We’ve heard rumblings of Samsung’s augmented reality glasses, called either Galaxy Glass or Gear Blink, to compete with Google Glass since 2014. But with Google Glass’ fall from grace, Samsung appeared to have scrapped its plans for augmented reality (AR) glasses, too.
Now, a logo trademark from Samsung discovered by Dutch site Galaxy Club hints that those plans might be resurrected.
Samsung’s trademark filing associates the eye logo above with the following: “Smart glasses”, “Correction glasses”, “VR experience goggle type imaging device”, “Glasses for correcting eyesight” and “Computerized vision-assisted eyewear consisting of a camera / computer / display for capturing / processing / displaying an image”.
From these descriptors, we can guess that Samsung could develop either virtual or augmented glasses with a medical focus, marketing them as a potential replacement for corrective lenses. But what’s intriguing is that Samsung’s Creative Lab showed off an app that fits much of this criteria at CES 2018 just last month.
Accessible AR glasses
Relúmĭno is a Samsung Gear VR app that lets you use your smartphone to correct your vision. Their app corrects blurry vision by finding and emphasizing the outlines of objects, making things easier to see.
When you’re reading, the app also ups the text contrast to make the words more visible, so you don’t need to lean in too closely. Relúmĭno can even correct partial blindness, and is responsive enough to adjust its corrective focus based on how close you are to what you’re looking at.
While Relúmĭno’s currently VR-only, Samsung announced plans to release AR glasses with the same vision-correcting functions, so people can wear them in their daily lives.
It seemed highly unlikely that Samsung is working simultaneously on two separate “vision-assisted eyewear” devices. Sure enough, go to the app’s website and you’ll see the newly-trademarked logo on the top-left of the page. Samsung’s glasses will definitely be incorporating Relúmĭno into its AR plans.
Our theory is that once the AR-native version of Relúmĭno is fully developed, Samsung will use it as a primary selling point and native app for its glasses, if and when they begin to publicly market them.
Other AR glasses in development, like the Intel Vaunt and rumored Apple AR Glasses, will be sold with prescription lenses. No word yet on whether Samsung’s Glasses would do the same, augmenting your corrected vision beyond “perfect” with its app, or if their Relúmĭno features are meant to replace corrective lenses entirely.