Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Oh, Patents! - Google's wearable computer (US2013002724)

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann
Have you seen anyone sporting Google Glass, a wearable, head-mounted computer?
The very first models are to be released this March 2013 to 1000 selected applicants who composed to the prompt:”If I had Glass….” , and then later this year, to the rest of the world. They come in 5 different colors: Tangerine, Charcoal, Shale, Cotton and Sky. With this featherweight, head-mounted computer in a tiny glass cube suspended over your right eye, you will be able, for example, to share what you are seeing in real time, take a picture, ask for directions and see them in front of you, record a message, or ask for a translation – all of this, hands free, voice-activated or with a few taps to the Glass side-arm!

Indeed, this is ubiquitous computing, at a whole new level of omnipresence and Amplifed Reality (AR). This Space-Age looking pair of spectacles has no lenses (and no plural) - Google Glass refers to the tiny glass cube embodying the computer- although eventually, you will be able to add your own prescription or sun lenses to the frame, and remove the Glass cube and its arm to dock it onto your own eyewear. Here is the official picture of the Google Glass, head-mounted computer... perfected for the ’hood :

The patent for this invention, USUS2013002724, filed by Google. Inc, titled: WEARABLE COMPUTER WITH CURVED DISPLAY AND NAVIGATION TOOL, was awarded on January 3, 2013, to a team of inventors:HEINRICH MITCHELL [US]; TAUBMAN GABRIEL [US]; GEISS RYAN[US]; BRAUN MAX [US]; HO CASEY [US]. It comes complete with …..
….systems, methods, and devices for interfacing with a wearable heads-up display via a touch-operable input device. The wearable heads-up display may include a display element for receiving and displaying display information received from a processor, and may also include a wearable frame structure supporting the display element and having a side-arm extending away from the display element. In some embodiments, the display information may appear at least partially curved to a user. In some embodiments, only a portion of the display information is shown on the at least one display element. The side-arm may be configured to secure the heads-up display to a user's body in a manner such that the display element is disposed within a field of view of the user. The touch-operable input devices secured to the wearable frame structure is configured to sense at least one of a position and movement of a touch or finger along a planar direction relative to a surface of the input device, and to provide corresponding input information to the processor. A navigation tool may also be displayed on the at least one display element for indicating the location of the touch on the touch-operable input device”. [US2013002724]
And, here are some of the patent drawings of the wearable spectacled computer, and a picture of the final marketed product. You will notice the leap in styles from fiction to AR, from Harry Potter to state of the 21stcentury runway fashion and the ‘hood…enough to trump all the optometrists of the world during the long patent examination process…!

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