Patents are interesting things. While they do not directly provide information on guaranteed products which will hit the market in the near (or long term) future, what they do is provide insight to what a company is currently thinking or the direction they are looking in. Along with a number of companies, Google is one of those who seem to be quite prolific when it comes to patent filing and have quite recently patented new versions of Glass, as well as more unique aspects like Search-based voting. Speaking of Google, it now seems as though their latest patent has come to the surface and this is a patent which takes the notion of reading to an entirely different level. More specifically, a different reality. In short, the new patents seem to be looking to combine reading with augmented reality. While one might expect such a combining to see the removal of the physical book, this is in fact the difference with Google’s patents, as their idea of augmented reading still involves the use of a physical book.
There are two patents in total, the first is for a “Media Enhanced Pop-up Book” and this one will make use of a smartphone or tablet to aid in the process by interacting with the use of the book. So for instance, as you turn a page, the phone or tablet understands and responds accordingly. The second patent is the far more interesting one, as this one essentially forgoes the use of a smartphone and tablet and instead employs a small device which has been likened (in appearance) to a hamburger. The device is placed in the middle of the book and then embedded sensors on the pages allow for a more interactive reading experience. The hamburger will essentially be able to interact with the reader’s pressure or motion and change the imagery displayed on the pages.
Of course, while this all dose sound quite futuristic, as mentioned, these are just patents at the moment. There are no firm details on when or if these products will be coming to the market. Although the patents applied for by Google have now been granted. In the meantime though, you can check out the images above and below. For reference, the above image is off the augmented reality hamburger book, while the image below is off the pop-up smartphone and tablet-enabled book.