Google’s next attempt to branch out into wearables may come in the form of the ‘Google Hat’: a baseball cap with a video camera on the brim. Whilst Google filed for the patent back in 2013, it was only actually granted in February this year.
According to the patent file, the hat can be used to capture photos and videos, which can then be streamed and uploaded directly to social media platforms, not unlike Snapchat’s Spectacles. The hat theoretically sends visual footage via Bluetooth to an app for easy onward uploading.
The patent for Google’s camera hat was filed in 2013.
Google has also added audio functionality, a feature we also saw in the ill-fated Google Glass. Again, according to the patent, the audio functionality on the hat works by sending audio waves ‘through the hat by bone conduction in the skull of the wearer’.
There is some speculation over a part of the blueprint which outlines designs for an in-built vibrating pad, apparently designed to tell the user to turn their head left or right. Are Google planning to use these baseball hats to coordinate some kind of audio-visual surveillance squadron?
The camera hat will be Google’s first re-renty into the wearables market since 2013’s ill-fated Google Glass.
The concept of a wearable camera is very much like the GoPro, which can be mounted on to headwear. The biggest difference here is that the Google Hat would allow you to stream directly to social media networks as opposed to just YouTube.
Many attribute the failure of Google Glass to its £1000 price tag and an excessively technical design. If Google proceed with plans to manufacture their camera hat, let’s hope they follow Spectacles’ example as regards to their £130 cost price and their fashionable, fun aesthetic.