Samsung seems to be setting its sights on Google Glass, not just to develop similar technology but to create one that is much more advanced,
Google Glass launched with much excitement, but it quickly turned into a bust with sales of the device halted worldwide in January. Google's new wearable technology initiative Project Aura has been tasked with reviving Google Glass, which has been described as an expensive gadget that has no clear uses for consumers.
The contents of Samsung's filed application reveals technology that can do what Google Glass can do, and even more. With the technology, users would be able to interact with 3D images that are projected in mid-air, such as dialing phone numbers on a number pad, sending text messages through a keyboard or playing on a virtual piano.
The technology in the filed patent application looks to solve the limited input method of smartglasses, as voice commands are not sufficient for when text input is needed.
While users interacted with the Google Glass through tapping a button on the right frame arm or speaking voice commands, the patent application for the smartglasses of Samsung looks to use a pair of cameras to project 3D images in mid-air to show virtual input interfaces. The virtual interfaces will be a visual way for users to interact with the device similar to the screens of smartphones and tablets, which is something that the Google Glass did not have.
The engineers of Samsung, however, have developed the technology to also be able to project interfaces onto real-life objects. For example, users could project a keyboard on their arm and use the hand of their other arm to type on it to send an e-mail, a piano keyboard on a blank desk to make music or a notepad on a wall to write down important messages and draw pictures.
The technology, named SixthSense, was developed by Pranav Mistry while studying for his PhD at MIT. Mistry is now working in Samsung, with him being the person that presented the first version of the Gear VR headset two years ago.
While the technology in Samsung's patent application looks to be much more advanced than what was seen in Google Glass, it remains to be seen on whether the technology, if it is ever released into the market, could succeed in a space where Google found itself failing.