The intelligent-glasses category may have another participant as the marketplace shapes up. Samsung, according to a newly revealed patent, is joining Google – and reportedly Apple, Microsoft and others – in wanting to put its logo where your eyes are.
On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal posted a story that Samsung’s patent for “sports glasses” was registered in October in its home country of South Korea. The described device enables a person to take phone calls while exercising, view informational alerts from the phone over one of its two translucent or transparent eyepieces, and through earphones integrated into the frame, listen to music during the multitasking workout.
More than Google Glass, the Samsung device appears to be happy living its life as a peripheral to a smartphone. The patent drawing, for instance, shows a wire connecting the glasses via micro-USB. No mention is made of such wireless connectivity as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, although one assumes they would be available, nor is there any indication that Samsung Glass – assuming the tech giant wants to keep the singular usage Google has adopted – is a platform for apps, as Google Glass is.
Interactive headgear and smartwatches, including Samsung’s recently released Galaxy Gear, are the most visible manifestations of wearable computing devices, which have been on the drawing board since at least the late ’80s. But be careful what you wish for.
In another story, the Journal recently reported that, as computing devices become easy to wear, companies are – surprise! – quite eager to capture every action your body or mind takes during a day. Smart badges, for instance, can make you more visible to management than you ever want to be. Just imagine the finely-detailed chunk of dynamic data that you could become if you were also wearing a smartwatch and interactive glasses.
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