This is what Google Glass looked like back in 2011 (and what it could eventually become)



Just as CES is beginning to wind down, we’ve happened upon another interesting patent put forth by Google. As you know, a product or idea in its infancy might not look like the unit that’s eventually launched to retail. They undergo countless changes and refinements until everyone’s happy with what they’ve cooked up. We imagine the same happened for Google Glass.

This patent — originally filed back in 2011 but published in recent days — shows an eyeglass apparatus that includes an onboard camera, as well as a physical shutter button that can be used to snap a photo of whatever’s in front of you. The main illustration Google used to explain their patent is perhaps one of the oddest things we’ve ever seen:

google glass prototype patent image 1

You could call it a natural combination of GoPro-style video capturing equipment and, for the very people that would need a GoPro, safety goggles (Google refers to goggles as a potential category of eyewear that this design could be used for).

But it’s this idea that may have been the original basis for what we now know as Google Glass. The patent’s description goes on to describe a system where the camera could be used in conjunction with a head-mounted display (such as the one present on Google Glass) to facilitate the use of augmented reality applications and general photo and video capturing.

Even more interesting than how the camera is fitted, though, is how Google envisioned displaying information to the user. Figure 4 inside the patent document shows a device that would be able to project information like notifications, time, battery life and more directly on not just one lens, but both.

google glass prototype patent image 2


This is in contrast to the current implementation which uses a single capsule that protrudes from the main frame element and holds all the computing guts, which in turn mounts a separate display for projecting information onto. The patent goes on to detail things like cellular and wireless connectivity, touchpads for manipulating a user interface and more — some of those features have already been implemented in the current iteration of Google Glass.

google glass prototype patent image 3

So why is it only just now surfacing? It could be because Google is getting ready to use some of these ideas in a forthcoming revision of Glass not yet seen by the public. A recent report from the Wall Street Journal suggests Google will introduce a major new version of the smart glasses with an entirely new set of silicon for the product’s retail release, likely powered by Intel.

A source familiar with the matter also tells Phandroid that Google has been internally testing a new model of Google Glass that look more like traditional frames than the Star Trek-like eye guards Levar Burton would’ve been proud to wear. We’ve already seen them go that route with a stylish line of frames that you can mount Glass to, but perhaps they’re looking to make that the standard kit and caboodle once it hits retail.

Whatever the case may be, we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Google wants to make Glass more appealing to your everyday Joe Schmo by introducing a radical change in design (especially since a lot of people seem to be doubting their ability to thrust it into the mainstream limelight in its current form). Would you buy Google Glass if they managed to come up with a less awkward design?

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. *pummel* *pummel* *throw in locker*

  2. Am I the only one not excited for Google Glass at all? Sure the technology is cool, and I’m all for the advancement of technology, but social interaction is at an all time low because people already can’t get off their phones and have a conversation without having to stare down at their screen. Constantly checking their phones for notifications that aren’t there. Scrolling through Facebook for posts that haven’t changed. Sorry for the rant guys, but it just kills me that people can’t even talk to each other face to face anymore.

    1. Most people can hold a conversation just fine. If you don’t know such people, you may need to get out more yourself.

      Second point of critique: Assume you are right, what’s so bad about not talking in person as much as we once used to? Habits change, the world is in constant flux, organisms haven’t spoken to each other for a longer period that they actually have. What’s so good about talking more in person, what exactly is the benefit?

      Lastly I leave you with this:

      1. Meaningful conversation creates bonds between people like very few other things can. Sure, technology can help enhance and maintain those bonds but it can’t replace them. It isn’t excusable to spend what little time you have to actually talk to and share experiences with your friends checking random stuff on your phone just because you’re socially anxious/indifferent/not sure what to say. You can even just listen and pay attention and things will already be better. Don’t just be with your friends, LIVE in the moment with them.

        1. Can’t talk for others, but I generally look at my phone (and yes people have accused me of being a phone addict) when it shows me something more interesting than my current surrounding.

          What I am saying is that,instead of blaming technology for making us interact less, I say it has just taken away all the useless conversations people used to have. I’d much rather look t a video on my phone about a ct playing a piano (actualy never saw such a video on my phone) than talk to the guy next to me about the weather.

          Sure I may miss out on some great friends…because talking about the weather we find out we have a lot in common and bla bla bla years later we are best buds for ever…but what are the odds for that? I can have meanngful conversations with people I meet on the internet as well (before the internet we called these people ‘penpals’) And with the internet I can narrow the people I interact with to those I already have something in common with, HEre I am talking to someone who also likes android RIGHT NOW!! :O

          There are pro’s and cons to moving social interactions online and unless someone does all the math and research, saying one is better than the other is just shortsighted and uninformed

          1. “useless conversation people have”.

