(Source: @EVLeaks)
Of course both borrow from the 90s beloved (or loathed, by some) snap bracelets

LG Electronics, Inc. (KRX:066570)(KRX:066575) -- South Korea's other electronics giant -- is feeling the pressure, having recently been bumped to fourth place by a surging Huawei Technology Comp., Ltd. (SHE:002502).
Top Twitter leaker @EVLeaks showed off an interesting wearable that LG Electronics may be planning as a secret weapon to drum up sales of its G3 flagship smartphone.
But phone bloggers at Android Beat were quick to note the capacitive stylus's "striking resemblance" to the FLAXUS, a Kickstarter stylus campaign launched last year by Jack Chau, with the goal of creating a wearable capacitive stylus.

FLAXUS™ | Stylus in Fashion | Worlds first wearable stylus by AEGLO™ from AEGLO on Vimeo.

The design secure over $12K USD in funding, more than its $10K USD goal, thanks to 441 preorders.  It also garnered a Red Dot 2013 Honorable Mention Award for Design.  Mr. Chau's company AEGLO describes the product writing:

AEGLO's patent pending wearable stylus compliment both style and practicality perfectly.
FLAXUS stylus

Android Beat was quick to chide LG for the apparent design theft, commenting:

To have a stylus on your wrist sounds novel from a functionality standpoint, not to mention the aesthetic appeal, but it has been done already, LG.


So is LG's wearable in trouble before it has even been announced?  Our advice: don't get too worked up.

It turns out that LG actually has a patent of its own on this tech, which it filed for back in November 2012, in South Korea.  A patent is currently pending on the wristband-wrapping stylus in the U.S. -- U.S. Patent Application 20140035884.  

LG Slap Bracelet patent
LG's late-2012 slap stylus patent [Image Source: USPTO]

While plenty noisy, Hong Kong, China based AEGLO was actually following in LG's wake, launching in Feb. 2013 -- at least three months after LG had filed a patent on a similar design.

So it doesn't sound like LG will be losing a lot of sleep.

And of course, both FLAXUS and LG Electronics' designs are heavily inspired/derivative of the iconic slap bracelets of the 90s (which FLAXUS even pays homage to in its press releases).  So if anyone is borrowing from anyone's design, one thing is for certain: both companies are borrowing from 90s pop culture.

FLAXUS and 90s trivia aside, rumor has it the new slap bracelet styluses will be given away as freebies with the purchase of the LG G Pad 8.3.  Then again, the @EVLeaks pic shows it being used with the LG G2, so it's possible a wider giveaway is in the works, perhaps with the G2 and G Pro 2.

LG G Pad 8.3
LG G Pad 8.3 branded Slap Stylus [Image Source: Geek]

LG's domestic arch-rival Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KRX:005930) (KRX:005935) has seen a lot of success in larger form factors with its S Pen.  LG may be a latecomer to the phablet stylus race, but it also arguably has the more promising solution, as the LG Slap Stylus doesn't cannibalize space in the smartphone chassis (as the S Pen does) and it's substantially larger and easier to grip that the competition (i.e. the S Pen).  The only downside is that you have to wear a snap bracelet to enjoy its perks.

Apparently LG has been giving away samples of the upcoming wearable at press events over the last few months.

The 2012 South Korean patent reveals that LG hopes to eventually add a low power display and wireless networking to the stylus, allowing it to double as a second screen/smartwatch.
LG Slap stylus

LG Slap StylusLG slap stylus

If it can do that and make it affordable, it might win over some smartwatch doubters, even, given its two-fold utility.

Between unique features like this stylus wearable and its narrow lead over Samsung in the OLED display arms race, LG is down a bit in the smartphone market, but by no means out of the game.

Sources: @EVLeaks on Twitter, FLAXUS on Kickstarter, Geek

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