Samsung Gear S3
The successor to the Samsung Gear S3 could come with a strap that has its own built-in battery. Reuters/Stefanie Loos

Samsung is expected to revamp its Gear S smartwatch series later this year. However, details on its Gear S4 installment surfaced online as early as this week. The South Korean brand has apparently filed new patents that seem to suggest the type of technologies it is preparing for its upcoming wearable.

Dutch website LetsGoDigital spotted Thursday a couple of patents that Samsung Electronics filed recently. From the looks of things, the patents are strongly hinting at new technologies that could be introduced with the Gear S4 sometime in the second half of 2018.

One patent details a smartwatch strap that houses its own battery. Considering the strap would be subjected to constant twists and turns when users put on the smartwatch, it’s safe to surmise that the battery inside it would be thin and flexible. By coming up with a strap that has a battery inside, Samsung may be planning to extend the battery life of the Gear S4 without adding bulk to the timepiece’s body.

The patent application also mentions that it’s possible for the strap to encase two batteries placed on either side of the strap. Moreover, Samsung isn’t going to limit this strap to utilize just one type of material. The South Korea giant will develop this type of strap using different materials like leather, rubber and fiber, among others.

Phone Arena says the inclusion of batteries inside the smartwatch straps could open new doors for Samsung’s Gear S wearables. Since the device’s longevity could be extended without the need of increasing the size of the battery inside its body, Samsung could introduce other components to its upcoming smartwatch. For example, Samsung could equip the Gear S4 with a fingerprint sensor, a camera, proximity sensors, infrared sensors and even heart rate sensors without drastic hardware changes.

Another patent sheds light on Samsung’s plan to add some sort of a rotating bezel with sub-display into the Gear S3’s successor. This new feature would make it possible for users to access a different menu screen each time they rotate the bezel of the smartwatch. Based on the second patent, Samsung could be planning to tweak Tizen’s UI with the inclusion of the new feature.

At present, Samsung’s Gear S3 features a rotating bezel. However, this feature is primarily used to scroll through apps and messages, answer calls, adjust volume and turn off the alarm. The new patent mentions a sub-display that will be built into the rotating bezel surrounding the main display. This circular sub-display will be divided into equal segments, and each segment will correspond to a specific feature or function. When an app is launched, its corresponding segment could turn black.

Like Apple, Samsung patents all its inventions. However, this does not mean that all of these patented inventions or technologies are going to see the light of the day. Many patents do not materialize at all. Therefore, it’s best to take all of these new patents with a grain of salt for now.