Last week Venture Beat reported that LG Electronics could launch their rumored G-Arch smartwatch along with their upcoming LG G3 smartphone during February's Mobile World Congress conference being held in Barcelona, Spain. A news source in Korea speculates that it could actually launch as early as the CES tradeshow being held in Vegas next week. So the timing of an LG smartwatch patent published by the US Patent Office is all the more interesting. The patent which was granted to LG in late December 2013 presents us with some interesting and unexpected twists. Whether their futuristic features would actually be ready for 2014 is unknown at this time.
Highlights of LG's Granted Smartwatch Patent
The following key points were presented in LG's smartwatch patent which was granted to them by USPTO in late December 2013:
LG's smartwatch could include a wireless communications module to transmit/receive a wireless signal to a mobile base station which means that it could theoretically be an independent phone.
LG's patent states that "For instance, the wireless communication module performs transmission/reception of voice data, text data, image data, and control data under control of the controller. The audio input unit may receive an external audio signal while the mobile terminal is in a particular mode, such as a phone call mode, a recording mode, a voice recognition mode, or the like."
The display unit may output information processed in the mobile terminal. For example, when the mobile terminal is operating in a phone call mode, the display unit provides a User Interface (UI) or a Graphic User Interface (GUI) which includes information associated with to the call. As another example, if the mobile terminal is in a video call mode.
The watch will accommodate a SIM or UIM card and use IrDA or Bluetooth to accommodate short-range communications with a wireless earphone. Data could be transferred and stored to an external device.
The memory of the smartwatch could store programs to operate the controller, or may temporarily store input/output data (e.g., phonebook, messages, still images, moving images, etc.). The memory may store programs to control the operation of the mobile terminal according to the present invention.
The smartwatch is to include a microphone to receive a user's voice and or command to control the operation of the watch type mobile terminal. The control may include commands to "Start" or "End" or to control sound, or command to convert the display into a touch display recognition mode.
The smartwatch will uniquely include a broadcast receiving module which receives broadcasting signals transmitted through satellite waves or terrestrial waves. The patent states that "The broadcast receiving module could also receive additional data relating to broadcasting, such as Electric Program Guide (EPG), and a channel list." Bringing TV to their smartwatch would provide LG with a powerful edge if, and that's a big if, they could deliver it to market first. Whether this feature is set for 2014 or some future date is unknown at this time.
The patent states that the power supply unit may be implemented as a rechargeable battery. And lastly, LG's granted patent states that "the sealing member provides an excellent waterproofing effect to the connection terminal having the internal and external terminals coupled to each other."
LG filed their original patent application back in Q2 2010. It was granted to LG by USPTO in late December 2013.
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