Google Acquires Glasses Patents

Last week, Google announced that they would be developing a pair of augmented reality glasses that would present informational displays to users based upon voice and motion commands, at their Google Plus Project Glass page. The announcement was accompanied by a video showing a mockup demo of how the glasses might work:

Google acquired three patents from former Indy 500 driver Dominic Dobson’s Motion Research Technologies, Inc., on March 30th, according to the USPTO’s patent assignment database. The assignment was recorded by the patent office as taking place on April 12th, 2012. The patents appear to have gone up for sale originally in March of 2011. A followup post on the Project Glass page responded to questions as to whether Google’s Glasses might work with prescription glasses. Interestingly, one of the patents acquired describes how it might work with eyeglasses as well:

A screenshot from patent 7,631,968 B1 showing a display device clipped on to a pair of glasses.

A screenshot from the same patent shows information being transmitted to a display from a number of different types of devices, from cell phone to GPS, volt meter to gas meter, PDA to Laptop to compass:

This screenshot from the patent indicates that they could be used with a range of different types of devices.

This part of a glasses display device, seen in one of the patents, is a mirror housing which provides additional light to the display. It looks somewhat like an attachment that is shown on the demos of the Google Glasses:

A mirror housing attachment as part of a display device that can add additional lighting to a display

With Dominic Dobson’s past history as a professional racer, racing 7 Indy 500s, I didn’t find it to be a surprise that one of the images from one of the patents looks like a racing helmet:

A screenshot from the patent which shows something like a racing helmet, with a display device attached

The 3 acquired patents are:

Multi-use eyeglasses with human I/O interface embedded
Invented by Dominic Dobson
Assigned to Motion Research Technologies, Inc.
US Patent 7,648,236
Dobson January 19, 2010
Filed: September 8, 2008


An multi-use eyeglass apparatus is disclosed. The apparatus generally comprises a frame, a display device, at least one sensor and a transceiver. The frame may have a plurality of lens openings defining an optical path. The display device may be mounted to the frame and configured to display an image to a user wearing the frame, wherein the image is located outside of the optical path.

The at least one sensor is generally mounted to the frame and configured to sense a response from the user. The transceiver may be mounted to the frame and configured to (i) receive the image in a first receive message from external of the frame and (ii) transmit the response in a first transmit message to external of the frame.

Cell phone display that clips onto eyeglasses
Invented by Dominic Dobson and Peter K. Purdy
Assigned to Motion Research Technologies, Inc.
US Patent 7,631,968
Granted December 15, 2009
Filed: November 1, 2006


An apparatus generally including a first housing and a second housing is disclosed. The first housing may have (i) one or more first clips configured to removably secure the first housing to a frame of eyeglasses, (ii) at least one sensor configured to sense a response of a user wearing the eyeglasses and (iii) a transceiver configured to (a) receive an image in a receive message from external of the apparatus and (b) transmit the response in a transmit message to external of the apparatus.

The second housing may be (i) attached to the first housing, (ii) positionable before a lens opening of the eyeglasses on a side of the lens opening opposite the user and (iii) configured to display the image to the user through the lens opening.

Ambient light display and system for displaying data
Invented by Dominic Dobson, David Andrew Weber, David Joseph Perry, John David Patton, Matthew A. Rhoades, Keith Bryant Payea, Peter Purdy
Assigned to Motion Research Corporation
US Patent 7,675,683
Granted March 9, 2010
Filed: September 22, 2005


A system for displaying data includes a display unit and a transmitting unit. A display unit has a housing that defines an ambient light window and a viewing window. A data display is positioned inside the housing, and optics are included for guiding light from the ambient light window through the display and out the viewing window.

Google did also acquire a patent for a Multi-function display apparatus, which might play a role in the development of Google’s Glasses. They also acquired a number of patents from Outland Research last fall, which included a patent for a Portable music player with synchronized transmissive visual overlays

a screen shot from the patent showing someone wearing the swimming goggles, with a cut-out closeup of the monitoring apparatus in one of the goggle lenses.

Robert Scoble did run into Google Founder Sergey Brin wearing a demo pair of the Glasses a little over a week ago, but in his instagram comments noted that Brin wouldn’t let him try the glasses because they were “still too buggy.”

Google Glasses may be one of the devices that we search through in the future, and interact with others on the Web. It appears that Google is still working upon making them work, and it’s possible that what we see in the demo video from Google isn’t what we end up with, but the Project Glass team appears to be actively soliticiting suggestions on what people would like to see from the Glasses.


Author: Bill Slawski

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