After the experiments with the “books that can’t be printed“, Google is not stopping in its rampage in the book world: this time the news are about two patents filed by the company that put into play augmented reality.
These two patents, originally filed in January 2015 at USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office), are about technologies related to the books’ world.
The first one is about an “interactive book“, described inside the document also as a “storytelling device“. As we can read in the abstract, the device includes electronic components as light sources, speakers, a video projector or a display, and it is configured to establish a connection with an interactive book, providing story enhancement effects that are correlated to the story.
Basically, the project is about volumes with movement and pressure sensors, coupled with a round shaped device that plugs inside the spine of the book, throwing up AR-type images and the appropriate audio to recreate the setting of the story.
The second patent is about a “Media enhanced pop-up book“, a revisitation of the classic pop-up book with a sparkle of technology. Reading the filed document, we understand that Google thought to a physical book composed of pop-up pages and some content on the display of a device. For every page, the book will have a second page that will vertically open, plus some additional images appearing on the mobile device. In this kind of book, augmented reality is not as advanced as in the micro-projector case.
Of course, we are ttalking about patents, so it’s not sure that they will become products available on the market. However these ideas, if added to the experiments about the books that can’t be printed, surely say a lot about Google’s fields of interest.
The next brand entering the market of augmented reality headsets? It could be no less than Amazon!
It seems that, after Facebook, Microsoft and Google, the e-commerce American colossus will make its entrance in the world of augmented reality, or that at least they are thinking on it. The update comes from the US Patent and Trademark Office, that about a week ago published the news of a patent application by Amazon related to a pair of glasses that seem perfect to be used for augmented reality. From the project it seems that these glasses will be connecting, we still don’t know if wireless or not, to a smart device (a tablet or a smartphone?) and they will be able to superimpose images to what we see through the lenses in front of our eyes. Also there will be a functionality that, with a simple tap of the device screen, would make the augmented images transparent again, so we don’t have to take the glasses off of our face when we don’t need them.
“On the one hand, a large screen is beneficial for watching movies, playing games and even reading email comfortably,” reads the patent, which was originally filed more than two years ago. “On the other hand, the larger the screen, the bigger the device, which may be less desirable for a light and portable product. Another problem consumers experience with portable devices, like tablet devices, is the lack of ability to immerse themselves in a tablet experience, such as watching a movie on an airplane.”
This explains the importance of having a device that can make us live an experience but that is also light and portable. And which one better than a pair of glasses?
Imagine the potentiality of a device like this in the case of Amazon and their service Prime Instant Video: it’s easy to understand why, after the flop of the Fire smartphone, the company decided to continue anyway its research in the hardware field, isn’t it? 😉