Google Glass Augmented Reality and Magic Leap Virtual Reality Team Up?

Hat tip to Barbara Starr (follow her on Google+ for interesting news on Semantic Search and new technology developments), who asked the question that is the title to this post (using slighly different words.)

The Verge reported this morning that Google leads $542 million funding of mysterious augmented reality firm Magic Leap

Magic Leap Header from Twitter

You really need to visit the Magic Leap website to get a sense of what they are capable of doing, and there are a few more details about this funding on their press page, including this line from Google’s Sundar Pichai, SVP at Google:

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Google Acquires More Wearable Computing Glasses Patents

One of the more interesting discussions about Google Glass I’ve seen recently was in a forum where one of the participants was describing his own homemade version of Google Glass, which he named “Flass” (if someone at Google happens to be reading this, you should send him a pair of Google Glass, just because.) What was really interesting was that he was using a MyVu display in his clone.

I call it interesting because Google seems to have acquired a number of the patents from The MicroOptical Corporation, which was the predecessor to MyVu. MyVu no longer appears to be in business, and according to LinkedIn, the Founder and CEO and CTO of MyVue is now the Director of Operations at Google X. Here’s a view of one of the pairs of glasses created by MyVue (MicroOptical):

MicroOptical (Now MyVu) Industrial Monocular

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Google to Introduce a Searchable History of your Life Experiences?

Imagine recording your life, so that you can search through it, and play it back later. Things that you record through audio and video might be sent to your own personal search database where pictures you take might be processed. Images of faces may go through facial recognition software. Landmarks and objects might also be recognized as well. You might be able to write or speak queries like the following:

  • What was the playlist of songs at the party last night?
  • What were the paintings I saw when I was on vacation in Paris
  • Who were the people at the business lunch this afternoon?
  • How many books did I read in May?

It’s possible that you might be able to collect information like this, and have it associated with both your user ID and a digital signature to keep it from others, unless you decided to join with a group such as a family, or fire fighters, or co-workers, to create a shared data base for one or more events.

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More Project Glass Patents, Part 2

In the first part of this series, Google Glass Hardware Patents, Part 1, I looked at 5 patent filings from Google published over the past couple of weeks, about Project Glass. Those included (1) a closer look at the optical systems that Google Glass might use, (2) how a bone conducting system might provide audio to wearers, (3) enhancing a person’s vision in real time to do things like zoom on objects that might be hard to see, (4) using input from other devices such as a phone or laptop to run Google Glasses, and (5) a patent filing about speech input for commands and queries that you can run on your glasses.

One of the things someone joked about in a comment from one of my earlier posts about Project Glass would be running up to someone wearing the device, and triggering a search by voice command on the glasses. The last patent filing I mentioned above told us that the glasses would ignore commands from others. It’s good to see that someone at Google anticipated that potential problem. I’m surprised at how thorough the patent filings about Project Glass have been. I’m also impressed by the volume of patent filings that have been published by Google for these heads-up displays. The Google Glass Foundry workshops for developers started yesterday – I’m guessing that the developers who participated probably had a lot to see and discuss.

An old drawing of a pair of horn rimmed spectacles and a telescope from around the 1870s.

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Google Glass Hardware Patents, Part 1

Google’s Project Glass has the potential to bring something completely new to consumers – wearable computing devices that could revolutionize how consumers interact with the Web. The augmented reality glasses aren’t yet available to consumers, and are a work in progress. Google is holding its first developer workshops this week, offering developers the chance to use the devices for the first time, so that they can start coming up with applications for use on the devices.

Mutt and Jeff cartoon strip, from 1919, with a pair of magnifying glasses.
See the full 1919 Mutt and Jeff comic

Project Glass are heavily visually oriented and many of the demonstrations of the devices show off the ability for wearers to take both photographs and video while wearing the glasses. Chances are good that we see the different visual queries that Google Goggles offer, including object and facial recognition, barcode search, searches for landmarks and books and other types of things as well.

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Google Acquires Patent for Eye Scan Security and Augmented Imagery

On Friday afternoon, I took a walk to the auto repair shop working on my car, about a mile and a half down the road. A phone alert made me aware of a Google Now card springing up to give me directions to the shop, and telling me that it would take me less than a minute to get there. I guess Google Now wasn’t looking at the accelerometer on my phone, or it would have realized that I was moving too slowly to be driving. I couldn’t help but think though how Google Now could be a feature that would work well in the heads up display that Google’s working on under the name Google Glass.

A screenshot from the patent showing three parts: a pair of glasses, a camera scanning someone's eye, and a view through the glasses showing a part number for a car.

As we wait to see what kinds of features might be incorporated into Google Glass, it appears that Google acquired a patent first filed a dozen years ago, granted in 2006, and recorded at the USPTO on Thursday. The patent was originally filed by Agilent Technologies, transferred to a company in Singapore in 2006, and then to Intellectual Discovery Co., located in South Korean. Google was assigned the patent on November 16, 2012, and the transaction was recorded at the USTPO on January 8, 2013.

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