Google applies for 'audio via bone-conduction' patent
Google has applied for a patent concerning a <a href="http://macnn.com/rd/277955==http://www.electronista.com/articles/13/01/02/google.project.glass/" rel='nofollow'>Project Glass-style</a> pair of glasses with built-in <a href="http://macnn.com/rd/277956==http://www.electronista.com/articles/09/06/18/moto.endeavor.hx1.headset/" rel='nofollow'>bone-conducting</a> headphones. The <a href="http://macnn.com/rd/277957==http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO %2Fsearch-adv.html&r=10&p=1&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=(20130124.PD. %20AND%20Google.AS.)&OS=PD/20130124%20AND%20AN/Google&RS=(PD/20130124%20AND%20AN/Google)" rel='nofollow'>application</a>, titled "Wearable Computing Device with Indirect Bone-Conduction Speaker," would theoretically allow the wearer to hear audio played from the device privately without resorting to use earphones or external speakers. <br />
The system would use "at least one vibration transducer" fitted in the frame, positioned in such a way that it would make a connection to the bone structure of the wearer, and so transfer audio vibrations to the ear. <em>Engadget</em> <a href="http://macnn.com/rd/277958==http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/24/google-glass-bone-conduction/" rel='nofollow' target="_self" title="">notes</a> that the system is unlikely to provide a stereo sound, and its mono audio nature would make it best suited to uses such as phone calls and audio-based notifications.
Alternative interfaces suitable for Project Glass has been explored during the device's development. One patent application describes how a <a href="http://macnn.com/rd/277959==http://www.electronista.com/articles/12/05/18/google.patent.application.suggests.ring.based.cont rol.to.project.glass/" rel='nofollow' target="_self" title="">finger ring</a> decorated with an infrared pattern could be used to control the head-mounted display, while a <a href="http://macnn.com/rd/277960==http://www.electronista.com/articles/12/10/03/timepiece.could.provide.glass.system.without.heads et/" rel='nofollow' target="_self" title="">smartwatch<a/> with a flip-up transparent display that mimics the Project Glass functionality has also been filed for with the USPTO.
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