What’s next for Google Glass? We just heard about a minor hardware upgrade earlier this summer, but we’re talking big moves: when’s Google going to come out with a commercially viable sub-$1000 Glass that shoppers can pick up from retail stores? The question’s been hanging over our head for literally years at this point, and Google doesn’t seem to be in a big hurry to answer it. But putting aside that sales question for just a moment, what about the Glass hardware itself? A little more internal tinkering aside, are we looking at the final design? Maybe for this wave of hardware, perhaps, but a new patent might give us a little insight into where Google could be heading for its second-gen Glass, with a much less conspicuous design.
Instead of starting with a head-mounted display and offering optional frames, this patent describes a much tighter integration between display and frame, moving the screen closer to the user, on the inside of the lens, rather than hanging out in front. Right away, that could spell a big difference in how people react to Glass, with its presence much less pronounced.
Still, we’re not without our concerns. Would this spell for some seriously chunky frames? Would having the display closer to our eye make it more difficult to use? Really, we may be getting ahead of ourselves here, as a patent is far removed from any assurance that a product’s actually getting made; this could just be one of many Glass-like designs Google’s cooked up over the years. All the same, we’re glad to see that the company appears to be keeping its options open.