Sure, you can buy Google Glass sans invite on Tuesday if you live in the U.S. Or perhaps you want to wait, seeing that Samsung has ideas for its own wearable display. The company recently applied for a patent through the Korean Intellectual Property Office with a design that bears more than a passing resemblance to parts of Google Glass.
The patent application filed earlier this month was spotted by the Dutch Galaxy Club site and noted by SamMobile. Unlike Glass, Samsung’s “Earphone” product doesn’t have two arms to fit over your ears like traditional glasses. Instead an in-ear headphone with clip holds the device to a users head.
The differences stop there, however. Just like Glass, the Earphone design has a heads-up display viewed through a prism. And that prism rotates forward and back for viewing adjustments. There’s also a microphone on the device as well as a front facing camera and what looks to be a camera button on the top of the device near the headphone. Of course, there’s no mention of the software that will run the Earphone; that’s not at all surprising for a design patent.
I’d think that Samsung won’t use Android in such a product, however. After using Google’s platform on its first wearable, the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, Samsung switched over to its own Tizen software for follow-up devices such as the Samsung Gear 2. Samsung has continued to develop Tizen with likely hopes of reducing its reliance upon Google from a software perspective. The company already has S-Voice, software that can be used to interact with a mobile device, which would work as a hands-free interface for the Earphone if the product does come to market.