While many members of the tech community no doubt loved the idea of Google Glass, the wearable’s viability was arguably damaged by (1) the cost, (2) the availability, (3) the legality, and (4) the social norms. As such, the device was discontinued way back in January of this year. Mountain View then took to damage control in the aftermath.
While there was news the project will resurface as a tool of the trade – such as for use in medical environments – Google itself formally restarted the efforts as Project Aura several months ago. Today we have a possible look at what kind of new product might be pending in the pipeline:
On November 24th, the US Patent and Trademark Office awarded Google a patent (No. 9,195,067 B1) for “Wearable Device with Input and Output Structures.” As can be seen from the pictures, the device has a headband-type design to it that wraps around part of the rear of the user’s head:
The next picture shows the inner components:
Additional images in the filing also illustrate how the HUD can be moved and adjusted to fit the wear’s field of vision.
For all these pictures and more, we recommend you consult the full filing here:
Time to celebrate?
It should be pointed out that intellectual property protection was submitted for consideration on September 28, 2012; this was shortly after Google Glass was first announced and well before it was released in 2013. As such, it’s difficult to say just how tangible this potential product actually is.
Now that the patent has been granted, Mountain View could go forward and make it into a proper purchasing proposition, but given the decision earlier this year it might also be such that the “next” Glass would have a different type of HUD unit or different design entirely.
Still, Google can now make the product described in the filing, and that alone speaks of many possibilities. Last week word broke about Project Aura possibly producing an version of of a “sport” device designed for audio-related purposes, along with two other devices that make use of screens.
Again though, given the actual age of this patent, only time will tell what comes to pass. This could ultimately turn into a real product, or it may just be one for the history books. Either way, it’s clear Google isn’t limiting itself to just one standard shape.