It was first designed for use in fighter planes, for use by pilots to make decisions that could save lives and win battles. Soon, the technology will be integrated in a device that people walking around town would be able to sport. We are talking about heads-up displays, in general and Google Project Glass in particular.

First made public in April this year, the device essentially is a pair of glasses that integrates a virtual heads-up display. The interface updates you on things that a device like your smartphone can - emails, reminders, meetings or the weather in your city. The only difference being all this will be conveyed to you right in front of your eyes, without you having to pull out a device from your pocket.

What brings this concept a little closer to reality is that Google was granted a patent for the wearable heads-up display earlier this week.

The patent also covered an integrated finger-tracking input sensor on the glasses.

According to the filing, “The wearable heads-up display may include a display element for receiving and displaying information received from a processor, and may also include a wearable frame structure supporting the display element.”

The device will also have a touch-sensitive component which the user can operate to manipulate content. In all, the device will comprise a processor; two display elements, “wherein at least one display element configured to receive display information from the processor and to display the outgoing information”.

This patent helps the Google Glasses cause and makes it one of the very few examples of wearable technology that has the potential to become a mainstream device in the not-so-distant future. Or, at least, so we hope!

Mahananda@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on June 21, 2012)
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