The smart home is still a few years away as companies are now just dabbling in the idea of a smart fridge or a smart washing machine. Even so, Google is preparing for this future if its latest Glass patent application is any indication.
In a patent filed on September 21, 2011, Google outlines how Glass could be used to control appliances within the home, like a washing machine or refrigerator.
A wearable computing device includes a head-mounted display (HMD) that provides a field of view in which at least a portion of the environment of the wearable computing device is viewable. The HMD is operable to display images superimposed over the field of view. When the wearable computing device determines that a target device is within its environment, the wearable computing device obtains target device information related to the target device. The target device information may include information that defines a virtual control interface for controlling the target device and an identification of a defined area of the target device on which the virtual control image is to be provided. The wearable computing device controls the HMD to display the virtual control image as an image superimposed over the defined area of the target device in the field of view.
In layman terms, Google’s patent would basically allow Glass to bring up a menu whenever you look at an object that can be controlled via Glass. The menu would be laid over the item in question to bring an augmented reality flair to the experience. From there, the user would be able to control the object in question with either a touchpad, voice command or gesture.
Like most patent applications, this is just one possible idea out of many for Google Glass. I wouldn’t be surprised to see something like this come to Glass in the future, but we’re probably going to see simpler apps starting out. We’ll have to wait for the smart house of the future, and hopefully not Disney’s Smart House, to come along before stuff like this becomes more common.