Google Glass hasn't been much of an attraction for the general consumer, and this is likely to be one of the reasons why Google switched gears in the development process and decided to refocus Glass towards non-commercial uses – such as for the medical and enterprise fields – at least for the time being. Needless to say, Google Glass is still in development and its story is not over – some would say that this is only the beginning and judging by a recent patent discovered in the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) database, Google seems to be working on a Glass prototype showcasing a slightly different design, and a system that could be powered by regular AA batteries or any batteries for that matter.
The application filed includes a schematic (image above) showcasing key elements in the new design, and although the overall principle seems unchanged, there are quite a few important differences to consider. Firstly, this particular Glass design accommodates a different control panel on the right arm (different in shape and size), allowing users to control the device using touch gestures. Additionally, it appears that the new prototype features a bigger earpiece housing, which seems to have been designed to accommodate regular AA/AAA batteries and even 9-volt batteries. This larger earpiece could also be used as a counterbalance to lift some of the weight off the user's nose, increasing comfort during prolonged times of usage.
According to the patent application, either one of these two housings, or both, could accommodate a microprocessor, memory, Wi-Fi circuitry, or even communication devices for cellular. The eyepiece seems to have suffered some modifications too, but technical changes remain unclear. However, it's interesting to note that this particular design seems more industrial or spartan compared to the ongoing Google Glass models used by medics. This might indicate that the version at hand could be an early prototype of an upcoming iteration of Glass or a prototype for in-house use and internal development. Whatever the case may be, what matters is that Google seems to be working on making Glass a more comfortable and versatile piece of wearable technology.