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Samsung shows off future of wearable tech and smartphones in San Francisco

Rumours about smartwatches from top tech firms like Apple, Google, and Samsung have been ramping up in recent months. But Samsung is the only company to have an executive go on the record to confirm that a smartwatch-like device is in development.

While it may take a few more months before we get to see Samsung's smartwatch, the company did show off what it has planned for future advanced wearable computers and smartphones at this week's MobileBeat conference in San Francisco.

Samsung's chief strategy officer, Young Sohn, took to the stage with a concept video (above), captured by AllThingsD, which revealed a slim smartphone that folds out into a square and uses photonic crystal actuators to allow on-screen colour changes without the use of LEDs or backlighting.

The video then focused on the health functions of the device, an area that Sohn said will be central to the future of wearable technology. In what appears to be a bit of clever special effects, the video showed the handset user pulling a tiny strip called a Painless Patch Sensor from the back of the phone and then placing it on her wrist. That strip then apparently sent her health information wirelessly to the smartphone, where it was displayed as an overlay on an interactive illustration of the human body.

None of these images were promised as something that might be available in the near future, but the concept video did serve to emphasise Samsung's focus and commitment to the wearable computing space.

As for an actual smartwatch we can purchase in the next few months, the latest hints, based on a patent filing discovered last week, indicate that Samsung's smartwatch may be called Gear.

Pebble has announced that its smartwatch has now attracted over 275,000 pre-orders.