X

Patents on wearable tech for fashion and function (pictures)

Check out some of the recently published patents for tech products that you'll soon be wearing.

james-martin-bio
james-martin-bio

James Martin

See full bio

glass-fig-6_1.jpg
1 of 7 US Patent Office

Patents on wearable tech for fashion and function

Google Glass, the futuristic augmented reality glasses from Google, are a reality -- but no one really knows if the world is ready for them. Too geeky for your parents, too creepy for the luddites, and too dorky looking for the image conscious -- who are they for?
It seems like the world is on the edge of a wearable technology revolution. The Internet of Things is bringing the power of sensors, communication, and interoperability to just about everything, and it's happening fast. From clothes, to sports, to our very own bodies, tiny, wearable computers are becoming part of the world.
The cyborg-like Google Glass project will connect us with a vast library of information, allowing us to navigate maps, chat with friends thousands of miles away, and look up virtually anything from an enhanced heads-up display. Apple has visions of flexible-wrist displays and technology-enhanced sports, and Microsoft is using electrical signals from muscles to control video games.
It's all part of a new world that's building function into fashion. Take a look at some of the recently filed patents that you could soon be wearing.
google-glass-projection.jpg
2 of 7 US Patent Office

Projection onto 'display hand'

Patent application No. 20130016070 from Google, published January 13, describes "Methods and Systems for a Virtual Input Device." A pattern for input, such as a keyboard or numeric keypad, can be projected onto a user's "display hand," and a forwards-facing camera can then detect when the user selects items off the projected keyboard.
Wearable technology is making us the computer as well as the canvas.
apple-wearable-video-device.jpg
3 of 7 US Patent Office

Is this Apple's iWatch?

In a patent first filed in August 2011, but just published, we see what is rumored to be Apple's iWatch, a wearable computer. The application, titled "Bi-stable spring with flexible display," shows a flexible display that is worn on the wrist and might connect to devices through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
ibike.jpg
4 of 7 US Patent Office

Pedal power gets technical

Graphics from the Apple patent for "Activity Monitoring Systems and Methods" dated March 31, 2009, shows sensor integration that goes directly into bikes, measuring speed, distance, and other factors for serious enthusiasts, just as a mounted computer accessory add-on might measure these statistics today.
iboot.jpg
5 of 7 US Patent Office

Measuring power on the slopes

The sports-monitoring invention also provides a method of measuring the amount of "power" a user absorbs during the day. A motion sensor attached to a ski boot can measure the force jarring the user.
iboard.jpg
6 of 7 US Patent Office

Connected snowboarding

Graphics from the Apple patent for "Activity Monitoring Systems and Methods" dated March 31, 2009 shows sensor integration for sports equipment including snowboards.
Equipment would then be capable of recording speeds, distance and duration of jumps, miles traveled, and vertical feet achieved for the day.
wearableemgpatent_616.jpg
7 of 7 US Patent Office

Wearable game controller

This wearable game controller which picks up electrical signals generated by muscles was patented by Microsoft, and may be used to wirelessly control a device like the Xbox 360.

More Galleries

2023 Honda CR-V Is Coming This Summer

More Galleries

2023 Honda CR-V Is Coming This Summer

4 Photos
2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

94 Photos
'Stranger Things' Stars Then and Now: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

More Galleries

'Stranger Things' Stars Then and Now: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

40 Photos
The 40 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The 40 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

41 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

80 Photos
2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Edition Takes Us Back

More Galleries

2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Edition Takes Us Back

13 Photos
Maserati MC20 Cielo Is a Gorgeous Italian Spyder

More Galleries

Maserati MC20 Cielo Is a Gorgeous Italian Spyder

70 Photos