Samsung was among the first manufacturers to jump into the wearables space. It unveiled its first smartwatch, the Samsung Galaxy Gear, back in 2013. It quickly followed it up with a number of additional devices and is expected to unveil its next one, the Samsung Gear A, perhaps as early as August 12th. It has also invested heavily on the R&D side of things and has filed more wearable technology patents than anyone else according to Lux Research.
All told, Samsung accounts for 4% of the 41,301 wearable electronic patents published between 2010 and May 2015. It is followed by Qualcomm with 3% of patent and Apple with 2.2%. 77% of wearable patents are filed with companies that are not associated with the top 15 companies filing patents, suggesting that much of the innovation still comes from smaller companies.
Health monitoring accounts for 10% of Samsung’s filings with the broader health category being responsible for 25% of all filings. 63% of filings involved form factors that focus on either arms and hands or the head and neck region, suggesting a heavy focus on smartwatch and virtual reality headgear. A further 53% involve user output components such as displays and speakers.
Samsung is also the largest patent filer for printed, flexible and organic electronics (PFOE). This area of research could lead to “conformable, adaptable and immersive wearable devices that can seamlessly fit into everyday life,” according to Lux Research analyst Tony Sun. Oddly, there appears to be little overlap between this area and wearables. Only 651 patents have been filed that cover both areas.
Samsung could well establish itself as one of the dominant players in wearables much as it has already done with smartphones.
Sources : Lux Research // Forbes