Google has filed a patent that hints at how users will control their Project Glass device. The patent for ‘Methods and Systems for a Virtual Input Device‘ features images and details about users inputting commands onto the palm of their hand or their arm from a laser projector that turns it into a virtual touchpad.
The small projector, mounted on the arm of the glasses, could beam out a laser pattern of objects like buttons onto any surface, based on where the user is looking. Engadget notes that a built-in camera and processor would then interpret finger movements to work out what was being selected.
The projection could include any number of objects and their content could be configured as desired. In one example, the laser pattern of objects shown on a person’s arm includes four numbered buttons and the second button changes color after it is selected by the user. The patent abstract states:
The present application discloses systems and methods for a virtual input device. In one example, the virtual input device includes a projector and a camera. The projector projects a pattern onto a surface. The camera captures images that can be interpreted by a processor to determine actions. The projector may be mounted on an arm of a pair of eyeglasses and the camera may be mounted on an opposite arm of the eyeglasses. A pattern for a virtual input device can be projected onto a “display hand” of a user, and the camera may be able to detect when the user uses an opposite hand to select items of the virtual input device. In another example, the camera may detect when the display hand is moving and interpret display hand movements as inputs to the virtual input device, and/or realign the projection onto the moving display hand.