Apple has been known recently as a patent troll. They have been flaunting their patents all over the world. Some patents are considered by many as completely absurd. Take ‘Slide to unlock’ as an example. They say that they are the first to invent such a method of unlocking anything. They also filed patents for a rectangular device with a black bezel and a rectangular screen at its center. Pretty much the whole look of the iPad, and any tablet they see that competes with it. Apple has a reputation for calling dibs on being first, while not really being the first to introduce it. They are merely the one to popularize it.
That is the past and the present. Legal wars abound nearly every corner of the Globe. They seek to use every patent on their arsenal to stop any others from developing even the most remote looking smartphone and tablet. Some have been constantly proven as absurd and unjustified in court, yet they keep putting it in new cases just for the heck of it. It feels like Apple is wildly flailing hoping to hit some device right in the gut.
That is not to say that Apple does not have some valid patents as well. They have indeed won on certain occasions. Still, we wonder what lawsuit they will file next. Just a little while ago, Apple was granted a new patent. It’s pretty obvious now what the future cases will be about.
Apple has received a patent for a wearable computing device. They call it the HMD or Head Mounted Display. People have dubbed it as the iGlasses. It’s rather catchy I must admit. This patent highlights a wearable computing device that would project information on a wearable display. It the patent highlights and includes a broad application of such devices, such as the display of videos, apps and other information. It works by exploiting a person’s peripheral vision to avoid having headaches or visual disturbance. Apple describes it as:
I know what is going on in every reader’s minds right now. Google Glasses. The Google Glasses have not even been long out in the open and yet Apple already has a patent to troll out the competition, without even showing a shadow of its own device yet. The patent was made in 2006, way before the technology was even viable. The application of the patent in such a time should have not been accepted, especially if there is no working product to back the concept. Yet, we all know how flawed the patent system is, and it looks like it will work again in Apple’s favor.
Some would remember that Google has also received a patent grant regarding their Google Glasses, but there were some fundamental differences. The patent filed by Google reflects a very specific description that obviously pertains to the Google Glasses and its underlying technology. Whereas Apple’s version is very broad and can certainly block and troll any other devices created in the future with wearable displays.
Anyone can predict that the courts of the future would indeed be involved once more in this technological leap: A battle between Google Glasses and iGlasses, and any other future device that it may hit. All we know is that the iGlass may be coming. If only the recent times are not muddled with lawsuits left and right, this would have been an exciting time for wide-eyed and awed consumers who are looking into the possibilities of the future.
Hey, I’m not saying Apple does not innovate, sometimes they do, and it is monumental. But there are just too many occasions where they are just trolls throwing out patents with very wide descriptions aiming to hit as much as they can in their path.
Well, regardless of the lawsuit battle that may eventually befall us, I am pretty excited about these wearable displays. Being nearsighted might be the new cool of the future, or just another geek thing.
Are you willing to tout a wearable display in the future?
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