Google’s Project Glass Gets Patent

It’s reality like you’ve never seen before. Google has just acquired a patent for Project Glass which is aimed at changing people’s lives forever and how they view it. Google’s Project Glass has already received space here on this blog with my colleagues Chinmoy and Pallab writing about it here and here. Very recently, a test report described the prototype for Google’s wearable computing project was released. It described all the cool features of the Project Glass ‘smart glasses’ headset.

Sky divers tested Google Glasses while freefalling. (Courtesy: Google)

A new paradigm to hearing

Google recently sought – and obtained – patentfor their audio transmission technology titled ‘Wearable Computing Device with Indirect Bone-Conduction Speaker’. It doesn’t use earplugs, as that might interfere with the ambient sounds, but transmits sounds via the skull bones into the inner ear. This is a refined version of what Beethoven is said to have done about his own deafness – he put a rigid rod between the piano and his head, so that he could pick up vibrations from the piano. While the success of that experiment is unknown, Google has certainly impressed people with their bone-conduction technology. Reviewers however rate the quality of sound to be slightly lower than the earplug sound quality, but it is good enough for most purposes.

More things to be packed in!

The Heads-Up Display is also being modernized. Google plans to incorporate most features of the Android OS onto the display. Its concept video shows all sorts of cool additions, like Google Maps, Video chats on the go and sharing display while video chatting, but these will take a long time to incorporate.   Google showed off the glasses by having skydivers sound and video test it. A group of skydivers relayed live photos from the glasses last year as they dropped down towards the Google developers’ forum. Publicly promoting the glasses was Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin who was spotted sporting these shades!

The future?

The market seems to be ripe for picking. A lot of companies are vying for the Head-Up display eyegear, and Microsoft and Motorola have filed their respective patents in order to bite into the massive potential market pie. However, Google seems to be heads and shoulders above these companies when it comes to this market share. Only time will tell whether Google can create – and rule over – this niche in the highly competitive hardware market.

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Debjyoti Bardhan

Is a science geek, currently pursuing some sort of a degree (called a PhD) in Physics at TIFR, Mumbai. An enthusiastic but useless amateur photographer, his most favourite activity is simply lazing around. He is interested in all things interesting and scientific.