LG patent melds wearables and styluses in a bendable smartwatch

February 6, 2014
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In what could be one of the strangest unions of technologies, LG has filed a patent that is practically a flexible capacitive stylus with some smartwatch functionality, or a smartwatch band with a stylus tip. It remains to be seen whether this patent actually amounts to anything, though the design does raise some interesting points.

Aside from the S Pen heavily marketed by Samsung, very few other mobile devices nowadays carry a stylus since the demise of the Pocket PC and its kin. Due to that revolution in interaction methods, styluses (or styli) have become excess baggage that would still be nice to have in some occasions and applications. LG seems to be trying to find ways to bring back the power of the pen without adding bulk to your device, and what better way to do that than by masquerading it as a watch.

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The design of this smartwatch slash stylus may remind some of toy rulers or sticks that conform to the shape of a wrist with a simple slapping action, though we hope this device won't be as painful. Based on diagrams on the filing unearthed from the USPTO, the band comes with a detachable stylus head on one end, and what seems to be a touch-sensitive LCD display on the other end. The wristband is shown to be able to communicate with a paired smartphone and, for example, show missed calls. A simple tap on an icon on the display will then allow the user to make a return call. There also seems to be some indication that the smartwatch will employ the use of vibrations to convey notifications on the smartphone.

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On one hand, the idea seems to have practical benefits. On the other hand, it remains to be seen how this design will work out in practice. LG has already shown its wearable plans at CES 2014 with the LifeBand Touch. However, a stylus of that girth might not be the most comfortable writing or pointing instrument to handle. It might do for emergency purposes or rare occurrences, but LG might need to makes some refinements, and even some compromises, if it's truly intent in reviving the popularity of a stylus.

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VIA: Unwired View


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