At GoogleÔÇÖs I/O conference, Google Glass was met with much excitement. The device was innovative and considered the first of its kind. Mobile developer Google attempted a patent on the idea back in 2011, however it would seem Apple unsurprisingly, has been working on a project that feelsÔÇª the same. The problem arises when we realize ÔÇ£ThereÔÇÖs a Pat(ent) for thatÔÇØ. In 2009 Apple won a patent on what appears to be movie glasses; however they have become something more.
The Mobile developer Apple appears to be working on their own set of ÔÇ£glassesÔÇØ. What started as an odd set of iTunes viewing glasses has changed into something reminiscent of GoogleÔÇÖs innovative idea. A patent that was recently filed by the mobile developer shows that the movie glasses now have a single viewing lens over a single eye.
The actual patent is on a technology that increases the resolution on a display without increasing the number of pixels. This is great for a device where limiting the number of pixels is actually a good thing. This could lower the cost, weight, and size of the display without killing the resolution.
Who is Copying Who?
The movie glasses patent brings to light and interesting conundrum. Who is copying who? Is Google copying AppleÔÇÖs idea? Or was it really innovation that led to the idea. This is not the first or last time that a patent from mobile developer Apple will come to light to compete with or squash a new idea. At what point does this ÔÇ£innovation squashingÔÇØ become a serious issue for our technological advancement?
We are seeing a pattern with the two mobile developer giants. A new idea comes out and magically Apple has a patent for it, even if they donÔÇÖt plan on rushing the idea out anytime soon. Google may be in some trouble over this one. The patent seems loose, however that hasnÔÇÖt stopped Apple before. Even if Apple doesnÔÇÖt bring a suit against Google, they could be competing with them for the new technological slot. Can Google still be the first to get their premium product out?
Having multiple players in the game is what makes us more creative. The mobile technology market is where it is because of the major mobile developer battling it out. Could glasses be the next step in the chain? With Apple and Google in the game, things are sure to be interesting.
It is good to see that Apple is innovating right next to Google on this front, but will it be enough. Google has a prototype that is functioning and being fine-tuned where Apple has a rough idea of what they want to do. This battle could come down to who releases first. With GoogleÔÇÖs release date already announced, Apple needs to be on its toes if it hopes to compete.
What I think
While I have to applaud Steve Jobs for his work and genius, I struggle to find anything other than frustration at the more recent patent antics they have been engaging in. While I understand protecting existing products or at least products they are working on, watching them patent every new idea that comes out just makes me sigh. I like innovation and I believe that it needs to not be off the back of each other; however some of the patent suits going around lately are just ridiculous. I like to see advancement in the field, but patents like AppleÔÇÖs NFC patent make it difficult for anyone else to use technology that looks, feels, or seems similar. Which means without some serious changes NFC apps from Google or anyone else may be met with some issues.
After the exciting release of Project Glass from Google and the announcement of a prototype we see Apple getting patents and the like for a similar device. Apples ÔÇ£Movie GlassesÔÇØ from 2008 are getting dusted off to make an appearance and compete with the good innovation from Google. This could lead to some very cool technology, or another dumb lawsuit. The difference between these two companies is that when awarded a patent, one of them litigates while the other innovates.