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New patent hints at Google Glass wristwatch

A filing shows that when it comes to wearable computers, Google is already thinking beyond eyeglasses.

A rendering of the wristwatch concept by Google
Screenshot by David Hamilton/CNET

If the idea of a heads-up display inside your eyeglasses still seems strange, what about one for your wristwatch?

A patent issued yesterday revealed a new frontier for the Google Glass project: the humble wrist. A wristwatch design filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office shows a timepiece with a clear touch screen that flips up from the base of the watch to serve as a secondary display.

Images filed with the patent show the display being used to offer directions, product information and e-mail notifications.

Patents don't always -- or even often -- become products. But a growing number of tech giants are paying increased attention to wearable computers. Pebble became the most-funded Kickstarter project ever with its smart watch design; Sony and Nike released wearable electronics of their own this year. Apple pushed the idea of using an iPod Nano as a wristwatch last year, but appeared to give it up with a redesigned Nano this year. That, in turn, led to speculation that it was developing a wearable computer of its own.

For Google, a wristwatch computer could fit neatly into its current local strategy, which involves providing real-time information about users' surroundings in a natural, helpful way. The Field Trip app, which the company released last week, provides pop-up notifications whenever a user walks by a point of interest. It's easy to see something like that being ported over to a watch like this.

(via Engadget)