Move Over, Google Glass: Samsung Files Glasses Patent

Google Glass interactive headgear has gotten a lot of attention, but are you ready for Samsung Glass? That electronics giant has filed a patent for what it describes as "sports glasses" that act as a peripheral to a smartphone.

The patent, brought to light by The Wall Street Journal, was filed this month in Samsung's home base of South Korea. It describes a device that allows the wearer to take phone calls while exercising and otherwise manage a smartphone without the use of hands.

The eyepieces are transparent or translucent, with graphics and data display overlaid on the screen of one eye, not unlike Google's device-in-development. Earphones enable listening to phone calls or music, the screen overlay can show alerts from the smartphone and there appears to be a camera. There is also a wire that connects the device through a micro-USB link.

Apple, Microsoft

The device appears similar to Google's, except Google's is designed to run its own apps, and there's no word yet if Samsung's sport glasses support wireless connectivity such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, although it would be surprising if it did not. It's also not yet clear if Samsung's is designed as an apps platform, or is positioned more as a display-and-control peripheral.

An age of wearable computing has been prototyped and discussed in R&D labs for several decades, and now may be emerging into the marketplace with smart watches. Samsung's interest in interactive headgear, along with interest that is rumored at Apple, Microsoft and other technology companies, could see glasses-like devices become a flourishing category -- or go the way of the flying car.

Apple has reportedly been working on augmented reality headgear since 2006, but has apparently put such a device aside to focus on the iPod and the iPhone. There have also been reports that Microsoft has...

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