            Again, pathetic. Sometimes the smallest conversations can make someones day.

            “when it shows me something more interesting than my current surrounding”.

            So, pretty much *ANY TIME* something doesn’t interest you, you have to look at your device? You really are a sad sad person if you can’t do anything else but look at your device. Even if somethings boring you, do something else. Don’t automatically go and reach for your fifth limb.

          2. It was an example. Start making sense like the other replies to my post or I might ignore you and start looking at my fifth limb instead. It was A reason for looking at my phone, not the sole go-to-end-all-answer-for-every-boring-scenario Believe it or not, but my phone is NOT always so interesting in and by itself (example, places without wifi :P, since you are mister literal I will say that the wifi thing was a joke, not to be taken seriously)

            “Again, pathetic. Sometimes the smallest conversations can make someones day”

            So? Most of the time it does not. Sometimes a gentle “how are you” whatsapp message or “good luck on your exams” or something can mean the world to someone as well.

            You can’t look at one tiny aspect and use it to justify all the rest. That is like saying, well 1 person wins the lottery, so it is good. So EVERYONE should buy the lottery and if you don’t you are stupid! (I hope I don’t have to explain to you why that example is bad reasoning)

            The question still stands:

            PROVE to me that less social interaction is worsening our living conditions. Quote actual research papers or perhaps talk about how it affects the brain in a negative manner. Don’t just spout whatever you THINK is best for you (and thereby by extension the rest of the world…ugh)

            For example If I were on your side I’d give this argument: smartphones and connecting with people online is not as good as reallife connections with actual people, because online you have the possibility of running into you ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

            That would scare some people into more social interaction

          3. You make a good point here. What would I rather do? Have a arbitrary conversation that will most likely be forgotten within minutes or watch a silly video that may entertain me and stay in my memory for hours or days.

            I’ve felt both ways before, and it depends on my mood. And I think this is an example of an individual situation where some feel one way and others don’t. There are day’s where I don’t want to spend time watching videos at all, I’d much rather talk to someone about the weather. Even though it is largely a useless conversation, I may walk away feeling better about talking to someone. Maybe I brightened their day, who knows…. But a very valid point.

            Maybe it’s the type of person I am, but from time to time I like to leave my office, put my phone in my pocket and walk around the city just looking at things and people. I like to absorb my surroundings. I don’t always talk to people either…. sometimes I do.

          4. my time on my phone is usually spent reading AP/Engadget/Reddit or replying to whatsapp/hangout messages.

            But I do get where you are coming from. Sometimes you’ve just had it with the small screen and want to engage in a conversation with other people. That is perfectly ok, I just don’t get why other people feel the need to call my phone-gluenes an addiction that needs to be cured when they can’t prove to me how it is actually negatively affecting me

      2. You have no argument there. We’re not talking about organisms as a whole. Don’t try and get on some deeper level. Humans have been talking to one another for hundreds of years. Stop trying to defend something that’s clearly happening in front of us. People are addicted to their phones. It’s not a good thing. Why would you try and defend lack of social interaction? We thrive on social interaction.

        1. Just trying to put things in perspective. You say less social interaction is bad, I ask you to back up that claim. How and why is it bad in light of new developments?

          How is the change to sending whatsapps so much different from sending postcards back in the days? Or using the telephone instead of face to face convo’s? How is glued to your smartphone different from reading books/newspapers all day?

          People complained about lack of social interaction with each of those developments and humanity has done fine despite their cynicism. Don’t be one of the old geezers talking about how everything was better in the old days.

          Yay for social interaction, but humans are a remarkably adaptable species. Kids growing up these days with an ipad in their crib will be just fine in this modern world. Perspectives changes, what seems OK and good to you for the future…well the future generations are not like to agree with all your choices. They view the world differently and have different needs and desires. Talking face to face as often as people used to may not be one of the those.

          1. You are whats wrong with this generation of newer technology. I’m not even a Luddite. I love this technology, I love to see how it evolves and gets better, and how it will transform the way we live.

            You’re exaggerating a lot too. People don’t sit down and read newspapers *all* day. And of course sending a message is over via email or application is easier, I’m not denying that. But sending one measly letter shouldn’t turn into sitting on your phone for hours on end like a lot of people do.

