This Google patent is an odd camera hat with headphone-free personal sound

google android wikileaks patch
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Tech support of the future could look a bit more like Google Glass and a bit less like a frustrating phone call.  A recent Google patent details a camera hat designed for live interactive sessions and emergency assistance, with a social media hint and a few odd quirks.

The hat includes a camera system, data storage, and a wireless connection. Like Snap’s Spectacles or the camera inside Google Glass, the hat would record and transmit a first-person point of view through the brim of a hat instead of a pair of glasses.

But unlike a pair of camera glasses, the patent, filed back in 2013 but only published on Tuesday, details a vibration system that tells the wearer when to turn his or her head. Two vibration modules on each side of the hat are accessed by “the remote system” — presumably by the same person watching the live video feed — to indicate which direction the wearer should turn. The idea is to get the right angle of view that remote assistance or an emergency responder needs to help without being there in person.

While the patent lists the uses as remote assistance, there is also a hint of social networking involved. According to the patent, the camera is configured to a social networking server in order to authenticate other users to access the camera feed and share images.

The camera hat is also equipped with both a microphone and speaker to allow communication between users — though not in the traditional sense. “The audio speaker is configured to create audio waves through the hat by bone conduction in the skull of the wearer of the hat,” the patent reads. While most sounds are heard through the vibration of the eardrums, Ludwig Van Beethoven discovered that sounds could also be heard through vibrations in other bones. The hat uses that concept to allow for headphone-free communication to accompany that camera feed.

Patents don’t always become physical products — while getting the camera off your face could be a more comfortable way of using wearable cameras, the vibrating instructions and speakers are a rather odd take.

Product Review

The all-new 3 Series proves BMW can still build a compelling sport sedan

Seat time in the entry-level BMW 330i ($41,425) and M340i xDrive ($54,995) will test the German automaker’s commitment to driving dynamics, powertrain refinement, and cutting edge technology.

Microsoft could split up search and Cortana in the next Windows 10 release

In the latest Insider preview build, Microsoft is exploring ways to split up Cortana and search on Windows 10. If Microsoft moves ahead with this change, we could see separate search and Cortana options in the Spring 2019 Update.

Here's our guide to how to charge your laptop using a USB-C cable

Charging via USB-C is a great way to power up your laptop. It only takes one cable and you can use the same one for data as well as power -- perfect for new devices with limited port options.
Emerging Tech

Warm ski beanie instantly hardens into a head-protecting helmet upon impact

Wool hats are way more comfortable than hard helmets. You know what they're not? Safer. That could soon change, thanks to an innovative new ski beanie which instantly hardens upon impact.

Photographers can now customize the layout of Lightroom Classic controls

Tired of scrolling past Lightroom tools that you don't use? Adobe Lightroom Classic now allows users to reorganize the Develop panel. The update comes along with new sharing options in Lightroom CC, and updates to the mobile Lightroom app.
Social Media

Instagram could be making a special type of account for influencers

Instagram influencers fall somewhere between a business profile and a typical Instagram, so the company is working on developing a type of account just for creators. The new account type would give creators more access to analytical data.

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…

These are the best action cameras money can buy

Action cameras are great tools for capturing videos of your everyday activities, whether it's a birthday party or the steepest slope you've ever descended on your snowboard. These are the best money can buy.

Canon holiday sale features the Rebel T6 2-lens kit for just $449

If you have a budding photographer in your life in need of a real camera, the Canon EOS Rebel T6 could make the perfect gift. Canon is currently offering the camera in a two-lens bundle for just $449 through December 29.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.
Social Media

Instagram’s 2018 year in review shines a light on where our hearts are

What did Instagram users share the most in 2018? A lot of heart emojis, heart face filters, and heart GIFs. The platform recently shared the year's top trends, including hashtags like #fortnite and #metoo along with a few surprises.

Want a fun, affordable instant camera? The Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S is just $49

Instant cameras have had a surprising resurgence of late, and no brand is better recognized in the instant photo space today than Fujifilm Instax. Walmart is currently offering the Instax Mini 7S for just $49.

Not just for Lightroom anymore, Loupedeck+ now works with Photoshop

Loupedeck+ can now help photographers edit in Photoshop too, thanks to physical controls for swapping tools, running actions, and more. The photo-editing console expanded to include Photoshop in the list of compatible editing programs.