Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Google Has Been Working on Watch and Glass in Tandem, Patents Show

If Google Glass freaks too many people out, the company likely has a Plan B close behind. Another Google smartwatch patent application was published today, describing a tactile user interface for a watch, similar to that of Glass.

Goog_watch_patentSmart watches will likely be coming this year from Google, Apple, Samsung and others — but it’s not yet clear how ambitious the initial products will be.

The newly published Google patent application describes the components for a watch with two touchpads on a wristband that in tandem understand gestures like pinch, stretch and tap up or down. As Engadget points out, it sounds similar to how Google Glass works with a single pad.

This application was filed in October 2011 — so it’s a considerably older version of what Google is working on now. Its timing and inventors are the same as a previously awarded patent that described a smart watch that would connect to a wireless network with a “flip up display.”

Those two patent filings also line up to exactly the same day in 2011, with a batch of at least three already awarded patents for a different Google team covering the wearable display design of Google Glass. That particular crop of intellectual property seems to have been all about the wearables.

As we’re starting to see nerds wearing Google Glass out in the wild, it’s all the more clear that this form factor is not one that will be adopted overnight. Compared to Google Glass on your face, a wrist is a much less obtrusive place to put a computer.

At the same time, a watch isn’t going to have the same ability to capture pictures and video from eye level, or to overlay a display on the world. But maybe many people will appreciate that.

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google