October 3, 2012
Google Patents Smart Watch Filled With Trove Of High-Tech Goodies
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Ever since the days of Dick Tracy (and possibly even before) humans have wanted the things strapped to their wrists to do more than just tell time. From placing phone calls to performing small calculations to even just relaying notifications, a number of hopes and dreams have been thrust upon this gadget´s tiny shoulders, only some of which its been able to handle.Yesterday, it was discovered that Google has filed their own patent for a smart watch, complete with super-cool flip up display and a few tricks from their Google Glass augmented reality spectacles.
So reads the abstract: “The base can be coupled to the wristband and include a housing, a processor, a wireless transceiver, and a tactile user interface. The wireless transceiver can be configured to connect to a wireless network. The tactile user interface can be configured to provide interaction between a user and the smart-watch.”
Like all their products, Google could aim to use this watch as an altogether unit, meaning your phone calls, emails, text messages and even Google searches could be conducted right there on your wrist. Just as is the case with the elusive Google Glass eyewear, this new idea for a Google smart watch would allow users the ability to snap a picture to receive more information about said product, essentially performing a Google search for the item. For example, “Product information may include a variety of features including, but not limited to, nutritional information (health rating), whether the user has the product at home, coupons, other related advertisements or pricing information.”
That´s right: Your watch will know what you have in your house. Best not to wear such a device to bed“¦
Google smart watch wearers could also pretend to be secret agents as they speak into their wrists. For instance, as listed in the patent, this smart watch could search for and deliver directions to a certain location, either displaying the directions on the bottom screen or speaking them to the user via turn-by-turn navigation. The watch can get these directions by using the GPS and wireless radios as well as the cameras. Working as a sort of digital eye, the camera can “see” surrounding buildings and determine the users´ GPS coordinates around this information. Of course, as with everything Google, this phone could also be used to deliver targeted ads or even simply gather even more information about a person´s daily habits or whereabouts.
There seems to be a great deal of interest behind smart watches these days, moving many daily and mundane activities to yet an even smaller screen. Even a cursory search on Kickstarter reveals a shift from desk to pocket to wrist. One such watch, the Pebble, was funded early this spring and has been hailed as the most successful Kickstarter project ever, earning $10 million by the time the campaign ended.
Another recently funded campaign brought bluetooth enabled voice commands to the watch. For example, sending a text is as easy as speaking it into your wrist and dialing the phone can be done the same way. As an extension of the smartphone, the Martian Watch also acts as a second display for notifications.
It would be easy to assume from the likes of these Kickstarter campaigns that people want to do more with their watches and yet, there have yet to be many commercially viable products made for the mass market. Perhaps Google´s patents could change that.