            How is telephone bad as opposed to face to face? That one should be obvious to you. You don’t even see their face. You can’t see their emotions, what they’re doing, whether they’re even enjoying themselves or not. At least when you’re with someone you can have an amazing time and be with them, and talk to their face. Instead of being miles away using a technology just to talk to them, and not even bother to go and see them.

            To flat out say “the future generations are not likely to agree with you” is quite ignorant. I’m one of seven billion people in this world. There are many, who I’ve even spoken to that would agree with me. This is an issue that’s been raised many, many times. Obviously for good reason.

            Have fun living in a virtual world.

          2. “You’re exaggerating a lot too. People don’t sit down and read newspapers *all* day.”

            Some people do read books all day, just like some people play with their phones all day. Not everyone reads books all day, not everyone plays with their phone all day.
            Why is the phone worse than a book?

            “How is telephone bad as opposed to face to face? ”
            So let’s ban the telephone too…all phones are now banned. Smartphones, dumbphones, normal house telephones. Yes because the world is so much better off with only face to face conversations. Things like SKYPE don’t exist in this world we are living in either.

            Skype allows people to see eachother, yet most people prefer to call. They CHOOSE not to see the other person. Most people text more than actually call. They CHOOSE to not hear the other person talk. Apparantly people PREFER their communication more to the point in MOST situations.

            Now either MOST people are dumb (an argument which I am in favor off, but that is a different discussion) and actually prefer a lifestyle of communication what is bad for them
            that new lifestyle is not so bad for them, but only a minority seems to think it is and wants EVERYONE to adopt THEIR views on how to communicate by engaging in discussion with stupid to no arguments like you are currently doing.

          3. I understand you playing devil’s advocate and it makes for a good debate. Here’s a point I’d like to make:

            Social interaction humanizes the people around us and makes us more sensitive to our surroundings and the people in those surroundings.

            I’m not going to spout about the recent news stories about violence, etc either. Humans, by nature are a nomadic herding species. We’ve overcome the nomadic nature through farming, etc. But we still rely on family and social structure in our society to provide an ethics based right and wrong. Being able to connect to another human being at an emotional level (even though you’ve never met) is a strong binding force of humanitarianism. (Taking care of our own).

            I have no doubt that (as a species) we can overcome reliance on this social behavior, but do we really want to? I suppose that’s a question for an individual, not a people. Interestingly, my son just finished reading “The Giver”. Great book, i read it years ago. the movie is coming out soon, it may be relevant in this conversation.

            So, I’ll finish with this. Although there will always be individual exceptions, do we (as a people) want to lose that physical social connection with ourselves and the reliance and comfort that others see you as a person, not just another drone going through the motions of their lives?

            This all may be a bit heavy handed, but do you think we’re headed in a different direction with technology? I caution you to think objectively and far into the future (not just 5-10 years). :-)

            I love a good debate!

          4. Further than 5-10 years in the future given the oculus, gear VR, cardboard that are currently ind evelopment I don’t see matrix/style VR as an impossibility. Technology could enhance conversations if the person currently half a world away can in the VR environment stand next to you…sure it might not be real and it is all bits and code, but do we really care about that? Will we really experience it as any different from actual real life social interaction if you can’t tell the difference? For all we know we might be living in a simulation already and what we think is reallife conversing is already a machine reading code and interpreting it for us. #inception #matrix #surrogates

    2. People are talking to each other more than ever because of Technology. I dont understand why this argument keeps coming up.

      1. They’re not talking, they’re communicating. They are using Technology as a proxy for communication. Face to face interaction and true social behavior is at an all time low.

        Being able to be connected and communicate all the time is not the same as physical social interaction. Interviewing skills are horrible in today’s budding work force. We go to work in our 6×6 cubes and interact little with others. We go home and get on our gaming consoles and Facebook to communicate with our “friends”. We are breeding a new society of introverts.

    3. Man yes, I am totally with you. Watching my friends check social media for notifications of “likes” and other horse sh*t instead of conversing with the people that are actually there with them makes me sick. I love my phone, I love Android, I love technology, but people are becoming obsessed with mindless dribble and barely living.

      1. You both make very good points! I guess this is why i’ve been hearing a lot lately about these technology fastings.

  3. For me the prohibitive thing is the price not how it looks. If it was $500 I’d buy it. If the new one will look good but will still cost $1000+ I can’t.

  4. That screen overlay reminds me of Wear on my 360.

  5. My God Google Glass is still on life support? Pull the plug already, let it go.

  6. Want to make something that looks nerdier than the odd futuristic Glass we have out. Put it in the cliche nerd frames or steampunk goggles with a camera button on top and a camera that looks like a third eye. I’m glad they got some designers involved after they got the patents squared out.

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