Latest in Googleglass

Image credit:

Japanese mobile boss claims he's already patented the tech inside Google Glass

Sharif Sakr
04.10.13
22 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Patent filings, we don't take so seriously. One of Japan's richest men, with the potential to call on an army of lawyers to defend what he claims is his invention, we probably ought to. Masayoshi Son, the billionaire (and philanthropic) CEO of SoftBank, has given a two-hour speech to his shareholders about his technological predictions for the next 30 years, and about halfway through he describes a familiar idea: augmented reality glasses that can understand what a person is saying and provide subtitles as a visual overlay. At one point, he specifically mentions protecting the concept:

"By the way, we've already taken out a patent on this -- translation glasses with captions." (1:22:49 in the video at the source link.)

We think we may have found the patent application in question, submitted in 2010 by SoftBank Mobile Corp. It does show a translation function similar -- but not totally identical -- to what's been shown off in a recent Project Glass promo video, in which a guy translated his own words using Google's specs. In any case, the whole patent system is so esoteric that it's impossible to predict what ideas will clash and what won't, but it's worth bearing in mind how Masayoshi Son first became rich: he sold a translation device patent to Sharp for $1 million. What are the odds on that?

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
22 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

View
Neo Geo retro stick console includes 'King of Fighters,' 'Samurai Shodown'

Neo Geo retro stick console includes 'King of Fighters,' 'Samurai Shodown'

View
Watch the 'Android' Nokia phone that never had a chance to exist

Watch the 'Android' Nokia phone that never had a chance to exist

View
TiVo tries running pre-roll ads before your recorded shows

TiVo tries running pre-roll ads before your recorded shows

View
YouTube CEO apologizes for channel verification mess (updated)

YouTube CEO apologizes for channel verification mess (updated)

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr