Google patents gesture-based UI involving projectors

Google has acquired a new patent, and it seems to tie in very well with the company's Project Glass. The patent is basically a way to let you communicate with the augmented reality device. It allows the device to project an interface onto a surface. You can check out the patent filing here.

According to the description of the patent: "The present application discloses systems and methods for a virtual input device. In one example, the virtual input device includes a projector and a camera. The projector projects a pattern onto a surface. The camera captures images that can be interpreted by a processor to determine actions. The projector may be mounted on an arm of a pair of eyeglasses and the camera may be mounted on an opposite arm of the eyeglasses. A pattern for a virtual input device can be projected onto a "display hand" of a user, and the camera may be able to detect when the user uses an opposite hand to select items of the virtual input device. In another example, the camera may detect when the display hand is moving and interpret display hand movements as inputs to the virtual input device, and/or realign the projection onto the moving display hand."

Google's new patent presents an interesting way to interact with Project Glass

Google's new patent presents an interesting way to interact with Project Glass


This patent would let users use virtual interfaces and gestures to interact with Project Glass. It should be noted that as of yet this is still a patent application and we have no idea if Google will be using the technology in Project Glass.

It was recently revealed that Google is inviting those who had pre-ordered Project Glass to try the device out in a hackathon in San Francisco and New York. According to the invitation text, the first day will be an introduction to Glass and developers will have a device to use while on-site. After that, the company will let developers try out the Mirror API, which allows the exchange of data and interaction with the user over REST.

Earlier this month, head of the Google Glass Project Babak Parviz had shed some light on the AR device in an interview with IEEE Spectrum. While he did not mention any specific features, Parviz did reveal some of its basic capabilities— you can take pictures and share them. Parviz even added that the feature set of Google Glass had not yet been finalised and that "it is still in flux".

Parviz stated that with the Google Glass, the company was essentially looking at a device that would allow users to have 'pictoral communications', i.e. have users communicate with each other with images and video. "Right now, we don’t have any devices that are specifically engineered to connect to others using images or video. So we wanted to have a device that would see the world through your eyes and allow you to share that view with other people," he said.

Parviz stated that they are constantly trying out new ideas as to how users can use their platform. He also mentioned that they were working towards making the hardware and software more robust, so as to be able to ship it to developers early this year.

Published Date: Jan 18, 2013 11:06 am | Updated Date: Jan 18, 2013 11:06 am