Patent Filing Reveals Smart Glasses from Amazon – Their Next eReading Device?

amazon smart glassesBetween the Echo, Dash Button, and the Dash, Amazon is no stranger to novel gadgetry, and here's one that could be turned into an ereading device.

Re/code has the scoop on a patent that describes Amazon's take on augmented reality goggles like the Magic Leap or Sony Smart Glasses.

Originally filed in 2013,

The patent explains how the smart glasses might be wired or wirelessly connected to a device such as a tablet and display video or images from that device in front of the wearer’s eyes. Tapping on the tablet, it explains, transitions a surface in the display from opaque to transparent, making it possible to interact with the real world without taking the glasses off.

"On the one hand, a large screen is beneficial for watching movies, playing games and even reading email comfortably," reads the patent. It continues: "On the other hand, the larger the screen, the bigger the device, which may be less desirable for a light and portable product. Another problem consumers experience with portable devices, like tablet devices, is the lack of ability to immerse themselves in a tablet experience, such as watching a movie on an airplane."

Basically Amazon has a patent on a pair of glasses so smart that they can either block out the world around you or be transparent and let you see the display's contents superimposed over the real world surroundings.

To be clear, the patent describes the glasses as a new form of display for video, but it also suggests that the same tech could be used as a HUD for displaying info (think Google Glass), or it might be used for augmented reality uses (like the Magic Leap or MS HoloLens).

But I wouldn't expect to see it any time soon. Rather than release a commercial product, Amazon filed for the patent. That tells us that they're interested in the tech and that they think it could be valuable one day - it's just not ready yet.

And given the indefinite status of Magic Leap, the hottest player in this niche, that's no surprise. This firm raised half a billion last fall to fund the development of cutting edge augmented reality tech very similar to the Amazon goggles mentioned above, but no one knows when it be on store shelves. According to the latest details shared earlier this week when the company announced it was shifting operations to CA,  Magic Leap isn't saying when they will launch their first product (it is filing a lot of patents, however).

And so I wouldn't expect to be reading your Kindle ebooks on the Amazon Embers any time soon.

About Nate Hoffelder (11579 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

4 Comments on Patent Filing Reveals Smart Glasses from Amazon – Their Next eReading Device?

  1. I wrote a short story where stories are literally uploaded directly into the mind in one hit, is that the final outcome?

    http://seizureonline.com/the-ture/

  2. I believe a future smartphone should be very similar to this design. No one needs to use hands to control it. You just use your brain and get things done.

    • The problem with that idea, R, is that you will still have to hold the smartphone somehow. And even worse, the smartphone would have to be constantly scanning your brain so it can respond.

      Do you recall how Chrome dropped the “Google Now” extension that was always listening just in case you spoke a search term? Your idea would be like that, only worse.

  3. Time Lord reading glasses? They have to be sonic or GTFO. 😉

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