Google designs heads-up display in eyeglass lens

The latest in a series of wearable computing patent applications eyes Google Glass without the clunky display arm

Engineers at Google have developed a way to display information to people in the lenses of their eyeglasses.

An image of a heads-up display system included in a patent filing by Google.
An image of a heads-up display system included in a patent filing by Google.

The work, outlined in a patent application, is the latest in a line of research by the company that points to future head-mounted displays that don't require the clunky display arm that's present on the first generation Google Glass.

The design detailed in U.S. patent application 20130207887 calls for a small display to be mounted onto the surface of the lens of a pair of glasses. The display and a companion light source are located on the periphery of the lens and the image is funneled to the area in front of the user's eye with a couple of optical beam splitters -- passive optical devices that bend and route light.

In their patent application, the engineers have also included an eye-tracking camera and a couple of small lamps that illuminate the eye. One illuminates the entire eye and the other provides a focused beam that creates a glint in the eye to aid tracking, both likely operating at wavelengths invisible to humans.

In one of several images accompanying the application, a pair of glasses is shown with the heads-up display and eye-tracking technology mounted on each lens, but it could be used on just one lens, the application notes.

In use, the system could funnel a stream of information to the user like the current Google Glass devices. They allow wearers to read email, get news alerts, and receive other data overlaid in their field of vision.

An image of a heads-up display system included in a patent filing by Google.
An image of a heads-up display system included in a patent filing by Google.

The patent application also includes the possibility of a second camera that looks away from the wearer to enable augmented reality.

"In an embodiment with a secondary camera that captures an image of [the scene], [a] computer can use the eye tracking data and scene images to tell what part of [the scene] the user is focused on, and can use the additional data, such as the user's location established via GPS, for example, to provide information to the user about the part of the scene they are looking at," the application reads.

The application, which was published on Thursday, is the latest in a line of wearable computing patents filed by Google.

Earlier this week the company filed an application for a similar invention that just tracks the movement of the eye without the embedded display.

Patent applications provide insight into the types of projects that companies are working on. They are typically filed early on in the development process and the appearance of a patent application doesn't necessarily mean a future commercial product.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Data has the power to build or burn brands

A brand can be severely wounded by use or misuse of any of its assets and you could say data has the greatest power of all to inflict damage.

Lucy Acheson

Head of data strategy and customer experience, LIDA

Totto and your inorganic future

At Cannes Lions this year we’ve been treated to many artificial intelligence (AI) insights. It’s one of the major discourses of our time.

Richard Brett

CEO, opr

Personas of one and the rise of ‘always there’ marketing

I’ve got some bad news. The ‘always on’ marketing approach that many companies have only just fully implemented is already out of date.

Nigel Roberts

Founding partner and strategy lead, Yell

Machine learning represents the future for digital marketing. I'm glad that there are strides being made in this direction and that even ...

Claudia Evans

Looker eyes benefits of machine learning to connect with customers

Read more

I read you post full. It's really good .

Yusuf

Salesforce ups the Marketing Cloud ante with Datorama acquisition

Read more

Promotion is difficult. You should be able to do it. Sometimes it turns out bad, and when you turn to professionals, it turns out well - ...

Jordan Samuil

Village Roadshow partners with Lion for pourage rights and promotional partnership

Read more

This is very good news for Australian SMEs as ActiveCampaign is an very powerful marketing automation / email marketing tool that costs a...

Lawrence

SMB marketing automation provider sets up Asia Pac HQ in Sydney

Read more

Completely agree! For the best commercial properties in Mumbai, visit our website - Jagaha!

Gizelle

Salesforce ups the Marketing Cloud ante with Datorama acquisition

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in