Last month the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Motorola pertaining to a wearable computer that could take on various forms such as a wristwatch, strap and/or a bracelet. To be honest, Motorola isn't quite sure what they've invented yet as they've just thrown everything but the kitchen sink at a wrist associated computer that they don't really want to commit to it being any single device at this time. Our report presents you with a number of patent illustrations along with various notes that will give you a broad overview of Motorola's wearable computer invention.
Motorola's Version of a Wearable Computer
When a patent application presents itself in such an unwieldy manner with engineers throwing in as many ideas as humanly possible into one "invention," it just comes across as unfocused, uncommitted and unrealistic.
With that said, we'll present you with a few basics of their patent overview and perhaps in the future, Motorola will refine a companion patent that can confirm what it is they intend to produce.
In Motorola's patent FIG. 1 noted below we're able to see a consumer wearing an illustrative wearable electronic device configured as a bracelet, with a flexible housing and display that is configured to enfold about an appendage.
The display may be a continuous or segmented. One example of a continuous display suitable for use with the wearable electronic device is a continuous, flexible, organic light emitting diode display. Such a display could be disposed along a major face of the flexible housing, and is capable of altering its physical geometry as the wearable housing bends or flexes.
The wearable electronic device is configured to resemble a strap or bracelet rather than a conventional wristwatch – though in patent FIG. 36 noted further below they clearly present the device as a wristwatch design. So Moto tosses to and fro trying to determine what their device is, could be, should be or might be.
Motorola's patent FIG. 4 above illustrates a schematic block of a wearable computer which includes such things as a heart monitor, a pulse monitor, medical supply profile, moisture detector, infrared sensor, touch sensor, GPS and more.
Motorola's patent FIGS. 6-10 shown below illustrate various examples of display configurations suitable for use in a wearable electronic device.
Motorola's patent FIG. 13 noted below illustrates one explanatory wearable electronic device with active display portions.
Motorola's patent FIG. 15 illustrates a user gazing at, and gesturing to, one explanatory wearable electronic device. Motorola notes that the wearable computer will be equipped with a gaze-detection system.
Motorola's Crazy "Gaze Cone"
Motorola states that in one embodiment of their invention, the gaze detector of the wearable electronic device is also operable to determine a gaze cone that corresponds to the gaze direction. The gaze detector can do this in a variety of ways.
In one embodiment, the gaze detector estimates the gaze cone from average gaze cone data stored in the memory. In another embodiment, the gaze cone size is user definable.
In yet another embodiment, the gaze detector captures image data of the user and calculates a gaze cone based upon distance from the wearable electronic device, user eyelid and pupil information, and other information.
Regardless of determination method, when the gaze detector is operable to determine the gaze cone, the control circuit can be configured to alter the presentation of data on the display by presenting data on portions of the display disposed only within the gaze cone
In the end, the gaze cone as is described in this patent sounds a little farfetched for its own good.
Motorola's patent FIG. 21 noted below illustrates a method and apparatus for prioritizing portions of a display in a wearable electronic device.
Motorola states that the user will be able to deliver voice commands to the electronic device via the microphones in the wearable computer.
Motorola's patent FIG. 36 noted below illustrates an exploded view of one explanatory electronic device with separable components.
Motorola's patent FIGS. 38 and 39 below illustrate explanatory wearable electronic devices having gesture detection capabilities. In one embodiment the electronic device includes a mobile communication circuit, and thus forms a voice or data communication device, such as a smartphone. Other communication features can be added, including a near field communication circuit for communicating with other electronic devices as well as infrared that could work with a TV or set top box device.
Motorola notes that "The light sensor can be configured as a camera or image-sensing device that captures successive images about the device."
In one embodiment, the electronic module can be selectively detached from the active strap so as to be used as a standalone electronic device. For example, the electronic module can be detached from the active strap and worn on a jacket.
The control circuit of the wearable computer could also be configured to alter an operating mode of the electronic module to one of a plurality of functional modes. These functional modes can include a desktop mode, a telephone mode, a wristwatch mode, a health monitoring mode, a clock mode, a calendar mode, a gaming mode, or a media player mode.
And just in case you didn't figure it out already, the device will run the Android operating system.
Motorola filed their patent application under serial number 407026 back in Q1 2012 and USPTO published last month. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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