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Nokia eyes possible smartwatch launch, patent application suggests

The company's patent application describes a method by which the watch can be modified quite heavily through its modular design.

Image from Nokia's patent application for a "multi-segment wearable accessory."

Apple and Samsung aren't the only major companies getting into the smartwatch business, a new patent applications hints.

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Thursday published a patent application for a "multi-segment wearable accessory" filed in August 2012. The application covers a smartwatch that can be modified by the user to include different functions. In order to achieve such functionality, Nokia's smartwatch would feature a series of displays that can show off whatever the customer desires.

So, for example, the first face on the watch might show the time. As the owner moves the band around their wrist, subsequent displays on the band would show other details. Whatever display is turned face-up would be activated and show the desired information.

Based on the drawings that accompanied the patent application, Nokia would ensure that each display around the band would be touch-enabled. The idea, the company said in the application, is to offer a single place -- the person's wrist -- where they can access and monitor all of the devices they would normally carry around with them, including a smartphone and game device.

As with other companies, Nokia files patent applications all the time. In many cases, companies never bring designs to the market, so it's impossible to say whether the company will be unveiling a smartwatch at any point. If it does, however, Nokia will find some stiff competition in Samsung's Galaxy Gear. Apple's long-rumored iWatch might also be on store shelves by the time Nokia's option would be available.

(Via Engadget)