Samsung Earphone Patent Shows us Gear Glass in Another Form

April 15, 2014 - Written By Nick Sutrich

Patent applications are always a tricky thing.  While they usually reveal some interesting tidbits about items that are being worked on, these products don’t always make it to market.  Most of the time it seems these patents are filed as a fail-safe in case the product listed or a similar product ends up being made in order to cover the company that initially filed it from competition and cloning.  We’ve seen this work recently with a little Kickstarter called Pressy that seemingly got cloned by phone manufacturer Xiaomi before the original product could make it to market.  The patent in question here is for a product that looks like a mashup between a standard over-the-ear headphone and the eyepiece from Google Glass, and is just simply titled “Earphone”.  Unlike Google Glass or Samsung’s previous patent for Gear Glass this seems like a very small and lightweight product that doesn’t attempt to hide itself within a normal looking pair of glasses, rather is just an earpiece that includes a screen extension to go over your eye and provide a Heads Up Display, or HUD, for every day life.

The product itself seems pretty self-explanatory though just by looking at it.  The ear piece fits over your ear so it snugly holds on, and the surrounding apparatus keeps it from sagging on your head.  The earbud itself looks like a standard earbud from headphones that are included with many phones, and there’s a single button located near the earbud likely to turn the device on and off.  Looking at the patent drawings there’s no specific mention of any kind of touchpad on the side like Google Glass has, so we can assume input is done through a combination of voice commands and a series of alternate reality display tricks.  The front of the unit features a crystal-looking rectangular display that can fold in for easy storage, and displays information in front of your eye through a transparent glass.  There’s also a camera in the front next to the glass so that the alternate reality display can be utilized, and of course for the obligatory picture and video capabilites of the device.  Is this the final form of the Gear Glass or just an alternative product?  We’ll have to wait and see, but it’s rumored that we might see a final product hit market as early as this September alongside the Galaxy Note 4, much like the Galaxy Gear made its debut with the Galaxy Note 3 last year.