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Sci-Tech

Google Smart Glove: 'seeing with your hand'

Google has been granted a patent for a smart glove, which includes cameras in the fingertips.

Google has been granted a patent for a smart glove, which includes cameras in the fingertips.

Images from the patent showing what the smart glove might do. (Credit: Google)

What if you could point your finger around a corner and record what's there onto the Google Glass HUD? We're just speculating here, since the patent for Google's smart glove, named "Seeing with your hand", makes no mention of Google Glass, but the device described therein would certainly pair well with the goggles.

It's a piece of wearable high tech unlike anything we've ever seen, blowing Apple's smart glove out of the water. The patent describes cameras in the fingertips, gyroscopes and accelerometers in the fingers, a compass, a Wi-Fi chip, a CPU hosted in the glove's palm and maybe even a display panel of some kind.

Google Glass does seem to be in mind, though. From the patent (emphasis ours):

The display 108 may be configured to display the output received from the processor 106. The display 108 may additionally be configured to display information received from one or more additional sources. The display 108 may be, for example, a heads-up display, a head-mounted display, a flat-panel display, a light-emitting diode (LED) display, an electroluminescent display (ELD), a liquid crystal display (LCD), an organic LED (OLED) display or any other type of display now known or later developed.

The patent seems to be designed to make use of the way that humans interact with our environments by using our hands — for example, reaching under furniture to feel around for a dropped item, rather than using our eyes.

Humans naturally use their hands and fingers as a means of gathering information. For example, when moving in a dark environment, humans naturally put their hands out to gather information about their surroundings by touch. Similarly, when a small object is lost, for example, underneath a couch, humans naturally put their hands under the couch to locate the lost object by touch. While gathering information by touch is in some cases an acceptable substitute for seeing, in many situations, it may be desirable to "see" the inaccessible environment to better gather information.

To read more detail and view the images, visit the Google patent page here.