Google granted patent for Smart Glove


Project Glass isn’t the only augmented reality project Google happens to be working on: they’ve recently been granted a patent for what can best be called a “Smart Glove”, somewhat similar to what Tom Cruise wore in the movie Minority Report. Consisting of several sensors, cameras, processors, memory and networking capabilities, the glove itself seems very unlikely to make its way to regular consumers (though I wouldn’t mind one to play around with).

Possible applications? One such is using gestures and Project Glass in conjunction to perform actions, such as zooming in with either the camera on the glove or the Glass. Another is interacting with holographic interfaces, such as Tony Stark’s computer in Iron Man.

I must admit, though, that I have seen some form of prior art in the segment. I’m referring to technology demonstrated by an MIT Media Lab assistant researcher and PhD candidate, Pranav Mistry. A video of Pranav’s at a TED conference is below. How similar is Google’s work to his? I’m not sure, but they definitely seem along a similar line.

[Android Authority]

Raveesh Bhalla

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  1. Sick.

  2. i just posted on g+ as “amazing”.

  3. Meh, just get that dumb foreman from the samsung/apple jury, Velvin Hogan, to testify that since they will run on different operating systems and processors prior art doesn’t exist.

  4. I would love to use that with Project Glass. Imagine walking on the street, you get a phone call, it appears on the glasses, and then you do an X movement with a finger(s) and it picks up the call. Even if you’re, for example, driving, you can still do the same finger movement. It’d be great for the average consumer, but I don’t see things coming “for real” for another at least 5-10 years.

    1. if i do that in the center of downtown boston, i will be the joker.

    2. I agree it would be awesome, but I think your timeline is a bit off.

      Google Glass developers kits go out early next year, let’s be conservative and assume that we don’t get any sort of consumer model for one year after that, or early 2014.

      Glass needs, at some point, a very strong and, user intuitive, input method and with this patent I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that Google will integrate the two together, perhaps even at launch. If not then, two years down the line at most. So 2-4 years.

      And Glass isn’t even needed, if we assume that it’s going to function with Android devices we could see some sort of working model even quicker than that, a consumer model coming in 2-4 years as well.

  5. Disneylaaaaaaaannnd..

  6. Best in mind that the existence of prior art in and of itself does not invalidate a patent. Excessive amounts of art that is too similar or would point to a natural evolution of a device invalidate.

  7. Nintendo did it first with the Power Glove.

  8. If the intention was to get me to watch Minority Report again, you’ve just succeeded Raveesh!

    1. It wasn’t, but honestly speaking I think even I’ll take out some time to watch it again. I find that movie inspirational in so many ways to ideate about futuristic stuff.

  9. I like that Google is thinking beyond something that you “hold in your hand” Don’t get me wrong I love my GNex, but in 5 years I’m not sure we are going to cling to anything as bulky as a handset. This is where Google could catapult beyond Apple with IP and creative forward thinking. It’s still a gamble somewhat but if this method of interaction takes off it will be great to see.

  10. sweet

  11. Pranav wasn’t using any gloves, was he? I just skipped through the video and didn’t see any on him.

    1. He had some kinda sensors on his hand in some of the shots I’ve seen. His stuff is a lot more rudimentary, as expected from someone working on a much tighter budget.

    2. 2:10

  12. opening the fridge with smart gloves on…accidentally calls ex-gf

    1. meh, i’d configure it to call the pizza place, because I know I don’t have anything else I want in the fridge.

  13. “I love the power glove. It’s so bad.”

  14. Where, oh where, are all the commenters who screamed about Apple patents and prior art?

  15. Prior art doesn’t matter with Google. They patent stuff so they can use it freely without a troll causing them trouble. They wont stop others from using it, unless it’s to bargain against a patent troll.

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