Earlier this month, The Verge published a report titled “Mark Zuckerberg’s Augmented Reality”. It’s no secret that Zuckerberg wants to beat Apple for marketing and lead the metaverse market into the future. Zuckerberg describes augmented reality glasses as the “holy grail” that will “redefine our relationship with technology,” similar to the introduction of smartphones, and especially the Steve Jobs moment at the time the iPhone rocked the world.
The Meta CEO also sees augmented reality glasses, dubbed Project Nazare, as a way out from under the thumbs of Apple and Google, which together dictate the terms that apps like Facebook must adhere to on mobile phones. The first version of Nazare was designed to operate independently of a mobile phone with the help of a radiotelephone-shaped device that offloads bits of computing required to operate the glasses. A notable feature will be the ability to communicate and interact with other people’s holograms through glasses, which Zuckerberg believes will over time provide people with a more immersive and engaging experience than video calling exists today.
A former Facebook employee stated that “Zuck’s ego is intertwined with glasses. He wants it to be his iPhone moment. “I find Zuckerberg to be a big dreamer trying to be Apple on par in the industry and beyond. I don’t put much sarcasm in his vision of Metaverse at the moment, but if it does, the report from The Verge is well worth a read. The report ends with a person involved in the Meta Nazare Project saying: : “You have to be really missionary to see it through,” because “it’s going to take decades.”
With that said, Meta is likely to be a major player in the AR smart glasses segment when it realistically hits the market. Although other major players including Apple, Google and Samsung (at least) are working hard to make sure they take a part in this next generation of consumer smart devices.
While Apple’s hardware and software prowess is legendary and likely to capture a large portion of this next generation of consumer devices, Google wants to revive Google Glass as a leading brand.
Google Smartglasses Patent
Over the weekend, Patently Apple discovered one of Google’s latest smart glasses patents. Google states in its filing that the smart glasses add information in addition to what the wearer sees through the glasses. The overlay of information (eg, digital images) over the field of view can be achieved through smart optics such as a head-mounted display (OHMD), wireless glasses combined with a transparent head-up display (HUD), or augmented reality (AR) overlay. Modern smart glasses are effectively wearable computers that can run standalone mobile applications. Some may be handsfree and can connect to the internet via voice commands in natural language, while others may use touch buttons.
Google FIG patent. Figure 1 below shows an example of a smart glasses model diagram. Smart glasses add information along with what the wearer sees through the glasses. For example, the 100’s glasses could have virtual image displays or “virtual screens” that add information to what the wearer sees through the glasses. The default screen may be, for example, a small display within the lens, a screen projected on a lens surface, a screen projected at a frame level without a lens, etc. The glasses may be 100 augmented reality headsets.
The eyeglass control electronic components can be disposed of inside the glasses. For example, electronic components may be placed in the first temple #106a, second temple #106b, and/or frame #102. Flexible circuits and/or wires can be used to connect electronic components placed inside glasses including the first #104 lens. A and the second lens No. 104 B. The glasses may include a #116 power or reset button to turn the glasses on/off or reset. The glasses may also have one or more sensors Like camera number 118. The camera may provide information to the electronic components inside the glasses for the use and processing of captured images and videos.
Google’s patent application was published last Thursday by the World Intellectual Property Organization under #WO2022081192. You can review the details here.
Earlier this month, Korean IT News published a report claiming that LG Innotek was in discussions with Google to provide 3D camera and sensor modules for Google’s future smart glasses that will be released early next year. LG is said to be working with Apple, Microsoft and Oculus on similar technologies.
LG Innotek has been doing research and development (R&D) for key components of Google’s AR glass for more than a year. LG Innotek and Google discuss the basic functions and specifications of the 3D sensor and camera. LG Innotek is striving to become the primary supplier of Google’s Augmented Reality Glass.
AR Glass, developed by Google, creates augmented reality (AR) by mixing real and virtual images. It is known that next year’s product has better usability compared to previous augmented reality glasses from Google. The high-quality camera module and 3D sensor module play a major role in integrating virtual images with the real world.
LG Innotek is a major supplier of camera modules for the Google Pixel phone. Google has supplied smartphone camera modules for several years. For more, read the full report of Korea IT News
Samsung smart glasses patent
Last Thursday, the World Intellectual Property Organization also published a patent for Samsung’s smart AR glasses. The focus of the patent covers how their glasses will integrate communication antennas.
According to Samsung, when interference occurs between antennas in an electronic device including multiple antennas, the interference between antennas can be prevented by switching at least one antenna, thus the radiation performance of the antenna can be prevented from deteriorating.
In addition, the radiative performance of the antenna can be improved by turning on or off at least one antenna based on the use case of the electronic device including multiple antennas, ground contact, or moving at least one resonant frequency.
Moreover, in addition to an electronic device to provide augmented reality, an electronic device providing virtual reality can have the same effect.
For more information on this topic, read Samsung’s EU patent registration here. Noticeable, In order to read the patent, WIPO offers a translation button to translate the Korean patent into English. Once you choose the language you want, slowly scroll down the pages and the translation will happen in real time.
While the next battlefield in the short term will be around 17-inch tablet hybrids (01, 02, 03 and 04), the long-term battle will be smart glasses that could replace smartphones for many. Check out our archives covering Apple’s next work – Jane smartglasses here. Below is a patent number from an Apple patent that was published in February 2021.