Google Glass Enables You To Control Household Appliances

22nd March 2013

Google Glasses Let You Control Household Appliances

A Google patent application has today revealed the company’s intention to enable Google Glass wearers to control nearby household appliances and objects. The developers of Google Glass want us to be able to control a wide variety of appliances from the garage door to the coffee maker. The US patent and trademark office has today published a Google patent application entitled “Wearable Computer with Superimposed Controls and Instructions for External Device”. The patent application describes a technology which would enable wearers of Google Glass to control real household objects and appliances via a virtual display. Making your morning cup of coffee may never be the same again.

How Google Glass Controls Your Appliances

Google Glass would intelligently overlay information describing specific household devices. Google Glass would also present the wearer with a visual control panel with which to control and interact with each appliances. The patent goes on in detail to describe the potential application of the technology. It describes the effect of enabling wearers of Google Glass to be able to ‘control the target device, provide input to the target device, receive instructions for operating the target device, receive status information regarding the target device and/or receive other information related to the target device’.

Which Household Appliances Will Google Glass Communicate With?

Google has gone as far as to list the names and types of the specific devices it intends to enable Glass wearers to control. The patent covers the refrigerator, an espresso maker, TV, garage doors, alarm systems, lighting systems and copy machines. Users would be able to activate a button via touch on the Google Glass enabling them to send specific instructions to each of these devices. So by touching the Google Glass you can effectively control each device according to a unique set of parameters.

Using Google Glass To Control Your Fridge

So let’s take a look at a specific example like the fridge. One action a Google Glass wearer may wish to adopt is the ability to remotely control the temperature of the device. This would require the fridge to possess a superimposed virtual control interface. In order for the wearer to control the target device, Google Glass would overlay the information on top of the fridge so that gestures can be made to control the movement of the interface. So in reality, there is no apparent interface visible of the fridge. Using Google Glass, it intuitively layers the controls required via a superimposed display, enabling the user to perform certain commands.

Using Google Glass To Control Your Garage Door

Another real-world example would be the garage door. Google Glass could be programmed to open and close your garage door based upon your location and proximity to your home. As you’re rolling into the drive, the garage door would intelligently open and close via a control mechanism built into your Google Glass device.

When Will Google Glass Be Able To Interface With Your Appliances?

So in order for Google Glass to be able to interact with devices, they can’t just be any old standard garage door or fridge. You’re going to need to buy a new fridge or garage door with smart and intelligent functionality designed to integrate directly with Google Glass. This would certainly require Bluetooth, WiFi or NFC (near-field communications) to enable the device to communicate directly with Google Glass.

This probably means it’s going to take some considerable time for the technology to proliferate the mainstream. We already have some smart household items like smart fridges, but it’ll take a while for manufacturers to get up to speed for Google Glass integration. So for the time being, you’re just going to have to open and close the garage door the good, old fashioned manual way.

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