Samsung has registered a patent that could hint at its own Google Glass-style wearable device. The design patent, filed in Korea early this year, was granted full registered status in October and recently unearthed by The Wall Street Journal. It shows a pair of “sports glasses” with transparent or translucent frames, side buttons, and a front panel that appears to hold a camera. The glasses, according to the description, could be paired with a smartphone to display information or offer some control; a pair of built-in earphones would let users listen to music or receive phone calls. Unlike Google’s glasses, the Samsung patent shows what appear to be wires on both sides, meeting in the back at a connective plug. But even if the device is more than a concept at this point — which, as with all patents, isn’t a sure thing — it’s likely to go through several iterations before we actually see it.
The glasses’ description sounds essentially like that of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, which Samsung revealed last month. While Samsung has proven itself a major player in smartphones, it’s had some false starts in the spectacles space: back in 2011, it helped establish a standardized 3D glasses initiative that never managed to get off the ground. Now, though, it’s one of many companies looking into wearables, and its huge mobile market share could make it easier to bundle experimental products like the Galaxy Gear with its flagship devices. Meanwhile, Google Glass is already going through an extended beta, and Microsoft is said to be prepping its own smart glasses.