Smart watches of the future could offer more ways of interacting with them than merely a touchscreen.

A newly-uncovered patent filing by Samsung reveals that the company is looking at using tiny projectors embedded in their watches to project information onto the user’s hand, or any nearby surface.

The patent application itself isn’t new – it was initially filed back in late 2014 – but someone over at noticed it recently, and the news has been all over the internet ever since.

The filing indicates several potential uses of the tech; they include projecting virtual keyboards and supplementary information from apps onto anything from hands to walls, and apparently the tech can even be used to recognise handwriting.

Other, less obvious uses of the tech include things like augmented reality projections for head-mounted VR setups, which will let people gesticulate wildly in order to get the headset to do things.

Here’s Samsung’s overview of the patent application:

“A wearable device that is configured to be worn on a body of a user and a control method thereof are provided. The wear-able device includes an image projector configured to project a virtual user interface (UI) screen, a camera configured to capture an image, and a processor configured to detect a target area from the image captured by the camera, control the image projector to project the virtual UI screen, which corresponds to at least one of a shape and a size of the target area, onto the target area, and perform a function corresponding to a user interaction that is input through the virtual UI screen.”

There are no confirmed products in development that will feature the tech yet, but it’s nice to get an inside view of Samsung’s creative mind at work.

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Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.