LG thinks the future of mobile cameras is detachable

The front-facing camera on your phone is about to get a lot more useful if LG has its way with its latest patent filing. Detailed inside is self-sustaining capture module with an embedded battery and a wireless chip that you’ll be able to pop off the rear using a special release mechanism and place anywhere within range.

Notice the display below the camera, which can use that connectivity the other way around to stream video from the device to which the module belongs. LG envisions you alternating between the two in different situations, the arguably most compelling of which is outdoors as a wearable.

The illustration contains a number of interesting details besides the implementation itself, most notably the module’s relative size to a future phone that could carry it. That puts the proportions at roughly around that of an iPod Nano, which is quite impressive given the sheer mount of componentry that LG plans to put inside, not to mention useful in many other scenarios with similarly little available space:

This sketch reveals another key tidbit about the module: its range. The patent suggests that the embedded wireless chip will use Bluetooth, which narrows down the possibilities to the three classes of power in which it’s commonly implemented, two of which can be ruled out due to energy and distance considerations based on the image. That leaves Class 2 Bluetooth with its maximum range of 32 feet, or 10 meters.