Google’s Project Glass secures patents

May 17, 2012

Google has secured a number of patents related to Project Glass, the glasses which will one day augment reality.

At the beginning of April Google unveiled Project Glass, a company initiative to design a pair of glasses capable of doing many of the things a smartphone is capable of doing. Alongside the first details and a few screenshots of a prototype of the glasses was a video titled One Day… (embedded below) which suggests Google’s ultimate aim for the technology.

Unfortunately it looks like it will take many years for the future imagined in the future becomes (augmented) reality. Because the actual Project Glass goggles (for want of a better description) featured in design patents recently awarded are a little underwhelming. They look just like the prototype pair already worn in the wild by Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

Google has secured three patents related to Project Glass, listed as a “wearable display device frame.” In addition to Google these patents were awarded to designers working on the project, namely Maj Isabelle Olsson, Matthew Martin, and Mitchell Joseph Heinrich.

As can be seen in the image above the Project Glass product resembles a pair of ordinary spectacles with the obvious addition of some gadgetry in one of the arms. A small display sits in front of the wearer’s right eye displaying relevant information. There is also a camera capable of catching still images and/or recording video.

This is far removed from the Project Glass specs featured in the video, which show a truly augmented reality in which information is overlaid on a person’s view of the world. What Google actually has isn’t far removed from what’s already available, the difference being its product will likely be powered by Android.

I do believe we will one day all be wearing a pair of Project Glass goggles similar to those in the video, but that one day is clearly far into the future. Google has a habit of trying to run before it can walk, and if it plans on launching the first generation Project Glass product before the end of 2012 there will be an overwhelming shrug of the shoulders from mainstream consumers, followed by a collective cry of, “Is that it?”

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