Those videos from Google I/O 2012 of the Google Engineers sky-diving and rappelling while using their Project Glass Google Goggles were certainly thrilling weren't they? Those guys have been working hard for several years to perfect that technology, and it looks like wearable computers are definitely going to become a reality thanks to their dedication and teamwork. It takes real genius and talent to mold reality until your vision is manifested. Luckily, Google loves to innovate. They enjoy this process and sharing it. Consumers will get to benefit very soon from this pretty enticing new tech.
Oh wait... nope. It may never happen. At least not in the way we think.
Why? Because Apple owns the patent on the Google Goggles concept.
Yep. Feel free to re-read that sentence. They were just granted the patent for a head-mounted display device. And of course, as is typical of that fruity company, their patent is sufficiently vague enough to offer them broad coverage of just about any version that might come along. Here's a quick tidbit from it,
Now, granted, they did apply for said patent back in 2006, so that's something, I guess. But, that doesn't mean that Apple is going to play fair with this one are they? When do they ever?Methods and apparatus, including computer program products, implementing and using techniques for projecting a source image in a head-mounted display apparatus for a user. A first display projects an image viewable by a first eye of the user. A first peripheral light element is positioned to emit light of one or more colors in close proximity to the periphery of the first display. A receives data representing a source image, processes the data representing the source image to generate a first image for the first display and to generate a first set of peripheral conditioning signals for the first peripheral light element, directs the first image to the first display, and directs the first set of peripheral conditioning signals to the first peripheral light element. As a result, an enhanced viewing experience is created for the user.
Never-mind the fact that they haven't really been developing a device like this, since filing the patent. No. It won't matter. They will likely lock Google Goggles up in litigation for months. Then, while that stalls out, they will rush to create their own version and claim they got there first. Yes, technically they did apply for the patent first, so that is true, but who was the real innovator here?
Admittedly, most of this is speculation as to what Apple may or may not do, but what does their track-record show?
When will this madness end?