Nokia has filed a patent for a new device concept that suggests it is considering entering the smartwatch market.

Both Sony and Samsung are currently leading the way in that particular field, with the Smartwatch 2 and Galaxy Gear both launching of late. Then there is the Pebble, with an E Ink screen. But we fully expect many other manufacturers to launch their own wearable computing devices too, and Nokia could be one of them.

The patent, published today, 17 October, describes a "multi-segment wearable accessory". In essence, it is modular and more like a bangle or bracelet than a conventional watch.

nokia patent suggests it s about to enter the smartwatch arms race image 2

There are multiple small screens that can show exactly what you want to show on them, so the device can therefore be highly customised for the wearer. Nokia's plan is for each screen to play the part of a different mobile device you might carry, so that you only need to have one - the wrist watch - on you at any time.

The patent was originally filed in August 2012, so this is a project planned for a while. Whether it sees the light of day in this form or whether Microsoft will decide to continue with the idea once it has taken the reins of Nokia's devices division remains to be seen.

We suspect, however, that this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to new smartwatch concepts.