Android co-creator Andy Rubin debuted the first product from his new hardware company Essential only a few days ago with the launch of the Essential Phone, an Android-powered device with most most critics are calling ‘decent’ specs. A look at the company’s patents filing, though, has revealed more ambitious plans with regards to augmented reality (AR) – a pair of AR smartglasses that look just like regular spectacles.
Similar to the prototype recently unveiled by Microsoft, the design for the Essential smartglasses incorporates the essential AR technology into the glasses frame and the lens of the glasses. As discovered by Patently Apple, the patent includes a dual-mode display, which would allow both lenses to display information, not just one. Also, the design includes at least two cameras, once facing the wearer, the other facing the environment.
Curiously, the design specifies that the cameras would be mounted on the lenses, but not extra hardware is present in the design, suggesting the cameras would be incorporated into the glass of the lenses itself. In the patent description, Essential engineers note that: “The one or more lenses can be prescription lenses, photosensitive lenses, sunglass-lenses, etc.”
Also in the patent description is how AR would benefit the user: “Based on the environment that the user sees, and based on the direction of the user’s gaze, the processor can display an image to augment the environment around the user. For example, if the user is looking at a barcode of an item, the processor can display cheaper purchasing options of the same item.”
In an interview with Wired, Rubin stated his opinion that Google Glass had been a great bit of technology, but that the world was not ready for it. Perhaps that can change with the Essential Smartglasses.
VRFocus will continue to report on news regarding the Essential Smartglasses and other AR products.