New patent hints at Google Glass wristwatch

A patent filing shows that, when it comes to wearable computers, Google is already thinking beyond eyeglasses.

(Screenshot by David Hamilton/CNET)

If the idea of a heads-up display inside your glasses still seems a bit strange, what about one for your wristwatch?

A patent issued yesterday revealed a new frontier for the Google Glass project: the humble wrist. A wristwatch design filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office shows a timepiece with a clear touch screen that flips up from the base of the watch to serve as a secondary display.

Images filed with the patent show the display being used to offer directions, product information and email notifications.

Patents don't always — or even often — become products. But a growing number of tech giants are paying increased attention to wearable computers. Pebble became the most-funded Kickstarter project ever with its smart watch design. Sony and Nike released wearable electronics of their own this year. Apple pushed the idea of using an iPod Nano as a wristwatch last year, but appears to have given it up with a redesigned Nano this year. That, in turn, led to speculation that it was developing a wearable computer of its own.

For Google, a wristwatch computer could fit neatly into its current local strategy, which involves providing real-time information about a user's surroundings in a natural, helpful way. The Field Trip app, which the company released last week to the US, provides pop-up notifications whenever a user walks by a point of interest. It's easy to see something like that being ported over to a watch like this.

Via CNET.com



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