Go go Google smart watch! Internet giant plans web-connected timepiece

4 Oct 2012

You have to wonder is there anything that Google isn’t trying to re-invent? From phones and glasses to driverless cars, the latest challenge, it seems, is to re-invent the trusty wristwatch. A patent application filed by Google engineers in November for a smart watch has been approved.

According to the patent filed by James Brooks Miller and Richard Gossweiler, the watch will include a wireless transceiver and a flip-up feature that exposes a tactile user interface.

You get the sense this won’t be just any old web-connected watch. It will have a camera viewfinder that seems to use Google Goggles capabilities to do a search based on what is captured in the viewfinder.

Here’s one of the descriptions in the patent application:

“A smart watch comprising: a wristband; a base coupled to the wristband and including: a housing, a processor, and a wireless transceiver in communication with the processor, the wireless transceiver configured to connect to a wireless network; a flip-up portion in communication with the processor and coupled to the base and displaceable between an open position and a closed position; and a camera in communication with the processor and coupled to one of the base and the flip-up portion, the flip-up portion forming a viewfinder for the camera when in the open position and configured to display information regarding an image within the viewfinder, the processor being configured to receive the information related to the image within the viewfinder from the wireless network, the information including product information when a product is displayed in the viewfinder or including directional information when a geographic location is displayed in the viewfinder.”

What next, the Google toaster or web-connected thermostat?

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years