Manufacturers have been experimenting with exotic wearable designs for a quite while now in an effort to stand out from the growing competition, but LG’s latest entry may just take the cake. It’s a regular pair of smart glasses save for an oversized external battery that hangs over your shoulders like a sort of high-tech necklace.
That small rectangle is the connector through which power from the battery is carried up the electric wiring inside the cord and into the glasses. The location of the outlet is not clear-cut in the newly released patent filing where the design made its debut, with a different schematic showing a frontal placement meant to improve mobility, but all of the variations are detachable.
A small auxiliary power source embedded into the frame allow the glasses to operate on a standalone basis for an extended period of time, thanks in no small part to the fact many of the most energy-hungry components are in the neck unit. That includes the sensors, the microphone and the speaker, which borrows a page from Google Glass and employs bone conduction to transmit audio directly into your ear.
The arrangement affords the design versatility that’s not found in many existing alternatives: A user can opt to wear just the glasses when they can make do with only the core visual capabilities and put on the neck unit in more demanding situations like, say, a day-long hike where they have no access to a charger. But that is not to say the latter configuration completely gives up on convenience.
The external battery can serve as a rest for the frame when you’re not actively using it thanks to a recess in each side designed to fit the corresponding part of the glasses. And the filing indicates you can wear the combined whole just as well on your head as on your shoulders, which might come handy during calls to bring the microphone closer to your mouth.
But as practical as the design may be, most consumers aren’t away from a charger long enough often enough to justify the extra cost and weight of an external battery. As a result, it’s more likely than not that LG will offer the necklace an accessory for its future smart glasses rather than part of the package should it ever hit the market.