A patent application from Google has been spotted describing an e-reader with two screens and a camera. The e-reader is designed like a book, with the camera following the user’s eyes.
The patent application was discovered by Patent Bolt. The device shown has two screens, where the second screen can show different types of content. In addition, a camera is present, which can take images of the user. Using facial recognition software, the system must then recognize where the user’s eyes are focused.
By recognizing which part of the e-reader the user is looking at, the e-reader can quickly adjust content on the screens. An example is given where a user, after reading a book page on the left screen, moves their eyes to the right screen. That can then display the next page. If the system subsequently detects that the page on the right screen has also been read, the left screen can be refreshed to display the next page. This is what Google calls the ‘flipping configuration’. It should also be possible to refresh all content at the same time.
The technique developed by Google could make an e-reader that can read books in a similar way to conventional, physical books. The patent application also states that it is possible to connect accessories, such as a keyboard and mouse. This indicates that the concept must be able to do more than display digital books.
Google filed for the patent in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to Patent Bolt. As usual with patent applications, it is not clear whether the demonstrated technology is actually used in products.