Most carrying cases that show up in a simple Google search for a future Glass carrying case are those made of a soft material that resemble a big pouch. Recently a Google patent application surfaced at the US Patent Office which indicates that they have a patent pending higher end carrying case on the drawing board that has a few tricks up its sleeve. Our report sheds some light on these features with one of them being an integrated Thunderbolt port.
Google's Patent Background
In the area of portable consumer electronics, constant reduction of size and weight, along with increased functionality are often sought. While technical advances allow for electronics of a low weight and high-performance to be made that are robust enough to withstand frequent or continuous use, storage and transportation of such device can still subject such devices to damage or premature wear. This can be due to the unexpected and sometimes extreme conditions that users can subject such portable devices to when the devices are stowed, otherwise out of sight, or otherwise being transported while not in use.
Specialized cases have been developed that can add a degree of protection to electronic devices during storage and transportation thereof. These cases can include a custom shape, interior pocket or the like that conforms to the shape of the electronic device and can provide an additional degree of padding or cushioning therefor. Generally, such cases provide nearly consistent contact with the various external surfaces of such devices
Such cases, however, can be problematic for some types of portable electronic devices. Head-mounted displays, for example, can include delicate optical components and various adjustable of flexible structures for providing fit on the head of a wearer that some cases can interfere with or damage.
Google Glass Carrying Case with Added Functionality
Google's patent pending invention relates to the carrying case that will be used with Google Glass.
Google notes that the carrying case will include a power source and means for electrically connecting the power source to the power source of the device. In an example, the power source can be a battery. Additionally or alternatively, the power source can be a kinetic charging element or a photovoltaic panel exposed at an exterior surface of the case.
The case can further include electronic circuitry configured to facilitate a connection with an external power source.
The case can further including a magnet adjacent the recess for magnetically retaining a magnetically sympathetic portion of the first end within the recess. Alternatively, the case can include a ferromagnetic element adjacent the recess for magnetically retaining a magnetic portion of the first end within the recess.
The case can also include a port for connecting the case with an external computing device and electronic circuitry for communicating with the external computing device. Additionally or alternatively, the means for connecting can include short distance wireless communication circuitry.
Google notes that the carrying case can include a communication cable or communication connection, such as a USB cable or a USB connection shown in patent FIG. 3 above, that can attach with port 180 on the Google Glass extension arm noted below.
The enlarged free end noted above as #144A can also include one or more connection contacts (noted as #182) that can be used to connect Glass to a power source to recharge a battery without removal thereof.
Google further notes that Glass will include a connection port as first noted above that can be used to connect Glass to an external device such as a smartphone or a computer. The port can be any standardized connection type port such as USB, fire-wire, thunderbolt, or a specialized port.
Materials Considered for the Carrying Case
Google notes that the material used for the carrying case can include an outer layer of a protective material, such as rubber or a plastic of sufficient flexibility to allow opening of lid by the bending hinge portion of the case.
In one embodiment, the outer layer can be made from leather or a synthetic leather to give a pleasant tactile feel and a "high-end" appearance, while providing a degree of protection. The material can also include an inner layer of a generally cushioning material made of "dual density" composite structures.
Materials that can be used on the inner layer can include various rubbers, latex, silicon, TPE, foams (such as foam rubber or neoprene), or a soft-touch coating. The inner layer can also be a fabric such as cotton or velvet of various synthetic fabrics.
In an example a microfiber fabric can be used for inner layer in the form of a microsuede, microfleece, or woven microfiber cloth. Such microfiber fabrics can provide additional protection against delicate surfaces of Glass while being able to clean or polish of various elements of Glass while in storage.
The multilayer composite structure can also include a reinforcement layer interposed between the inner and outer layers. Such reinforcement layer can be a rigid layer of material, such as metal or plastic. Acceptable metals can include aluminum or steel, and acceptable plastics can include styrene, polyvinyl-chloride ("PVC"), polyethelene, polycarbonate, ABS, polypropylene, or the like.
Google filed their patent application in Q2 2012 and it was published recently by the US Patent and Trademark Office. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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