Google presents patent for virtual keyboard

It will be used to operate interactive eyewear with the fingers

The idea aims at facilitating the use of interactive eyewear, like the Project Glass prototypes, by means of a virtual keyboard fitting in the palm of the hand. At the moment, it is just an idea proposed by a Google team and it will be evaluated by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).


The challenge is to simplify interaction which, according to the first experiments, is mainly vocal through microphones. At the end of the month, the software developers could lay their hands on the first models for testing at a meeting in the US. These are gadgets that will broaden the horizons of wearable electronics, just like bracelets and smartwatches.


The patent describes a frame that can incorporate a laser projector on one side and a camera on the other. Users see a numeric keyboard in the palm of their hand and write by touching the keys. Interaction is also possible by moving their fingers in the air. If more space for writing is needed, the traditional "qwerty" keyboard with letters can be visualized on other surfaces. This means that the eyewear can be used in noisy locations, where microphones could be inefficient.


The software developers will take part in the San Francisco Glass Foundry meeting of the Glass Explorer program for envisaging software applications suitable for interactive eyewear. The next stop will be New York City. According to Babak Parviz, head of Project Glass, after the first tests, augmented reality will be on the horizon: simplifying means adding digital layers to the images being observed, thus allowing the wearer to read information about a monument, for example. There is still little information about the Project Glass eyewear. It will have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity: it can be connected via internet to a smartphone. Subsequently, perhaps, it will be fitted with an antenna for cell phones.


The glasses do not have lenses, but a small display on the top right-hand side that can notify users of emails or text messages received. They will have two microphones and take photos stored in Cloud. And they will feature customized software applications like the Google search engine and the Google+ social network where images can be shared.


Source: Il Sole24Ore