At this point, it almost seems like Google engineers are just using the patent filing system to float ideas to the general public for feedback about what the next version of Google Glass should look like. That might actually be a good idea, considering how poorly the first iteration was received. Today we’re seeing removable batteries arrive as the latest idea to jump off the pages of Google’s patent applications.
In the filing, Google references possible battery sources as a way to counterbalance a touch pad located on the side of the device. The touch pad would be built into the frame’s right temple and the battery pack would hang behind the ear. New components in the front of the device make counterbalancing the weight with a battery pack an attractive option. From the filing:
Earpiece housing 80 can be configured to include a battery or multiple batteries of various forms, such as AAA, AA, or 9-volt style batteries. The battery can also be a rechargeable battery such as a lithium-ion or nickel-cadmium battery and can be removable by the user or can be permanent or semi-permanent. Earpiece housing can also include a port 82 that can be used to connect device 10 to a power source to recharge a battery without removal thereof or to connect device 10 to a remote device for communication therewith, such as described above, or to update or install software or firmware included in the memory of device 10.
Elsewhere in the document, Google offers a fresh rundown of some of the speculative features that would go along with the all-but-confirmed camera and the sensible touchpad. Those include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular capabilities. The device might standalone with its native processor and RAM, or lean on a handset’s horsepower.
In theory, the battery pack would help take some of the weight of these components off the nose, shuffling it onto the right ear instead. If the headset uses common, disposable batteries, then you might never have to take off the Google Glass for charging. You could just pick up some AA or AAA batteries at the gas station and keep trucking through your augmented reality with little interruption. Based on the broadness of “earpiece housing 80’s” description, it’s clear Google is keeping their options open in this regard.
The touch pad would be built into the frame's right temple and the battery pack would hang behind the ear.
The last we saw of Google Glass, an alleged prototype of the upcoming enterprise edition, hinges and all, emerged in an eBay listing. That version didn’t included the bulky battery housing depicted in this latest patent filing. And it also didn’t show the touch pad Google’s engineers have been playing with.
The good thing about the version we saw on eBay was that it was streamlined and looked more like the kind of frame average people actually wear, not some space gizmo from a dystopian future. We’re not sure we can really say the same about this iteration. This version of Glass is also expected to include an LED indicator so that onlookers know when the device is capturing footage.
What are your thoughts regarding this patent for Google Glass? Are the developers headed in the right direction? Let us know in the comments below!