Sci/Tech

Patent shows Samsung's rival to Google Glass

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A patent filing shows Samsung Electronics Co. is working on a device it calls sports glasses in a possible response to Google's Internet-connected eyewear.

A design patent filing at the Korean Intellectual Property Office shows a Samsung design for smartphone-connected glasses that can display information from the handset. It said the glasses can play music and receive phone calls through earphones built into the eyewear's frame. It also gives hands-free control over the smartphone.

Reminiscent of the Google Glass design, Samsung's sketch shows a thumbnail-sized display over the left eyeglass. Google's eyewear has a tiny display over the right eyeglass that shows information and websites.

It was not clear from Samsung's sketch and description whether its eyewear would be equipped with a touch control and a camera like Google Glass nor whether it would connect directly to the mobile Internet or be a slave to a smartphone.

The name and the description specify the Samsung product is designed for outdoors activities or sports. Samsung did not respond to an email and a call seeking comment. Google Inc. is testing an early version of Google Glass with 10,000 people in the U.S. after giving the public a first look at its Internet-connected eyewear in June last year. The early version can take pictures, record videos, navigate maps and works without a smartphone.

Other tech companies are also exploring ways to bring mobile computing to everyday objects such as watches and glasses. Samsung introduced a smartphone-connected watch called the Galaxy Gear last month. Sony also announced a smart watch.

Samsung filed the application for the eyewear design patent on March 8.

Follow Youkyung Lee on Twitter: www.twitter.com/YKLeeAP

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