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
cmo-xs-promo

Latest Videos

More Videos

who wants to date me I am 9 years old and i am a boy

Jeremy Hawkins

Sink a sub gaming experience signals Subway's renewed brand push

Read more

Great read. I agree that it should be a perfect balance between interacting with your customers and knowing your brand. As a business, yo...

Caroline Scott

7 ways CMOs can improve their customer engagement game

Read more

Very true. Team development helps improve collaboration among the team members. I was able to improve my team's collaboration skills by t...

Quent Sinder

Why empowering others can help make you a great leader

Read more

CRM is a very good software that can help you succeed in your business. In my company, this system has allowed me to improve customer rel...

Anna Janicka

Sensis rebrands to Thryv and brings business software to Australian SMBs

Read more

AI Leasing Assistants have finally arrived for the multifamily industry. With so many to choose from it can be hard to figure out which i...

Alice Labs Pte. Ltd.

CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 6 May 2021

Read more

Blog Posts

Unboxing 101 - How savvy influencer engagement can build a brand

The humble unboxing video is a powerful tool. Correctly executed, it harnesses consumer fandom, viral authenticity and brand design magic to deliver a high-impact message to a tightly targeted cohort of consumers.

Gali Arnon

Chief marketing officer, Fiverr

​Power to the people

Purpose is the ultimate statement of intent for many organisations. Why are we here? What are we trying to achieve?

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

The playbook to develop strategic brand moats

Warren Buffet is an unlikely ally for marketers. But his belief businesses need strategic moats that increase their value in the market while acting as barriers to competitors can offer marketers a new playbook for brand building and driving growth.

Fabian Di Marco

Founder and managing director, Tzu & Co

Sign in