It looks like Google’s stint with augmented reality is not yet over, even after companies termination of Google Glass for customers this year due to the clumsy hardware and absence of any personal use.
Earlier last month, there was a report as to how Google might be re-defining Glass under a new project called Project Aura, dealing with wearable tech for which it has even recruited people from Amazon’s secretive Lab 126.
Re-iterating how it will continue to experiment with augmented reality, Google has received a new patent which would allow it to use hologram to get the virtual aspects in augmented reality respond and come alive rather than just being pasted over the real time view.
The patent application titled “LIGHTGUIDE WITH MULTIPLE IN-COUPLING HOLOGRAMS FOR HEAD WEARABLE DISPLAY”, talks about an an optical apparatus for a head wearable display includes a lightguide, in-coupling holograms, and an out-coupling optical element. The head display is a type of Head Mounted Display (HMD) which is capable of superimposing CGI over a real-world view.
The description about this HMD reads,
..can serve as the hardware platform for realizing augmented reality. With augmented reality the viewer’s image of the world is augmented with an overlaying CGI, also referred to as a heads-up display (“HUD”).
Like it has been always with such patent reports and product rumors, Google has not confirmed on anything and gave an oft repeated reply in such cases, “We hold patents on a variety of ideas – some of those ideas later mature into real products or services, some don’t. Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patents.”
However it is being widely speculated that its recent initiatives and reviving plans of Glass could possibly have a relation with its investment in the augmented reality startup, Magic Leap last year. Google led its Series B funding round worth $540 million along with other investors such as Qualcomm and Legendary Entertainment.
Magic Leap, which itself had remained secretive about its nature of work prior that funding round, is believed to be working on “lightweight wearable” hardware solution which would provide a visual experience not bound by traditional media content consumption devices. It has even filed a bunch of patents concerning augmented reality content mostly related to gaming over the past few years. And this high quality content in augmented reality is just what is needed by Google to successfullly turn its Glass initiative into a popular augmented reality platform.
However one has to wait and watch for the possible implications of these patents until Google itself comes up with concrete announcements which does not seem likely to happen very soon, given the curt response it gave related to this patent.