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You’ve got to hand it to Motorola. It hasn’t exactly been an influential company when it comes to design, at least not since the Moto Razr, which was arguably the zenith of the feature flip-phone evolutionary path.

But now it seems the company has managed to be first in a very important segment: wearables.

The fully-circular faced Moto 360, which made its debut earlier at Google’s I/O conference last month, was a departure from the square and rectangular shapes that have so far dominated smartwatch designs.

Not only did the Moto 360 capture hearts and minds of folks who got a chance to play with it, it apparently caused quite a stir at Samsung, that is if these recently discovered patent applications are any indication.

Looks like Samsung is prepping three different circular or semi-circular designs that also introduce new band elements, such as charging contacts that have been moved from the traditional spot on the side or the back of the watch case. We’re guessing that these concepts are evolutions of the existing Galaxy Gear line of devices, if only because of the continued presence of the camera module on the strap. But it certainly doesn’t rule out the chance that these round-face smartwatches could use the new Android Wear platform — Samsung is already experimenting with that OS.

Of course, as with any patent application, it’s hard to tell whether the product will ever materialize. But you can bet Samsung will be keeping a sharp eye on how well the Moto 360 does compared to the Gear Live as a bellwether for its decision.


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