The patent for the Essential Smart Glasses was discovered by Patently Apple, and it depicts a fairly innocuous pair of glasses — owing more to Snapchat’s Spectacles than Google Glass — that would have one or more “user facing” cameras built into them (530/540, below) and one or more “environment facing” cameras (550).
The out-facing cameras would potentially be used for photo and video recording, while the in-facing cameras could track eye movement. According to the patent, these features could be used in conjunction with the glasses’ “dual-mode” display for AR purposes. “Based on the environment that the user sees, and based on the direction of the user’s gaze, the processor can display an image to augment the environment around the user,” reads the patent. “For example, if the user is looking at a barcode of an item, the processor can display cheaper purchasing options of the same item.”
The Essential Smart Glasses would also be compatible with photosensitive lenses, sunglass lenses, and prescription lenses, says Patently Apple.
Of course, tech companies seek patents on many IPs and not all make it to market as fully-formed tech products. That said, the prospect doesn’t appear to be far from Rubin’s thoughts. In an interview with the Wired earlier this week, Rubin stated that Google Glass failed “not because the tech was bad but because the world wasn’t ready to wear them.” Further, Rubin says he wants Essential to be not just a manufacturer of smartphones but a company to drive the next big movement in tech (beyond the mobile sphere). In other words, it wouldn’t surprise me if the company was seriously pursuing smart glasses.
To find out more of Andy Rubin’s thoughts on the future of tech and the role his company could play in it, watch his recent live interview here.