Google Glass might not be launching commercially until sometime next year or later, but we have no doubt that Google is doing its best to get things ready. When Google Glass finally does arrive, we imagine that both the software and hardware will be considerably refined compared to what Google Glass explorers initially were given.
Does that mean we might also see new ways of communicating with Glass beyond the current methods of using voice, head gestures and the swipe bar? Maybe. A newly granted patent seems to suggest that we might eventually be getting some form of hand gesture tracking that could work with Glass.
Using hand gesture tracking would basically give users a whole new level of control over Google Glass.
The Google patent in question was originally filed back in July 8 of 2011 and is described as using “hand gestures to signify what’s important”. As shown in the patent filing’s example, this system could utilize camera technology to track hand gestures such as a heart shape, which could then be used as a way of framing content and “liking” an image all at once. While the heart gesture is probably a little too corny for some, it’s still a pretty cool idea.
Using hand gesture tracking would basically give users a whole new level of control over Google Glass. While Google doesn’t mention it specifically, we could even see this kind of hand tracking as a useful way to create gesture-based ‘shortcuts’ that would launch specific Glass functions.
I personally have no doubt that wearable computers will eventually incorporate a mixture of voice and a hand/head/eye gestures, but it’s important to note that this technology may never actually come to Glass. When the patent was first filed, Google was merely in the prototyping stage, and likely thought of all sorts of wacky ways to control a wearable computer. In other words, just because the patent exists, doesn’t mean Google is actively preparing to use it.
For one thing, this type of sophisticated hand tracking might not be possible without significantly redesigning Google Glass’ hardware and camera system. Still, it would be cool to have almost Minority Report-like gesture functionality with Google Glass.
What do you think of this patent idea, would you like to see Google Glass add some sort of advanced hand tracking technology down the road?