Earlier today we posted a report titled "Google Glass Advances with Superimposed Controls & More," which was all about superimposed controls and instructions for external devices such as a kitchen fridge, computer printers and controlling your garage door operations. In this afternoon's report, we point you to another Google patent application that is mainly focused on the key component that is Google Glass – the very Glass eyepiece itself.
Google's Patent Background
A head mounted display ("HMD") is a display device worn on or about the head. HMDs usually incorporate some sort of near-to-eye optical system to emit a light image within a few centimeters of the human eye. Single eye displays are referred to as monocular HMDs while dual eye displays are referred to as binocular HMDs. Some HMDs display only a computer generated image ("CGI"), while other types of HMDs are capable of superimposing CGI over a real-world view. This latter type of HMD can serve as the hardware platform for realizing augmented reality. With augmented reality the viewer's image of the world is augmented with an overlaying CGI, also referred to as a heads-up display ("HUD").
HMDs have numerous practical and leisure applications. Aerospace applications permit a pilot to see vital flight control information without taking their eye off the flight path.
Public safety applications include tactical displays of maps and thermal imaging. Other application fields include video games, transportation, and telecommunications. There is certain to be new found practical and leisure applications as the technology evolves.
Google Glass: It's all about the Eyepiece Stupid
Google's patent boils down to the very core of what makes Google Glass what it is: their Glass eyepiece.
Google states that "An eyepiece includes an eyepiece frame, an in-coupling polarization beam splitter ("PBS"), an end reflector, and an out-coupling PBS. The eyepiece frame defines an air cavity and includes an illumination region for receiving computer generated image ("CGI") light into the eyepiece frame and a viewing region to be aligned with an eye of a user.
The in-coupling PBS is supported within the eyepiece frame at the illumination region to re-direct the CGI light to a forward propagation path extending along the air cavity towards the viewing region. The end reflector is disposed to reflect the CGI light back along a reverse propagation path within the eyepiece frame.
The out-coupling PBS is supported at the viewing region to pass the CGI light traveling along the forward propagation path and to redirect the CGI light traveling along the reverse propagation path out of an eye-ward side of the eyepiece frame."
In Google's patent FIGS. 2 and 3 shown below we see illustrations of an eyepiece 200 for use with a Head Mounted Display that is now known as Google Glass.
If you're a glutton for punishment, then you're in luck. You could review the intricate detailing of Google's latest Glass patent application 20130070338 here which includes 28 patent claims that lawyers love to rip apart like a gator to its prey. Google's patent application was originally filed in Q3 2011.
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