Say goodbye to the neck pain that comes with playing VR for too long. Motorola, and its parent company Lenovo, teased a 5G neckband that’s meant to offload most of the weight of an AR or VR headset.
Motorola’s lanyard-esque device doesn’t have an official name yet, but it was designed to house most of the necessary components that modern-VR headsets run off of. Since most of the bulk is shifted to the 5G neckband, it was meant to be paired with a much lighter headset that requires a tether, like the Lenovo ThinkReality A3. Motorola also partnered with Verizon so its 5G neckband could run off the company’s 5G Ultra Wideband network.
Enterprise applications — Even though this could mean a way more comfortable VR gaming experience, it seems like Motorola is more interested in enterprise applications for its 5G neckband, at least at the moment. Brian Mecum, Verizon’s vice president of device technology, said in Motorola’s blog post that the 5G neckband could be applied to uses like sports training, fan experiences and even making VR theaters scalable. Mecum told Engadget that they’re working with “some sports leagues” and on “something pretty big with education.”
Motorola said the device will be powered with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, and as Engadget noted, it will have a 5,000mAH battery, touchpad, SIM card slot, charging light indicator, and will weigh roughly 3.5 ounces. The 5G neckband will also be built with a host of sensors, including a gyroscope, accelerometer, GPS and 5G antennas, according to Engadget. Don’t tell the conspiracy theorists though, because instead of a radioactive necklace that shields you from 5G waves, this one was designed to actually connect to 5G.
Gearing up — Motorola hasn’t released any pricing or availability for this 5G neckband yet. It’s hard to say if Motorola’s design will catch on because it does look a little strange, but the concept of lightening the load from your head and putting it around a necklace does make some sense. It helps that the world of VR is no stranger to weird design, especially considering this bizarre muzzle-looking device and this stretchy skin-like sensor.
With Motorola and Lenovo offering this new concept for AR and VR, it feels like companies have been in a race to offer the next innovation in this growing space. So, we might not be too far off from a world where we have to gear up with a bunch of accessories before actually jumping into VR. Let’s not forget though that the most popular VR headset, the Quest 2, requires little-to-no setup.