While electronic companies are busy fighting for the crown of the ‘post-PC’ era, Google has been working hard on innovative gadgets designed for the future such as Google Glass and driver-less cars.
The search giant’s newest work (possibly in progress) to come under the lights is a smart-watch, for which it has recently filed a patent. According to the patent details, the smartwatch will be designed to have an electronic display and a flip up display (possibly transparent) on top of it to display extra information.
Interestingly, the upcoming Nexus event is just a few weeks (or maybe, days)away and the filing of this patent could make so much sense. What if a Nexus branded smartphone is also on its way to surprise us? Likely possible, but let’s not keep our hopes high on this.
Well, watches haven’t changed much since their inception several decades ago and attempts from companies such as Sony, Motorola, etcetera have failed to take off due their poor execution. Perhaps, the only smart-watch that has successfully taken off is Pebble, designed by a small company named Allerta. However, it sports a e-ink displayand its functionality is limited to phone notifications, GPS and similar apps.
The filed patent can be found here, but its insanely long and you can even hurt your eyes trying to read it. Excerpts of the patent are as follows:
A smart-watch comprising: a wristband; a base coupled to the wristband and including: a housing, a processor, a wireless transceiver in communication with the processor, the wireless transceiver configured to connect to a wireless network, and a tactile user interface…
…the flip up portion including: a top display exposed when the flip up portion is in the closed position, and an inside display opposite the top display, the inside display being concealed when the flip up portion is in the closed position and being exposed when the flip up portion is in the open position;
This is probably the most interesting bit of this story — Augmented Reality:
…the flip up portion forming a viewfinder for the camera when in the open position and configured to display information regarding an image within the viewfinder, the processor being configured to activate the camera when the flip up portion is in the open position and activate an image retrieval system that generates information related to an image captured by the camera when the flip up portion is in the open position.
Apart from normal operations such as phone notification, GPS apps, etc., imagine your watch providing real-time information as you point it to surrounding objects or persons. While this may sound a bit too futuristic, the technology for this is already in works by Google who had recently filed a patent for recognizing objects automatically in videos.
In fact, the possibilities of Augmented Reality is endless. And with the unveiling of Google Glass and rumors of similar gadgets by other electronic companies (cough cough, Apple), the future surely holds a lot of amazing things for us.
If you’re new to Augmented Reality, Dan Sung of Pocket-lint has written a nice and detailed article describing the term, which you should definitely read sometime