Google has applied for a patent on an input system that relies on a finger ring to control for technology such as Project Glass. The application, made public by the USPTO on Tuesday, describes a “wearable marker for passive interaction” in the form of a ring, artificial fingernails or other wearable items that could interact with a head-mounted display, following another recent application for the glasses design.
The technology centers around patterns that reflect infrared light, giving an example of a marker surface that isn't visible to the naked eye. A single camera could determine two-dimensional positioning, while a pair of cameras would detect three-dimensional positioning. Menus in the head-mounted display would be controlled by the marker's position or specific gestures.
The control scheme could certainly help with navigation in Project Glass, which in the demonstration video relies upon an unseen controller and voice commands, however it remains unclear if the search giant plans to bring the technology to the market. Although immediate comparisons could be made with Microsoft Kinect, the proposed Google patent is tracking a unique object rather than analyzing the movement of an entire body.