Google X boss Sebastian Thrun revealed on Charlie Rose that sharing a photo from Project Glass to Google+ was as easy as a nod, but a new Google patent suggests that the AR glasses could be controlled with the fingers.
According to United States Patent 8,179,604 filed back in September, but only made public on Tuesday, Google is considering a control mechanism that can either be embedded into wearable computers (such as a ring) or "affixed to a fingernail" that'll be used to interface with a head-mounted display (Project Glass anyone?):
In accordance with example embodiments, a wearable marker may be used for passive interaction with a wearable computing device. A wearable marker may take the form of a ring, a bracelet, an artificial fingernail configured to be affixed to a fingernail, a decal configured to be affixed to a fingernail, or a glove, among other possible wearable items. A wearable marker may further include an infrared (IR) reflective surface in the form of a surface pattern that is substantially optically invisible. A wearable computing device may include a head-mounted display (HMD) equipped with an IR camera device capable of detecting IR radiation reflected from the surface pattern on a wearable marker. The HMD and the IR camera device can function together to track position and motion of the wearable marker via reflection, and by doing so can recognize known patterns of motion that correspond to known hand gestures.
Is anybody else thinking of something along the lines of the interface used by John Anderton (Tom Cruise) in Minority Report but connected to the augmented reality glasses Google is cooking up?
Even more wild is that the "wearable computing device" could act as an identifier and load pre-configured settings based on each individual user. It'd be sort of like a biometric scanner or face recognition camera that "sees" who's using it. Kinda creepy, but just imagine!
This could also be a patent that's merely a patent and nothing more. Or maybe it was an idea that was scrapped in favor of nodding and head gestures.
If you've got time, feel free to dive deeper into Google's patent in the link below. It's worth a read if you love hearing about the future that Google is trying to build.