Above is a demonstration of Google's Project Glass, a project that more-or-less puts a $1,500 computer into wearable form. Project Glass will use Siri like voice input, running on Android, that Google hopes to make available by 2013.
However, if you thought that Google was first to think of the idea of computational eye computing, well then think again. Apparently, good old Apple has not only has been thinking of such a wearable gizmo, but has already begun taking out patents for it as far back as 2006, some five years ago, as noted in a post by Wired.com.
Apple doesn't refer to its eye-computing concept as a HUD (heads up display), but rather as a HMD, or a Head Mounted Display. Unlike Google's Glass, which uses a one-eyed display, Apple's HMD would use two displays that would also feature 3D capabilities. Wired.com said noted that:
"With two displays, stereoscopic 3-D images can be shown to the user for a comfortable, immersive viewing experience. The HMD could also be used for augmented reality, transmitting a transparent image superimposed on the world in front of you using reflective mirrors. In the patent, Apple provides a few examples of where this would be useful: in surgery applications where CAT scans or MRI images could be combined with the surgeon’s field of vision; for military personnel, firefighters and police, who could use the display to show tactical information (see “Terminator”); and for scientists and engineers who could benefit from viewing stereoscopic CAD drawings.
The way Apple’s patent deals with peripheral vision could help keep the user from experiencing feelings of motion sickness, which other HMDs can sometimes cause. Users would also be able to make individual adjustments to the device so that it properly fits their eyes. The patent description also mentions that video and image information could be received from a portable external source, like an iPhone, which could divide the images into one frame for each eye."
Personally, as cool as Project Glass looks, if you ask me, that one-eyed display also looks a little goofy to me. A two-display device looks a little more balanced at least and with Siri like functionality input built in, I tend to question whether or not if there wouldn't be the possibility for yet another patent squabble ahead? Fosspatents Florian Mueller noted that Siri's unified search feature is already giving Samsung, Google and Android a rough time of it lately and wrote:
"AllThingsD also reported on Google's announcement to push out a software update that will work around the preliminary injunction patent. The big question here is going to be how they will steer clear of infringement: since this is not a standard-essential patent, it's definitely possible to build a smartphone that doesn't infringe the '604 patent, but based on the court's claim construction, it's hard to see how a modified version of Android can still provide Siri-like unified search. Or to put it differently: unless Google removes the Siri-like unified search functionality altogether, we're in for an enforcement dispute, and the risk for Samsung would be to be found in contempt. Tough choices."
And that's my 2 cents 4 this cloudy Wednesday, July 03, 2012