LG 3G smartwatch in the works: report

  • AFP
  • Updated: Sep 30, 2014 11:26 IST

Documents filed with the FCC in the US detail a device that has the potential to connect to the internet and make calls without being tethered to a smartphone.

Its oval-shaped screen measures 57.7mm x 35.5mm and the device will come with its own 3G antenna, all of which makes it sound not unlike Samsung's Gear S watch, which was officially unveiled at the beginning of September at a big media event in Berlin, Germany ahead of the IFA 2014 tech expo.

The smartwatch market is still very much in its infancy. Unlike for smartphones, there is no universally agreed screen size, shape or list of functions and features. And, as a result, companies that are taking their first steps into this new wearable market are doing so with very different devices.

Samsung has already launched six different wrist-worn devices over the course of the past 12 months, the most recent of which, the Gear S, can be used to make and receive voice calls without the need for a smartphone. And now it looks as though LG is following suit.

The company has already launched two smartwatches of its own, the affordable square LG G Watch and the stylish circular LG G Watch R. Both use Google's Android Wear operating system and both connect via Bluetooth to a smartphone.

However, according to documents filed with the FCC in the US, first spotted by G for Games, its next smartwatch will feature a 3G antenna.

What isn't clear in the documentation is what exactly the mobile internet connection would offer end users. Will it work as a phone, or will it simply allow apps to work independently?

There is doubtless a market for a smartwatch that can be used for making voice calls, or at least one that can be worn and used without also having to carry around a smartphone.

The Timex Ironman One GPS+ for example, has piqued many a fitness fanatic's interest since it was announced in August because it doesn't need to connect to a phone. It can track everything from number of steps taken to distance covered and route travelled. It has an integrated 3G connection so it can also push email and text message notifications to the wearer's wrist and share updates including location via social media.

It even doubles up as a music player, thanks to 4GB of storage space. However, it can't be used for making phone calls. Nevertheless, it does mean those that love the outdoors and think nothing of scaling a small mountain before breakfast can head off into the wilderness without a large handset weighing them down and still be able to stay in touch.

As for the Samsung Gear S, it is yet to go on sale but is expected to hit the shelves in the US and Europe in October. No doubt LG will be monitoring consumer reaction with interest.

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