Apple working on Google Glass rival?

Apple working on Google Glass rival?

Summary: IPhone 5? That's old tech! It appears Apple is working on a rival to the Google Glass wearable computer.

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TOPICS: Apple, Google, Hardware, PCs
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Apple-iGlasses
A first look at the patent for what may turn into Apple iGlasses.

Oh sure, you want to know about the latest iPhone 5 rumor or if Apple really going to come out with an Apple TV that's not just a little black box, but what's more exciting still is that Apple's taking out patents on wearable computers, ala Google Glass.

According to Patently Apple, a site that tracks Apple's patents, Apple has been toying with the idea of wearable computers since at least 2006. Indeed, wearable computers are far from a new idea. I first played with them in the 90s. But those were niche devices. It wasn't until Google showed off with Google Glass in June 2012 at Google I/O that the idea of a heads-up computer display in your glasses captured the publics' imagination.

Take a peek through Google glasses (photos)

Now, Apple seems to be taking the idea of "iGlasses" seriously. Besides their 2008 patent for an iPod Video Headset Display, Apple has just been granted two new heads-up display patents by the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

The first, which Apple applied for in 2011, is for Video Telephonic Headset, was granted earlier in July. This has been followed quickly by another patent,  Display Resolution Increase with Mechanical Actuation. Behind that dull as dishwater title, you'll find an even drier description, but when all is said and done it's describing a glasses-like display that's meant to deliver a Retina Display to its wearer with a tiny battery.

It doesn't require a hardware engineer to see where Apple is going with this. Google is expected to release a developer release of Google Glass in early 2013. I expect Apple to follow up with its own HUD device, the iGlasses, Apple hasn't laid claim to this trademark... yet. I'm going to be keeping an eye on it.

Today, the hardware wars are over tablets and smartphones. Tomorrow, it will be HUDs.

Related Stories:

Google Glass 'explorers' start getting 'private updates' about pre-orders

Heck yeah I'd buy a Google Glass prototype

Google Glass: Should developers buy a $1,500 deep prototype?

CNET: Google Glass: $1,500 for developers, shipping next year

Topics: Apple, Google, Hardware, PCs

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48 comments
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  • LOL!

    "It wasn't until Google showed off with Google Glass in June 2012 at Google I/O that the idea of a heads-up computer display in your glasses captured the publics' imagination"

    Right. Because the public is too stupid to want anything until Google demos it.
    William Farrel
    • Well the idea has been around a while..

      At least in sci-fi movies. Everyone knew it was coming. but the first to release it should get some credit for doing the actual development. Good for Google.
      Tigertank
    • right

      absolutely right,at least we will sucess
      leimingj
    • Not true

      So not true, the public never wants anything until their gods at Apple demos it.
      Knowles2
      • No one showed multi-touch controlled smartphone before Apple

        So this has nothing to do with Google's activity.
        DDERSSS
        • No one showed multi-touch controlled smartphone before Apple

          So, you're saying that the Sony Ericsson p800 and the Motorola A1000 which I thought I remembered owning BEFORE Apple got into the phone business - and both of which I recalled as being smartphones featuring substantial colour touch sensitive screens, and no keyboard, were just figments of my imagination, and didn't REALLY exist? That really would be weird, in that |'ve still GOT an instruction pamphlet that came with one, and a spare battery for the other.
          BigRonW
          • Sony's and Motorola's devices never had anything to do with

            ... multi-touch finger-based UI.

            You are confusing it with sensor devices that were pioneered by Apple with Newton in 1993. But those were neither multi-touch, nor finger-based.
            DDERSSS
    • I don't disagree with the concept

      I just disagree with the sentence.

      Yes, the idea has been around in media / movies, and in real life, with the general public beeing exposed to the concept for many years.

      How is it that the author gives so much credit to Google on this concept, at a show the vast majority of the public had no clue was going on?
      William Farrel
      • Aren't they already for sale?

