Nokia’s ‘Facet’ Smartwatch Concept Is An Insane Multi-Display Bracelet

Nokia’s ‘Facet’ Smartwatch Concept Is An Insane Multi-Display Bracelet

By now we know that basically every manufacturer in the world has been trying — andfailing! — to develop a smartwatch that people might actually want to wear. From the depths of this struggle has emerged this Nokia concept for a bracelet with multiple displays. The Facet is so weird that you will have trouble fitting it inside your brain.

The technology for the Nokia Facet just received a patent, but what’s much cooler than the patent is the academic paper and accompanying video. It’s not clear that Nokia will ever actually make this thing, but still… This is madness! Seriously, what?

The bracelet has multiple “facets” — displays — that are each running their own applications. You can either turn your wrist to view different apps or slide the bracelet to change the positions of the panels. And, of course, you can slide the apps from one display to another. In one gesture you can change the position of all the screens sequentially with a swipe, as in the image above. Another gesture, in the video below, allows you to swap two screens. The concept also calls for gestures that allow you to expand an app to more than one display as well as to quickly collapse them all.

Now, this watch falls into the category of mega-super-out-there concepts, but even if it never goes on sale as a Galaxy Gear-like accessory for your Lumia Windows Phone, it does illustrate many of the challenges inherent in building a smartwatch people might want. As we’ve learned in the past, a display the size of a watch face isn’t enough space to do much of anything. You need a lot more space, which is what adding tons of displays in a multi-segmented bracelet array does. We might never actually see this smartwatch, but this might be what a useful smartwatch actually looks like.

And who knows, maybe the Facet will show up somewhere. It’s the type of technology that might find some kind of industrial use. And as long as we’re dreaming maybe the quarterbacks of the future will read their plays of bracelets like Facet too.

[ACM and USPTO via Engadget]