Motorola and Verizon have announced a smaller 5G neckband that could create the opening to enable lighter and slimmer AR/VR headset designs in the future. While the trajectory of development of AR/VR headsets has seen a gradual decrease in their sizes, they are still currently quite large. The new design by the two companies looks at an innovative approach to the large headset by introducing a 5G neckband that will power such AR/VR headsets or glasses.
The idea is that the neckband, which Motorola doesn’t provide an official product name for, will be able to act as the brains and brawn for a connected VR or AR headset. By offloading components like a powerful processor and heavy battery, the headset itself can become lighter and more comfortable to wear. For example, Lenovo’s ThinkReality A3 smart glasses are generally designed to be powered by laptops, but using them with a neckband could make them far more portable, similar to attempts to power AR and VR headsets using smartphones.
“Motorola 312 Labs is focused on exploring new and developing opportunities in mobile technology, including innovative wearables and form factors,” said Jeff Snow,Product General Manager at Motorola. “With this collaboration, we’re further strengthening our partnership with Verizon to solve new challenges in the industry and advance consumer and enterprise AR use cases.”
“Motorola’s wearable neckband and ultra-lightweight AR smart glasses leverage Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network and mobile edge compute platform, enabling us to deliver immersive technology in many fields, such as sports training and fan experiences, as well as making VR theaters scalable,” said Brian Mecum, Vice President of Device Technology at Verizon.
The new Motorola-Verizon 5G neckband for AR/VR headsets has a 5,000 mAh battery, a touchpad, USB-C support, DisplayPort 1.4 connectivity, an accelerometer, and a gyroscope. These features will ensure the versatility of the device, although there is no word yet about the release date and pricing of the 5G neckband.