        Delivery around end of the year. As far as I know it's the only one of its kind that people could actually purchase.

        Google deserves all of the credit in refining the design and bring ing it to market. Hmm, that sounds familiar. I think Apple has been given a lot of credit for doing the same thing with the tablet.
        mrxxxman
        • Not aware of them being on sale yet

          But regardless they should get the credit for bring the concept to where it is now before anybody else had.
          non-biased
      • Surely IBM was there before either candidate?

        I recall my son (then still a schoolboy) patiently queuing at a show called "Tomorrow's World Live", at Earls Court Exhibition centre in London around the year 2000 (give or take a year) he was queuing to have a go with an exhibit being displayed by IBM (who back then were still in the PC game) It consisted of a computer that was about the size of a cigarette packet, powered by a small rechargeable battery, and which I seem to recall used a laser "virtual keyboard" and rather than a monitor used... spectacles. The aspect of the machine that got most comment was the tiny hard drive. My point being that this wasn't something "faked up" and with an actor pretending it was a REAL computer... it WAS a "real computer".
        BigRonW
      • The vast majority didn't know about the show

        But they sure heard about the glasses after they were announced at the show.
        non-biased
    • Not a new concept at all

      This idea has been around since the mid-90's. Remember the movie Hackers? ZeroCool was wearing them.
      Loverock Davidson-
      • Even before that...

        Didn't the original Terminator movie from 1984 have a HUD? Or was it the second one in 1991 that started it? Either way, this isn't a new concept... it's just being delivered in an already socially acceptable way (glasses) as opposed to being turned into a cyborg.

        The "best" part about this idea is that they will be outlawed for use while driving due to the distractions. And I can only imagine how many accidents we end up having with people walking into things because they are too focus on the HUD.
        ikissfutebol
        • its autos that need outlawing...they KILL 1 million per year

          automobiles have injured a billion people ... A BILLION!!
          headsupdisplays? well, if you wear a headsupdisplay and are NOT faced with death daily by giant metal machines spewing toxic fog, headsupdisplays are not a problem.

          Autos are like alcohol or cigs...hard to outlaw in a democracy where people will actually DIE rather than walk or ride a hi-speed train, where flashy ads of driving on a mountain or racing bombard people into worshipping deathmobiles.
          captainhurt@...
      • Even before The Terminator ...

        ... there were the Borg, which appeared in Star Trek The Next Generation season 2 episode 16 on May 8, 1989 ... complete with heads-up display monocles that overlaid various data atop the real-world backdrop.

        I'm pretty sure there are other sci-fi and jet-fighter-type movies with similar devices before that. I'm thinking "Dreamscape" (1984) had VR-type glasses ... which are a little different, but similar concept. And now that I think about it, didn't Star Wars (1977) have HUDs in the X-Wing and Y-Wing fighter pilot's helmets?
        imalugnut
      • Been around a lot longer...

        I was at the old Comdex show in 1986 or 1987 and there was a company that had a 3/4" monitor mounted on a pair of glasses. It worked surprisingly well.
        gribittmep
        • Even longer

          An actual, real world application: the targeting radar was projected onto the windscreen of the British "Mosquito" fighter, a wooden aircraft used in World War II.
          Robert Hahn
      • Not just the idea

        HMDs have been commerically available since the mid 90s and the concept of augmented reality has been around since the 60s in SF.

        Now glasses with Kinect sensors would be a nice breakthrough, but I certailny don't want to wearing iTunes ;-)
        Tony_McS
  • Isn't everyone working on heads up display tech for both personal and auto?

    Id be surprised if there arent at least a dozen companies doing this. Hopefully this will follow the normal PC display market oem model and we'll be able to buy interchangable parts, including the displays, and use them with any system we want. If I want to buy the nice Oakleys to use with googles sw fine, if I want to use them with MS software fine. If I want to use the MS sw with a pair of Ray bans or Maui Jims, fine.
    Johnny Vegas