Google Glass Patent Papers Reveal Wealth of Details About Eyewear Computer

There's a wealth of interesting new details about Google's innovative Project Glass effort inside the company's U.S. patent application, which is posted online.

All of the fascinating details about the futuristic, intricate technology behind Google's Project Glass eyewear-mounted computer may not be splashed all over the Internet by the company, but if you know where to look, some answers are waiting to be found.

Google's patent application, which is listed online, reveals plenty of enticing details about the inner workings of Google Glass, which will first be offered for sale to a small group of Google developers early in 2013.

Google demonstrated a prototype of the special eyeglasses at its I/O Conference in June that focused on the basic components of Google Glass, including an Android-powered display, a tiny webcam, a GPS locator and Internet connection node built into one side of a pair of glasses. The glasses are lightweight and may or may not have lenses—sunglass-type or otherwise.

But underneath the surface, there's a lot more potential to the whole Google Glass concept, according to the patent application.

The glasses use a side-mounted touch-pad that allows users to control its various functions according to the patent paperwork. The glasses will be able to display a wide range of views, depending on user needs and interests. One potential view is a real-time image on the see-through display on the glasses, the patent application states.

"Displaying the visual representation may include showing an image or graphic. However, the display may also allow a wearer to see through the image or graphic to provide the visual representation superimposed over or in conjunction with a real-world view as perceived by the wearer."

What's really fascinating about the patent application is that many of the ideas described include multiple ways of performing the same tasks, which show just how much the Project Glass effort is still evolving even as the project continues.

One description details how the side-mounted touch-pad could be a physical or virtual component and that it could include a heads-up display on the glasses with lights that get brighter as the user's finger nears the proper touch-pad button.

On the heads-up display viewed by the user on the glasses, the side-mounted touch-pad buttons would be represented as a series of dots so they can operate them by feel, the applications states. "The dots may be displayed in different colors. It should be understood that the symbols may appear in other shapes such as squares, rectangles, diamonds or other symbols. "