Sunday, June 12, 2011

Two Kinds of Google Goggles

google goggles

It appears that Google is in the goggle business (in more ways than one). The first, and more well-known type of Google Goggles is the search function that allows you to use your mobile device camera to search for logos, locations, products, and landmarks just by snapping a picture!

google goggles

Check out this video from GoogleMobile that demonstrates how the Google Goggles work:

“Wouldn’t it be great if you could just put on a pair of magic glasses and instantly find out more about the world around you!”

I’ve tried it out, and although the technology is still young, it’s still fun to see what comes up in this new form of augmented reality.

Not the kind of goggles you had in mind? Well, you may be interested to discover that Google might be getting into a more tangible form of goggle products. According to this article, Google has acquired a patent for a “multi-function display apparatus” that includes a method of calculating heart rate, lap, and position that is then “transmitted into the wearer’s field of view by means of a fiber optic element and projected at a focal point within the focusing range of the wearer’s eyes” (source).

The patent was originally granted to inventor Harry Linden in 1996. More research into Harry Linden’s inventions reveal a product called Time Window that displays information on an LCD screen inside a goggle lens. However, this idea seems to be old news as “Linden’s company is working with fiber optics to create a system that essentially transmits the image formerly confined to the LCD directly onto the lens surface of goggles or eyewear. The image is transparent so as not to interfere with wearers’ vision” (source).

google goggles

Could this be the technology covered in the patent that Google acquired? The description certainly seems to include transmitting information via fiber optics into the goggle field.

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