A camera in a smartwatch might sound awkward, but a new patent from LG shows a new design that could make taking a snap from your wrist easy.
The patent has recently been filed with the USPTO (United States Trademark and Patent Office) and shows a smartwatch with a camera module built into the strap. There are several variations in design, but they all show a module in the strap, which is sometimes removable and other times not.
The camera itself is built into the wristband and always sits one band section below the lug band, so if on your wrist, it would be facing you. However, the module can be seen to be removable or adjustable in some of the designs, hinting that you could remove the camera and place it anywhere on the strap. This would solve the issue of having to awkwardly angle your wrist to take a sick snap for your Instagram page.
The patent also references ‘mobile terminal’ features, which to us means the smartwatch camera may be linked to an AI like Google Lens. Patent drawings show one of the smartwatch designs using a camera to scan a barcode and a QR code. If you scan these on your Android phone, Google will usually show a page of search results or take you directly to a web page. It’d be cool if your smartwatch could do so too.
So, will this smartphone camera patent ever see a production application? Well, LG aren’t afraid to try something new. They dipped their toe into modularity with the LG G5 smartphone a few years ago. The G5 was a rubbish smartphone though and didn’t meet any sales targets. LG may be more cautious this time around. In other words, don’t hold any high hopes for a camera on your next LG smartwatch.