There’s no question that one of the biggest challenges facing Google Glass is the wearable’s reliance on voice for most of its input. I’m sure many of you figured this out by now, but voice recognition technology isn’t quite “there yet” (although it’s getting better all the time). And while Glass works pretty damn well in quiet environments, mix in some noisy televisions or the hustle and bustle of a bar and you’ll quickly find that sending messages through Glass is all but impossible.
It was in October of last year that rumors began to swirl around a Samsung-made Google Glass competitor dubbed “Gear Glass.” These rumors were seemingly confirmed after a Samsung patent application revealed, what appeared to be, a prototype design for the upcoming wearable. Today, we may have a better idea of how Samsung is planning on attacking this voice-only input problem with their version of Glass, revealed in a WIPO patent application from August of last year.
The application which describes an “input method for apparatus or portable device” shows what appears to be an augmented reality keyboard super imposed onto the wearer’s hands. Input is entered by using the thumbs to press the corresponding letters displayed on the hand where the camera picks everything up. And where it wouldn’t be the most ideal method for typing out long emails, it could be useful for quick messaging.
Patents applications are never a guarantee that they’ll show up in the real world, even when granted. If nothing else, it shows that Samsung’s gears are turning (see what I did there?) and that the future of wearables will continue to evolve. When can we expect Samsung to unveil their rumored Gear Glass headset? Well, that’s still up in the air.
It was during Mobile World Congress last week that Samsung unveiled the Samsung Galaxy S5 during their Unpacked 5 event “episode 1.” It’s entirely possible we could see the Gear Glass unveiled during “episode 2” later this year alongside the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Should be an exciting year.