When it comes to wearable technology, of any kind, Samsung has been one of the few pioneering consumer electronics firms. Starting with the Galaxy Gear way back in 2013, Samsung has been offering up all sorts of wearable technology for a long time now, and not just the kind of stuff that's a proof of concept, but actual consumer products, and it looks like their take on Google Glass is going to be something really special. Patent applications are a great way for us to see what could be on the horizon, and whenever a big firm like Samsung files patents like these, it's interesting to see where they might be headed. The Gear S2 appeared in patents long before it was announced, for instance.
As Business Insider is reporting, Samsung has some patents for augmented reality using a pair of smart glasses. The patents show how a user might interactive with a 3D image in front of them, a la the Minority Report film from the early 2000s. One of the most useful examples would be a keyboard that appears in the palm of your hand in order to quickly tap out a message of some sort. Of course, the keyboard – or whatever other image – is not actually there, but rendered on top of the image in real-time. This sort of thing isn't new, there are apps in the Play Store that rely on augmented reality to great effect, but using it in a pair of smart glass is a new idea, and one that would make such a device much more useful. Google Glass had all sorts of uses, but interacting with them required using the touch pad on the side of the set, whereas something like this would allow users to use both hands as well interact with it in a more natural fashion.
The patent reads "a current input method of smart glasses is limited. A user basically controls the smart glasses by using a voice command" from a Samsung engineer and continues to say that "a wearable system that provides various input interaction methods is required" and this is exactly what this new patent is all about. Patent applications like these don't necessarily mean that Samsung is definitely working on such a project, but patents have proven to be both beneficial and painful to Samsung in the past. Stocking up on patents before this sort of technology hits the market in the next 5 – 10 years or so will definitely help them in the market as well as in possible court cases.