The US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Samsung on July 11, which indicates the South-Korean multinational conglomerate's venture into augmented reality (AR). The published patent shows AR glasses with a display and a frame that automatically powers the device on and off.
Samsung has previously worked on virtual reality (VR) but this is the first time it has actively focused on AR.
Samsung’s AR headset looks like a pair of sunglasses, similar to the audio glasses released by Oakley, Bose, Zungle, Voxos, among others.
In Samsung's AR glasses a small square display, which gets reflected from a prism onto the lens of the glasses through a small temple-mounted projector, will appear in front of the user's eyes, or at least one of the eyes.
The AR glasses will be using a waveguide that can diffract the projection so as to exude 3D depth, in order to display a translucent image that would appear over the user's field of vision.
In place of a dedicated power button, Samsung's patented AR glasses would be powered by its frames to conserve energy. The projector will be powered on automatically when one of the frame's temples is opened. When the frame's temple is folded closed, the device would automatically turn off.
To prevent the jittering of the projector during head movements, magnets would be placed near the hinges of the glasses in order to maintain the 'open' temple position of the glasses and also to complete a flexible electrical circuit running from one temple’s battery through the frames to the other temple’s projector.
Samsung's patent can possibly contain all sorts of processors such as standalone ARM chips and/or more dependent processors, and all sorts of wireless technology including short-range ones (Bluetooth) and/or long-range ones (Cellular).
Samsung has the freedom to experiment with its innovation in ways that do not strictly follow the suggestions given in its patent application. This flexibility can help the company maintain its originality so that others may use the same idea but not end up creating identical gadgets.
Moreover, this is a patent and it does not necessarily follow that Samsung will mandatorily release AR glasses. However, the filing date of the recently published patent is January 2, 2019, which suggests that the development of AR hardware by the company is well underway.