In an expansion to the technology found in its futuristic, social-everywhere “Google Glass” project, the search giant has this week been found to have filed a new patent with the USPTO, which may one day see the pair of interactive glasses able to physically project a laser keyboard onto your arm, or nearby surface.
Originally patented by Google as a concept in the Summer of last year, U.S Patent 20130016070, entitled “Methods and Systems for a Virtual Input Device,” covers a separate theoretical expansion for Google’s $1,500-a-piece transhumanist glasses, by showing how the company may one day in the future plan to build a model of the glasses which is capable of projecting content onto a user’s skin.
From here, a user would then be able to fully-interact with this projected content, (for example, the projection of a keyboard), using an input method which is intrinsically familiar — touch.
“The patent describes a use in which the glasses’ camera interprets a user’s gestures, so that they can accept input both via tapping virtual keys and by moving the hand,” CNET reports.
It’s only a patent application, of course, and there’s no telling whether the ideas described will ever make it into a product. But it does show that Google engineers are thinking hard about the Glass’ input problem, recognizing that for wearable computing to go mainstream it will likely need to expand beyond voice control. Laser-projected keyboards could be one way to make that happen.
The patent detailing the potential futuristic modification to the product was originally filed by Google on June 26, 2012, and names Thad Eugene Starner (Mountain View, CA), Tom Liang-Yu Chi (San Francisco, CA) and Luis Ricardo Prada Gomez (Hayward, CA) – as its inventors.