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Google Invents a Wrist-Worn Camera System to capture a user's In-Air Gestures to control Possible Future AR Smartglasses

1 cover Google Wrist Camera for AR Smartglasses

Last week Patently Apple posted an IP report titled "Meta Kick-Starts 2024 by Jamming through a Series of Patents related to True Smartglasses & Accessories." The first patent covered in that report was one for an "AR Glasses Wristband Input Device." The patent figures below are from that patent.

2 facebook patent fig for wristband AR device

Gesture Detection via Image Capture of Subdermal Tissue from a Wrist-Pointing Camera System

On January 4, 2024, a patent application from Google was published by the U.S. Patent Office regarding techniques of operating an AR system that includes determining hand gestures formed by a user based on a sequence of two-dimensional images through skin of the user's wrist acquired from a near-infrared camera.

Specifically, an image capture device disposed on a band worn around a user's wrist includes a source of electromagnetic radiation, e.g., light-emitting diodes in the infrared (IR) wavelength band that emit the radiation into the user's wrist and an IR detector which produces the sequence of two-dimensional images of a region within a dermal layer in the user's wrist.

From this sequence, gesture detection circuitry determines values of a biological flow metric, e.g., a change in perfusion index (PI) between frames of the sequence, based on a trained model that generates the metric from the sequence. Finally, the gesture detection circuitry maps the values of the biological flow metric to specific hand/finger movements that determine a gesture.

Google's patent FIG. 3 below is a diagram that illustrates an example wrist-mounted image capture device (camera); FIG. 4 is a diagram that illustrates an example camera for detecting IR and/or RGB illumination in a pair of channels within the wrist-mounted image capture device; and FIG. 5 is a diagram that illustrates a bottom view of the example wrist-mounted image capture device.

3 Google's Wrist Warn Camera patent figs Jan 2024

The Wrist-Worn Camera is to work with AR Smartglasses System as noted in the patent figures below.

5 Google Patent for smartglasses with wrist-warn camera
The details behind Google's patent could view under U.S. patent application 20240004476.

Other Google Related Smartglasses patents published this month:

01: Content Output Management in an HMD (Smartglasses)

02: Multi-Pivot Hinge for Smartglasses

03: Steerable Camera Array for an HMD (Smartglasses)

Although it's been rumored that Google has dropped their smartglasses hardware division so as to benefit from being the official Android HMD Operating System, patents just don't disappear. Google could license or sell their patents to interested parties looking to get into the smartglasses market or to expand on their current patented designs. The Wrist-Worn Camera is unique and it'll be interesting if an Android partner adopts it to provide smartglasses that could capture in-air gestures like Apple eloquently executes on Vision Pro.  

10.0x35 Patently Mobile


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