Apple Patents iGlass – Is A Wearable Mac In Our Future?

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Apple has received a patent for iGlass which could signal a new front opening up in the ongoing theater of operations that is Google vs. Cupertino.  But while Google’s Project Glass seeks to augment reality with a single projected glass image, Apple’s patent, dubbed “Peripheral treatment for head-mounted displays,” shows a stereo image design that’s going for full immersion.

While the basic concept is very similar – a wearable computer that would enable users to access data like Yelp listings, contact information, and even shoot images from a first person perspective, both companies are adopting different approaches.  Google is going for a single mini LCD projector that is beamed into the wearer’s eye providing a kind of augmented reality, while Apple is going with a stereoscopic “heads up display” kind of approach which would beam data onto the glasses itself and give the illusion of complete immersion.


But while I can get behind the benefits of soldiers, first responders and even doctors and paramedics to use such a device in their every day missions, and maybe, just maybe gamers who want to take their first person shooters to the next level, I’m not really sure the regular public would embrace such a device in iPad-ian proportions.  When Google announced Project Glass, the idea got a lot of unwanted mileage in the form of parodies of poor users running into things and falling down.  And let’s face it, when it comes to ridicule, Apple has far less a sense of humor than others.

Then again, just because Apple got a patent for their iGlass device, doesn’t mean it’s coming out any time soon.  Apple has been known to sew up a patent to make sure a market isn’t cornered and to prevent it’s competitors from establishing a beach head.  That way, if the technology does indeed take off, they can either dive in the deep end and come out with a slicker, more elegant version, or, they can head to the courtroom, which has been their motive operandi of late to prevent their competitors device from landing on store shelves.

Bet let’s imagine for a minute, a future where, instead of watching a movie in a theater, film fans are treated to a mobile experience where actors are over layed onto real locations.  To follow the action, you actually follow them from room to room (granted, that could get a bit crowded in some locations).  The whole notion of a more immersive experience is nothing new.  Hollywood is already trying to force 3D (and it’s higher ticket prices) down our collective throats.  Who’s to say that the world’s first augmented reality feature isn’t right around the corner?  Wouldn’t you just love to see the next episode of the Hunger Games while following Katniss through the actual District 12?  That would be pretty cool.

But then again, the goofiness of walking around all day with computer monitors perched on the bridge of your nose may be a nonstarter.

Source: Redmond Pie

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.