San Diego – A new patent filed in Korea reveals what seems to be Samsung’s plan to rival the soon-to-be released Google Glass. The patent, which was filed with the Korean Intellectual Property Office by Samsung Electronics Co. shows glasses which communicate with a smartphone. It was filed on March 8, 2013 and describes the device as, “sports glasses,” which will have the capability to let users listen to music and take phone calls through built in earphones. Similar to Google’s product, Samsung’s will also allow for browsing of the internet on a small display screen on the eyeglasses’ lens.
In the months since Google announced the planned introduction of its Glass product, there has been wide speculation about how rival Samsung would react. Until now, there was virtually no clue left by the Korean based company as to whether it was working on a competing electronic glasses product. With the new filing, however, it is obvious that the tech giant is putting its own horse in the smart glasses race.
While Samsung’s new “sports glasses” appear to be a definite attempt to rival Google Glass, several differences between the two products are noticeable from the patent filing. First, unlike Google Glass, Samsung’s device features wires on both sides, which connect at the back of the wearer’s head. Next, while Google Glass features its display screen on the right lens, the Samsung product has its display on the left. In its patent filing, Samsung makes more than a passing mention about how the new device will be targeted for use in sporting and outdoor activities. While Google Glass has already been marketed as a sort of universally useful device akin to a wearable mobile phone, Samsung may be looking to set itself apart by making its new device an athletic accessory.
Outside of these differences, however, the essence of the two products is the same. Both are efforts to take everyday devices, such as watches and eyeglasses, and make them “smart.” Both Samsung’s “sports glasses” and Google Glass look like futuristic sunglasses with a minimalist design: a wraparound style with a skinny metal band and clear frameless lenses. How it all pans out for these two big names will largely depend on how the consumer market reacts to the emerging product field of wearable electronics and how the devices will fit into our everyday lives.