Engadget points to a new Google patent called "Smart-watch including flip up display" which was submitted on October 26, 2011 and granted on October 2, 2012. This patent seems to use technology similar to what's used in Project Glass, only this invention sports a flip-up screen instead of lenses strapped to your face.
According to the patent, Google's smart-watch includes a wristband, a base, and a flip up portion. "The base can be coupled to the wristband and include a housing, a processor, a wireless transceiver, and a tactile user interface," the patent reads. "The wireless transceiver can be configured to connect to a wireless network. The tactile user interface can be configured to provide interaction between a user and the smart-watch."
The flip up portion consists of two screens, one on each side. Each screen activates when the flip-up portion is either in an open/up position, or a closed/down position. "The inside display can be concealed when the flip up portion is in the closed position and be exposed when the flip up portion is in the open position," the patent actually states.
The patent goes on to describe that the flip-up portion may be two separate liquid crystal displays (LCDs). It could also feature a single translucent LCD display instead that doesn't use backlighting – the outer surface forms the top display and the inner surface forms the inside display. Even more, smart glass may be used for the flip up portion, and the inside display may be illuminated when the flip up portion is open using a frosted display, acting as a diffuser.
A "tactile user interface" for user interaction with the smart-watch is located on the base underneath the flip-up screen. "The tactile user interface may be large enough to track a user's finger for touchpad functions," the patent adds. "By way of non-limiting example, the tactile user interface may include a touchpad or a touchscreen display covering at least seventy-five percent of the lateral surface of the base.
Like Sony's current SmartWatch, this wearable gadget pipes in information from a connected (presumably Android) smartphone like notifications and other info. It will also feature apps like Gmail, Maps and more which would connect to a wireless network via built-in Wi-Fi capabilities.
There's also mention of a camera which would use the flip-up portion as a viewfinder when in the open/up position. The watch's processor would then access the local network to retrieve information related to the image captured on the screen. In other words, Google could implement augmented reality information much like it does with Google Glass. Yet due to the embedded camera, the flip-up portion's screen wouldn't necessarily need to be transparent.
To see Google's new invention, head here. Below is the key to the diagram shown above.
16: Flip-Up Portion
28: Tactile User Interface
32: Inside Display