Search engine mega-company Google may be releasing a smartwatch soon as it recently received a patent for a”smart-watch including flip up display.” However, if Google’s concept drawings look familiar, catch an episode of toddler favorite Special Agent Oso on the Disney Channel. Apparently, the Google engineering team has been seeking inspiration from the Imagineers at Disney.
On October 2, 2012, Google was granted USPTO patent number 8,279,716 that covers a smartwatch including “a wristband, a base, a flip up portion, and a camera.” The nonspecific components listed include a housing, a processor, a wireless transceiver, and a tactile user interface. Interestingly, the application also claims that the glass flip-up component of the smartwatch will provide an augmented reality display. This is a technology that we have not, as of yet, seen implemented into the feature set of a smartwatch. However, such novel technology has appeared in another recently released smart device … Google Glass.
The Google smartwatch will enable users to take pictures and shoot video while overlaying realtime data on the transparent flip-up screen. Such data will provide the user with gps-based information such as location, heading, speed, and directions. In addition, camera scanned products will overlay the screen with information such as prices, availability, and special offers. The type of information that can be displayed on an augmented reality screen is virtually boundless, and developers and marketers are likely chomping at the bit having received another avenue with which to bombard users with instant information … and ads.
Google Glass augmented reality smart glasses provide exactly the same type of data stream to its wearers as the smartwatch. Google presently has your eyes covered, now it is making a run at your wrists in an attempt to keep you completely connected, all of the time. In addition, in the hierarchy and layering of data perceived by users, Google appears to be striving for the top ranked spot by placing its augmented reality technology between the user and traditional sources of data such as the tv and the computer. Now, if Google can figure out how to conquer your aural pathways with augmented audio, they will have the data consuming public wrapped up nicely in a Google cocoon for the senses.
The smartwatch market has been slowly drawing the interest of many large players in the gadget industry, including Apple, Samsung, Nike, Motorola, Casio, and many others. There also has been a flurry of startup companies bringing smartwatches to market, the most famous of which is Kickstarter darling Pebble. Pebble set a crowd-sourced fundraising record bringing in more than $2.6 million in it’s first three days online … before it even had a product. Obviously, consumer demand is there and has been recognized. Now, it is up to manufacturers to get something inoovative and sexy onto the unadorned wrists of the tech-frenzied public. It is looking to be an exciting year for smart watches.