LG has filed a patent for a smartwatch that features a camera in the strap. The concept of having a camera in a watch has already been and gone, with the first Samsung Gear, but now it seems that another South Korean manufacturer wants to revisit the idea.
The patent, which was filed with the United States Trademark and Patent Office (USTPO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), is for a design that features a camera in the watch band. The position of the camera would allow users to point their wrist at a subject and take a picture by tapping the display. It all sounds a bit James Bond and his laser watch, doesn't it?
The good guys at LetsGoDigital have put together a couple of renders to show how the concept could be integrated into a smartwatch design.
Aside from taking stealth photos of people on the train, there are other real-world applications to having a camera conveniently placed on your wrist. The patent outlines a couple of different possibilities, which can also be seen in the designs below. They include a food recognition feature for tracking calorie intake as well as a QR code and barcode scanner for when out shopping. There is provision for a feature which would allow you to take a picture of a pattern or particular design and then transfer it your smartwatch as a new 'wallpaper' for your watch face.
The patent also references 'mobile terminal' features, which would suggest that the smartwatch will come with cellular connectivity as well as NFC.
In terms of camera placement, there are a couple of solutions offered as part of the patent. Perhaps the slickest of them all is placing the camera in one of the links on a metal watch strap (as shown in the image at the top of this story). Another possibility is a spring click that can attach to anywhere on the watch band.
Just because LG has filed a patent for this, doesn't mean that we will ever see it on the market. Companies file patents all the time and many never see the light of day. This one, however, seems plausible enough to be released this year if LG can get its act together.
What do you think about the potential for cameras to return to smartwatches? Have your say in the comments below.
Source: GSM Arena