Updated: Feb 11
Google is known for seeking after aspiring projects it normally names as "moonshots."
From self-driving cars to drone delivery, the tech giant always seems to have a futuristic project in the works.
Now, it's always important to take patents cautiously, many times a company will file a patent for a device that will never see the light of day.
Following are some of the weirdest patents Google owns:
Solar powered contact lenses
Contact lenses powered by solar energy would aim to collect health data, such as glucose level and internal body temperature. The lenses could even read bar codes.
Comic strips for Social Networks
In 2010 Google filed a patent for a technology called “Self-Creation of Comic Strips in Social Networks and Other Communications" to let users make cartoon strips on social networking sites.
Walking stick that takes photos
Google was granted a patent in 2013 titled “Walking Stick with IMU [inertial measurement unit]” for what’s basically a walking stick with imaging and location sensors on it. Using a switch at the bottom, the walking stick would take pictures of its surrounding environment and keep a record of your location.
Electronic throat tattoos
Registered in 2012, this patent describes a tattoo that implements a microphone on the user's neck. It can be paired with a smartphone, allowing it to make calls without having to put the phone in its mouth. Another application would be to insert a lie detector.
Pay-per-gaze Advertising Tracking System
This patent awarded to Google in 2013, titled “Gaze tracking system” helps advertisers determine how long someone actually looks at an ad and what kind of impression it makes. It works as a head-mounted device, such as Google Glass, and captures everything the user gazes at, especially advertisements, and measures how long the person looks at it and the degree of the pupil dilation to determine how much of en emotional response the ad evokes.
Virtual assistant that posts and tweets on Facebook
In 2011, the company sought a patent for "Automated Generation of Suggestions for Personalized Reactions in a Social Network." The technology would look at others' postings, dig up related information about the topics, and then automatically suggest "personalized" responses to them, based upon the app's recollection of how you've responded to postings in the past.
Gadget that projects keyboard onto your hand
In 2013, Google filed for a patent for a technology called "Methods and Systems for a Virtual Input Device," in which the Google Glass headset would project a virtual keyboard onto a user's hand, turning it into a virtual smartphone-style touchscreen for the user's other hand.
Advertisements generated based on weather
A patent from 2008 titled “Advertising Based on Environmental Conditions", is for technology that would receive information about your environmental conditions (like if it’s raining or extremely hot) and generate advertisements based on those weather conditions. In example, if you were in an area with a high temperature, you’d start seeing advertisements for air conditioners, whereas, if you were in an area with a lot of rain, you might see ads for rain jackets and waterproof clothing.