Google / Apple see us as the Future BORG
Is Apple working on a rival to Google Glasses? Leak hints that a head-mounted iPhone may be on the way
- Apple’s move could be response to upcoming ‘Google Glasses’
- Patent for wearable computing device with transparent glass
- Move comes as companies such as Epson bring out techno-glasses
By Rob Waugh
Apple could be working on a wearable, head-mounted version of its his iPhone.
Patents uncovered this week show that the technology giant has been investigating a head-mounted display with transparent glass.
Google showed off early versions of its own ‘computer glasses’ – Project Glass – earlier this week. Companies such as Epson have already rushed to make their own versions.
Apple’s patents, filed in 2006, suggest that the company has been interested in the technology for a considerable time.
Ready for sale: Selected software developers have chance to pay $1,500 to order an advance version of Google Glass, which was displayed by co-founder Sergey Brin at the Google I/O conference on Wednesday
Extreme: The Glass demonstration was meant to prove that the device is ready for users to begin testing it and pushing its limits
It’s not clear how close to market Apple’s version might be.
Apple’s patent refers to, ‘Methods and apparatus, including computer program products, implementing and using techniques for projecting a source image in a head-mounted display apparatus for a user.’
Google’s glasses are designed to let users capture video with a built-in camera as well as use apps, the internet, and social networking sites on the move.
The idea is to bypass computers, tablets and smartphones entirely and keep the user connected in a (fairly) discreet way.
With the glasses, directions to your destination or a text message from a friend can appear literally before your eyes.
Experience: Google has already released a sneak-peak at the user-interface for the Glass, which broadcasts data directly in front of the eye, bypassing cell phones
The demonstration shows off a weather forecast layered over a view of the world
The demonstration shows off navigation information similar to what Google currently offers via its Maps service
You can converse with friends in a video chat, take a photo or even buy a few things online as you walk around.
In development for more than two years, the project is the brainchild of Google X, the online search leader’s secret facility that spawned the self-driving car and could one day let people ride elevators into space.
Isabelle Olsson, an engineer on the Glass project, said the company created the glasses for people to interact with the virtual world without distracting them from the physical world.
It is designed to interact closely with your senses, without blocking them.
She said Google had two broad goals in mind: communications through images and quick access to information. The device has a camera to capture fleeting moments and allow others to see the world through your eyes.