Motorola has announced a new wearable 5G neckband designed to power lightweight VR and AR headsets (collectively known as XR headsets), such as parent company Lenovo’s ThinkReality A3 smart glasses.
According to Engadget, the neckband resembles a large plastic lanyard and is equipped with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, a 5,000mAh battery, a touchpad, SIM card slot, speakers, and a variety of sensors including a gyroscope and accelerometer. Motorola claims to have collaborated with Verizon on the neckband, which can connect to the carrier’s mmWave 5G network.
The idea is that the neckband, which Motorola hasn’t named officially, will be able to act as the brains and brawn for a connected VR or AR headset. The headset itself can become lighter and more comfortable to wear by offloading components such as a powerful processor and a large battery.
Lenovo’s ThinkReality A3 smart glasses, for example, are typically 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.
The lanyard-style neckband appears a little goofy in the press images, similar to the various neckband speakers that have appeared over the years. However, Motorola specifically mentions enterprise users as one of its primary target customers.
Verizon’s vice president of device technology Brian Mecum mentions “sports training and fan experiences, as well as making VR theaters scalable” as potential use cases for the neckband in a statement. Users may appear silly while wearing the accessory, but they will be surrounded by a crowd of people wearing the same thing.