South Korean designer Chanmi Lee has a vision for the future of smartwatches: a three-screen concept that could improve both the functionality and power efficiency of future wearables. Her EveRest design evolves the smartwatch into a wider format, pairing a large screen with two tiny displays dedicated solely to persistent time and health details.
EveRest’s core mission is to make a watch viable as a complete communications and health tracking tool for teams. Lee envisions the larger screen using color LCD technology so it can display everything from location, altitude, hydration, and phone calling information, while one black-and-white screen provides heart rate data and another displays time, date, battery, and Bluetooth connectivity status. In power-saving mode, the large screen can go off while the small numeric display screens remain on.
EveRest also offloads some of today’s key smartwatch features into an accompanying earphone. In addition to housing the microphone and speaker, the earphone also has a pulse monitor that can measure your heart rate from behind your ear.
The movement of these parts from wrist to ear is arguably justified by EveRest’s focus. As its name suggests, it’s intended for climbing mountains, where communications requiring you to speak into and listen to your wristwatch might be challenging.
On one hand, it’s hard to imagine Apple or Samsung following some of Lee’s decisions, as the smartwatch design trend thus far has been to add more within existing form factors, or shrink them rather than growing them. However, as EveRest spotter Yanko Design notes, multitasking isn’t a strength of existing wearables. More screen space could help: Apple is expected to increase the screen sizes of its Series 4 Apple Watches next month, and display pioneer Samsung is always looking for novel ways to differentiate and advance its devices, including the new Galaxy Watch.
Elongated smartwatches might not yet appeal to the masses, but just as some classic watches include smaller clocks within larger faces, feature-dedicated secondary and tertiary screens could find their way into next-generation smartwatches — or become the standout feature of the next exciting niche challenger. If EveRest evolves quickly enough past the concept stage, it could be the Sir Edmund Hillary of three-screened smartwatches, leaving everyone else at the bottom of a mountain, wondering whether they’ll ever be able to catch up.