The past week has been interesting in terms of new products and concepts that have emerged. For starters, we heard that Google is stepping up its AR glasses project by hiring a key industry leader to build a new AR operating system. One of the major Chinese smartphone players presented a popular foldable smartphone that retails for the same price as an iPhone 13 Pro Max. Samsung’s new patents this week highlighted a new concept of a drop-down-foldable hybrid smartphone as well as smart glasses and other wearable devices that will include bio-sensors. Even Dell introduced a few new concepts this week covering a twist on webcams and a PC concept that might be very interested in those supporting the Right to Repair movement.
On connected glasses: Google
This week, smart glasses were a topic of interest to Apple’s competitors. It has been reported by 9to5Google that Google, after abandoning “Google Glass”, is now preparing to return to this market space.
Apple has clearly covered two of Google’s patents on smart glasses in 2020 and 2021. Below are the patent numbers for their filing in 2021. We also reported that Alphabet / Google had acquired a smart glasses company in Canada in 2020 called “North”. We were therefore able to see some of the new foundations that Google was laying for its return to this market of which it was the pioneer.
9to5Google reported that Mark Lucovsky joined Google with his official title being “Senior Director of Engineering, Operating Systems, AR @ Google. Lucovsky was previously employed by Facebook’s Oculus VR as General Manager, Operating Systems. He had been at Google as Director of Engineering between 2004 – 2009 and spent 16 years at Microsoft as “Distinguished Engineer”.
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There are several positions open for Augmented Reality OS, with a job listing explicitly stating the goal:
“Our team builds the software components that control and manage the hardware on our augmented reality (AR) products. These are the software components that run on AR devices and are closest to the hardware. Google adds products to the AR portfolio, the OS Foundations team is the very first software team to work with new hardware. “
On Smartglasses +: Samsung
This week, the US Patent Office released a Samsung patent application titled “Wearable Device and Method for Measuring Biosignal.” Samsung is working on headphones, smart rings and smart glasses that could measure bio-signals. The biological information may include one or more of arterial pressure, vascular age, arterial stiffness, aortic pressure waveform, vascular compliance, stress index, and fatigue level.
In Samsung patent FIG. 5D below, the # 120 sensor can be arranged on an outer surface of the eyeglass temples (# 52) so that the sensor can measure a bio-signal from a finger when the glasses are worn, and the light collector external (# 110) can be placed next to the sensor. As illustrated in Fig. 5A, when a user touches the sensor with a finger while wearing the glasses, the sensor can measure a bio-signal from the finger. The sensor and the external light collector can be arranged on one or both arms of the glasses.
For more details see Samsung patent application 20210386298 here.
On smartphone form factors
Oppo: This week, there was a lot of buzz surrounding one of the Chinese smartphone leaders, Oppo, introducing a foldable smartphone called “Oppo Find N” that could easily challenge Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3. Oppo had touted a “Scrollable” form factor called “Oppo X” Last year, it was due to launch in the fourth quarter of 2021. Instead, Oppo released a foldable smartphone that is being applauded by many critics, including Brands. Brownlee and Lew Hilsenteger from Unbox Therapy, as featured below. In the closed position, it’s like an old one-handed iPhone that many will find appealing.
The price is 7,699 yuan (about US $ 1,200) for a model with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. 8,999 yuan (about $ 1,400) gives you a 12GB / 512GB model. For comparison, the iPhone 13 Pro Max starts at 8,999 yuan in China, so these are competitively priced for the smartphone space. premium.
The rumor of a foldable iPhone has been around for some time with release dates ranging from 2022 to 2024. Obviously, Apple’s display archives show many Apple patents for future foldable devices. Some of the most recent can be viewed here: 01, 02, 03, 04 and 05.
Samsung: This week, a few future smartphone form factor patents were released for Samsung in the US and Europe. The first set of patent numbers covers their patent application in the United States 20210391410 titled “Flexible display device having reduced tension during folding or rolling”. Samsung patent FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate the “rolling” mechanism in a smartphone frame that will allow the screen to extend to the right side and provide users with the ability to view content in a larger format such as movies and videos. YouTube videos.
Samsung’s second patent application published this week in Europe under the number WO2021251775 is called “Electronic device capable of performing folding and sliding operations”. The patent figures shown below illustrate how a future smartphone can not only have the screen sliding off the side of a smartphone, but also bend or fold and be able to be held at an angle. In this way, a user could place the smartphone on a table and tilt the screen to watch content from TV to movies and YouTube content.
Although the patent is published in Korean, the source Patentscope provides a translation function for many languages to help you.
New Dell Hardware Concepts
This week, Dell showcased some new concepts they are working on. The first is a new type of webcam that could be placed on top of a desktop screen, but could also be uniquely moved at eye level or anywhere else on the screen directly via a magnetic system. Read it Ars Technica report for more details.
On a larger scale, Dell showcased “Concept Luna: A vision for Sustainable PC Design” as featured in their video below. A proof of concept developed in collaboration with Intel, Concept Luna explores revolutionary design ideas to make components immediately accessible, replaceable and reusable, thereby reducing resource use and keeping even more circular materials in the economy. It was created to test what might be possible, not to be made and sold. But if all of Concept Luna’s design ideas were realized, we could expect an estimated 50% reduction in the overall carbon footprint of the product.
Google tried a similar concept with Project Ara which targeted modular smartphones. It never got off the ground, although their engineers continue to patent the concept. It is not yet known whether either of these projects will hit the market successfully, but these are two types of “Right to Repair” device concepts that could one day tap into a large market. global. You might know more about Concept Luna from Dell and Intel here.