The father of Android is on a spree to take on his own creations it seems. Andy Rubin, the man behind the world’s most popular mobile OS, last week introduced his first smartphone called the Essential Phone. Powered with Qualcomm’s latest 835 SoC and a semi-modular design, it takes on the existing line of Android flagship smartphones with its Ambient OS which in Rubin’s own words is ‘as open as the Android OS.’ While we are yet to see how well the gorgeous-looking smartphone does actually fare in the consumer market, an old patent filed by Essential Products Inc has unearthed giving a peek into Rubin’s future projects that include a Google Glass-like wearable.
Discovered by PatentlyApple, one of the patents granted to Essential Products hints at a pair of glasses codenamed ‘Essential Smart Glasses.’ While the glasses look quite ordinary as per the images in the patent, they embody built-in camera and display hardware similar to how the Google Glass or the Snapchat Spectacles work.
Based on the description, the technology would allow one to capture eye-level photo and video with the built-in camera on the purported Essential Smart Glasses. According to the filing, the device would work with prescription lenses, photo sensitive lenses, and standard sunglass lenses. Additionally, it could also feature some sort of a “dual-mode display,” which might showcase visual overlays and use an inward facing camera to perform eye tracking.
To recall, the Google Glass is infamous for being a failed Google product. One of the first products with augmented reality, the Google Glass could not make the cut for commercial purpose owing to the major privacy issues involved. ALSO READ: Andy Rubin takes on the Android establishment, Google Home and Amazon Alexa
The AR-use cases for the Essential Smart Glasses are described with situations such as real-time matching of product prices in a store. It explains, “If the user is looking at a barcode of an item, the processor can display cheaper purchasing options of the same item.”
Recently, in an interview, Rubin said that the Google Glass did not fail because the technology was bad but because the world wasn’t ready to wear them. Considering how the Essential Phone brings subtle modularity which the end-consumer could fathom through simply snapping on and off accessories to the device; this could also be the time for the company to re-introduce the AR technology through wearable like a pair of glasses.
What also makes it worth the debut is that AR, VR and mixed reality technologies are fast picking pace especially after mobile games like Pokemon Go and wearables such as Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Microsoft’s HoloLens, albeit the market is still niche. ALSO READ: Andy Rubin: His journey from founding Danger Inc, creating Android, to the Essential phone