Google enters the wearable computing market with Google Glass, a contest, and a patent

Google has filed a comprehensive patent for Google Glass technology, their wearable glasses that directly plug you into the internet wherever you look. The big win for Google in the emerging wearable computing market is linking their search engine and advertising machine to the places you are and the things you interact with every day.

imagesFor example, if you look at a pair of shoes in a shoe shop the glasses could project the price and information about the shoes onto your visual field. An eye movement could allow you to interact with the projected content.

Why?

This is somewhat scary but also an inevitable outcome of ubiquitous computing. It is the next logical step from the smartphone. Eye wear manufacturers are going to have a field day with designs, styles, and form factors. As an eye glass wearer I enjoy the renewed trendiness that glasses have enjoyed with the proliferation of styles and designs in the 2010s.

Apple is working on their Apple wrist watch, probably because Google has patented the eyewear concept to the nth. degree. See the patent diagrams below.

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Patented to the nth degree

The USPTO has published a new patent application today from Google, which describes in comprehensive detail the Google Glass technology. This patent was originally filed in August of 2011.

This newly discovered patent / leaked marketing campaign describes not only individual components of Glass: the display frames, image projection and capture, wireless connections, sensors and more.

Contest and Marketing Hype

Google has also launched a mega marketing campaign leveraging social networking. You enter the contest by describing what you would do with Google Glass if you got your hands on a pair. The  winners then shell out $1500 for the privilege of owning a pair. This doesn't seem like that much of a deal to me.

In the process Google gets free marketing, priceless usability information, and get to make some money selling the pre-release product as well as the final-release product when it ships (probably to the same people).

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