of the patent doesn't go into too much detail about the gadget or how it would be used, so it would seem to still be at the early stages.

Of course, this being a patent application, we don't know if or when Samsung's super phone bracelet is going to see the light of day. Apple has filed patents along similar lines though, so the next generation of smartwatches may in fact be fully fledged flexible smartphones.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.