Google Glasses will soon be no longer the only sci-fi project with augmented reality features, as Apple is preparing a rival for the search giant’s invention. Apparently, Apple has been working on the idea of wearable computers since 2006, but Google took the leading edge when it revealed its Glass project in June 2012. Perhaps Apple is taking its iGlasses concept seriously now, and that’s why it has started filing and gathering patents for the technology.
Last year, Apple applied for a patent for Video Telephonic Headset that was granted this month. As soon as the iPhone maker received that patent, it applied for another one called Display Resolution Increase with Mechanical Actuation that will allow creating glasses-like display meant to deliver a Retina Display to its wearer with a tiny battery. Apple’s patent for peripheral treatment for head-mounted displays suggest that it can produce a variety of head-mounted display gears such as helmets, sunglasses or even visors. Unlike Google Glasses, Apple’s HMD can either have one or two small CRT, LCD or OLED displays with magnifying lenses and other associated optical elements.
The main difference between Google Glasses and Apple iGlasses lies between the target areas. While Google’s core concern lies within consumers and everyday lives, Apple targets professionals. It looks like Apple has a bigger aim and seems to be targeting professionals such as surgeons or emergency responders with their latest patent filing.
Here’s what the patent information says:
“Some examples include applications in surgery, where radiographic data, such as CAT scans or MRI imaging can be combined with the surgeon’s vision. Military, police and firefighters use HMDs to display relevant tactical information, such as maps or thermal imaging data.”
“Engineers and scientists use HMDs to provide stereoscopic views of CAD schematics, simulations or remote sensing applications. Consumer devices are also available for use in gaming and entertainment applications.”
Last but not the least; we saw some fumes coming out from Microsoft’s kitty about the Kinect Glasses. Of course, these will be an augmented reality device but probably gaming-entertainment oriented. The Google Glasses project could bring us the advent of augmented eyewear, the horizon of a second-layer of metadata while interacting without a screen. And the best example is in front of us in the form of Apple’s and Microsoft’s efforts.