Google Glass patents hint at several design options including a flip-up display

Google glass drawing

We still don’t know what the final, retail version of Google Glass will look like, but thanks to recently awarded patents, we have a better idea of what’s possible. Geek.com found the patent awards on Monday, which show several different design options available to Google’s wearable device and some ways the company could bring Glass to prescription lens wearers.

Obviously, patent designs don’t necessarily equate to final products. Still, as someone who wears bifocals, I’ve been wondering how Glass could be implemented for people wearing corrective lenses. Contact lenses are surely an option but shouldn’t be a requirement.

Google Glass 2-piece patent

One patent illustration and description suggests a method to make Glass into two distinct pieces that fit together. A piece would house the battery and internals while another band would be used for corrective lenses. A screw would bolt the two pieces together while also connecting the prism display to Glass. It’s possible the display could be attached on either the right or left to compensate for the wearer’s dominant eye.

The device display, where Glass shows information to the user may be vertically adjustable as well, based on this excerpt from the patent:

“The display axis can be angled at between about 80 degrees and 100 degrees with respect to the longitudinal axis.”

That suggests to me that the display element could be moved up and out of the way when desired; something that might help Google deal with the privacy concerns of Glass. After all, if you see a Glass wearer with the display — and therefore the camera — flipped up, you can assume it’s not in use.

We’ll be highlighting hardware design at our RoadMap conference in November in San Francisco.

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