Google begs for secrecy as it files Glass design with FCC
Chocolate Factory doesn't want pics, manual, seen in public
Google has lodged information about its forthcoming “Glass” spectacle-mounted computer with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), but has asked that many details be kept from the public eye.
Available here, the eight PDF files the FCC has made public comprise correspondence between Google and the FCC and the results of tests conducted by third-party labs on a Glass device.
One of the documents, a letter from Google’s regulatory & compliance specialist Warwick Wong, reveals that Google asked the FCC not to release filings that included photos of the device and its manual.
The reason for that request is that “The market for the technology that is the subject of the certification application is a highly competitive one [and] Were Google’s competitors to become aware of the facts set forth … it could have an adverse effect on Google’s competitive standing and deprive Google of the marketplace benefit it otherwise might achieve by virtue of having a product available before other competitors.”
The remaining documents don’t reveal an awful lot of new information about Glass, but by showing Google through the motions of having it declared safe for use hints strongly that the device is close to being ready for sale.
A few things we can learn from the documents include the fact Glass users will be denied 802.11n, as only the slower 802.11b and 802.11g will be included. There’s also a Bluetooth radio. Broadcomm supplied the radios provided for test, so perhaps the company has also scored the gig once Glass goes into production. Assuming it does.
The available documents contain no mention of a 3G or 4G radio, which may mean Glass relies on a Bluetooth or WiFi connection to a mobile phone to deliver its augmented reality services beyond a WiFi hotspot.
There is, however, a hint of how Glass might work in the description of one test that says "A video stored within the [device] was played on the heads-up display with audio running to the vibrating element and transmit the low-energy Bluetooth mode." Engadget, which found the filings, thinks that's a reference to a pending Google patent for a bone-conduction speaker.
That doesn't sound good for one's head and nor does the one illustration of a Glass device (see below) suggest cranial comfort, as it shows the test unit possessed a battery on the right arm of the Glass’ glasses.
The picture depicts the battery as being uncomfortably close to the wearer’s ear, but another of the documents assesses the device under IEEE 1508-2003, which “specifies protocols and test procedures for the measurement of the peak spatial-average SAR induced inside a simplified model of the head of users of certain handheld radio transceivers.” It seems Glass passes those tests and won’t cook users’ heads even if they do bump them with a battery and vibrate them. ®
Battery near ear
I don't understand the fear of El Reg for a battery near your ear.
I'd rather have several batteries near my ear than a 1+ GHz processor + bluetooth + wifi near my head. Or are you also paranoid enough not to wear a Petzl headlamp?
...if you'll excuse the pun. What about the large percentage of us who already have to wear glasses? Will we now be forced to use contacts (which I do not like) in order to use Glass?
Re: GOOGLE are trying to patent Prior Art
The stories you've read in books, seen in films, been told about by a mate down the pub etc are not prior art, they're just "wouldn't it be cool if..." ideas, which aren't patentable for what should be obvious reasons.
Re: GOOGLE are trying to patent Prior Art
You fail at reading the article AND one of the comments.
This is NOT about patents.
Re: Short Confidentiality is not Google begging the FCC
This is completely normal procedure for anything requiring FCC approval (in other words anything with a radio transmitter). The only story here is that google have a prototype ready with what they hope will be final or very close to final hardware.
The records (including full test reports, internal and external photos etc...) then normally become public within a day or two of the product being released.
It all makes those web sites rushing to post pictures of the internals of the latest product a little redundant since the FCC normally has photos of the same things online around the same time.
If in doubt find anything with a radio transmitter, read the FCC ID on it (on a sticker on the back or in the battery compartment, on phones it's normally under the battery). Look that ID number up on this site:
http://transition.fcc.gov/oet/ea/fccid/ and you'll find photos, manuals, descriptions and test reports on the product.