By now most know that the upcoming Google Glass wearable computer will employ bone conduction technology for the relay of information to the user through a transducer that sits beside the user's ear. The use of bone conduction means that any vocal content that is received by the Glass user is nearly inaudible to outsiders. Well, that might be too freaky for some people and so Google is now working on providing Google Glass customers with the ability to customize their eyewear by adding an earphone attachment. Though in the bigger picture, Google is thinking of designing a customizable version of Google Glass that will fire up an attachments business model for retailers. We covered some of Google's ideas about Google Glass upgrade kits two weeks ago in respect to prescription glasses. Now we get to see a few more of their latest ideas.
Google Glass May Offer Various Attachments
We start this report by pointing to Google's patent FIG. 7B illustrating a customizable version of Google Glass. In this version, the arm of the eyewear will be flexible so that it could rotate upwards or downwards as needed instead of being in a stationary position as we've seen in earlier iterations of Google Glass.
Another twist could be found in Google's patent FIG. 7C which illustrates that there'll be a physical button on the eyewear's arm so as to allow user's to quickly take photos and videos without having to use an Android voice command. I mean who really wants to be talking to their wearable computer in public in the first place? Simply clicking a single button on the eyewear's arm will be a stealthier feature to begin with yet add fuel to the fire with a skeptical public that includes businesses like bars and casinos.
Moving on to Google's patent FIG. 13 we see that in a Google Glass model that offers customization, the component that goes around the user's ear could be outfitted with alternative earphone attachments. Google Glass is set to work with Android and likely iPhone smartphones either wirelessly or via a wired connection allowing users to play their music. So the earphone attachment may be very popular with many users.
Next up is Google's patent FIG. 9 shown below which illustrates an example of a boom (#514) that is in a configuration to fit over a right eye of a user in a general form. The embodiment of FIG. 10 can be mirrored or inverted in a version that can be worn over the user's left eye. So unlike initial iterations that were fixed over the right eye, Google now appears to have decided that in the customizable model, users will be able to switch the Google Glass arm to the left side if that's the user's preference.
In the embodiment shown in FIG. 9 above, the attachment feature of the band includes a track (#536) that extends along a length of the arm (#540A). The attachment between the boom and the band can be configured to allow adjustments between the relative positions of the band and the boom. The user will be able to attach the Google Glass arm to the frame using a simple screw as indicated above which illustrates that the user will be able to have a little flexibility in adjusting the arm both forward and/or backwards for viewing comfort.
In Google's patent FIG. 12 shown below we're able to see yet another customizable attachment that includes a band that wraps entirely around the head of a wearer. In such an embodiment, the wraparound portion can be integrally formed with the band or with a portion of the band. Alternatively, the wraparound portion can be a separate structure that can be assembled with a band in place of earphones as illustrated above in patent FIG. 5.
The wraparound portion will be able to be configured for a secure fit in contact with the back of a wearer's head to help hold Google Glass in position during activities requiring a great deal of movement like exercise.
The wraparound portion can also be configured to house one or more batteries to power Google Glass and internal connections and wiring for carrying such current. In one example, the wraparound portion can house one or more flexible battery structures. The wraparound portion will be designed to bend or flex to provide the users with conform to the head or neck.
Google's patent application was originally filed in Q1 2012 under serial number 353445. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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