Smartwatch makers have tried a few ways to overcome the limitations of a tiny wrist-worn screen, such as gestures, pressure sensitivity or voice commands. Samsung thinks there might be a better way, though: moving the display beyond the watch. It's applying for a patent on a concept that would project a wearable's interface on to everything from your hand to the wall. It'd use sensors to detect those outside-of-the-wrist interactions, and it could even detect the geometry of your hand to adapt the interface to that area. You might see extra buttons on your fingers if your palm is open.
Don't be too quick to toss out your existing smartwatch. Like any other patent, this is more of an idea than a product roadmap. There's no certainty that Samsung will decide to implement this, or that it even has the technology necessary to make this a reality. Even so, it's good to see companies still exploring watch input ideas that involve more than just a touchscreen. It's still a young category, and the chances are that there's plenty of room for interface breakthroughs.