Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Google Input Devices

Google Patents Image-Capturing Walking Sticks 117

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the all-the-better-to-see-you-with dept.
theodp writes "GeekWire reports that Google has patented an image-capturing walking stick, which can boldly go where no Google Street View Car can. The walking stick has embedded cameras and location sensors, and a switch at the bottom that causes the device to snap pictures whenever the stick hits the ground. The patent also covers using canes and crutches in a similar fashion."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google Patents Image-Capturing Walking Sticks

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Why? Is there really a need for something like this? Is google crossing the creepy line with this?
    • I don't think the mountain goats will care that much.

    • by crashcy (2839507)
      How is this any different than Google Glass? Does it matter if someone is recording you with glasses or with a walking stick?
    • by Picass0 (147474)

      Coming up next - Google patents an upward facing camera on the toe of men's shoes.

    • Why? Is there really a need for something like this? Is google crossing the creepy line with this?

      Yes. I find it creepy that Google can patent WWII era spy tech.

      • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @09:32AM (#44049519) Homepage
        I find it creepy that people don't understand patents. This isn't just a camera on a stick like a spy would use. It's a particular design for fitting cameras, sensors, processing gear, and other equipment into a particular form factor, solving particular engineering problems. Comparing it to WWII spy gear because it looks like a walking stick and takes pictures is like comparing a Formula 1 race car to a horse-drawn carriage, because they both drive on roads and have round wheels.
        • Bzz, bzzz, bzzit. Buzzwords. Dance around the issue some more, won't ya?

          It's an 'engineering design' involving 'fitting stuff' in a particular fashion.

          Who let marketing in here??

        • by Dishevel (1105119)

          They had cameras that could be hidden in a walking stick in the 30s and 40s?
          and
          How well did the GPS technology work from balloons?

          • They had cameras that could be hidden in a walking stick in the 30s and 40s?

            It's a long time ago that I was into antique cameras, but I think I've heard of such a thing.

    • by game kid (805301)

      Oh, they crossed that line well before PRISMgate (which didn't help).

  • Gonna get a Street View of Hobbiton.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Is it also available in a 'pimp cane' model?

  • I had to double check this wasn't an April 1 story.
  • by Githaron (2462596) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @08:47AM (#44049051)
    Now grumpy old men can enjoy technology while they chase kids off their lawns!
  • ... which can boldly go where no Google Street View Car can

    Rightly so, cars are not allowed on the lawn.
  • Maybe next Google will market a version of the giant paper mache eyeballs that the Residents used to wear over their heads, that also takes and uploads pictures to its servers with location information.

    • The prior art on the camera in a giant hat that Homer Simpson wore precludes that particular 'engineering design.'

    • by mmcxii (1707574)
      I'm ok with that as long as it plays the backing music to My Second Wife by The Residents over and over again while it's recording.
  • Calm down everyone (Score:5, Interesting)

    by guppygweeb (2881553) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @09:01AM (#44049209)
    Its so they can street view hiking paths and place they cant get their bike to go which is an area that I am hoping they expand to.
    • by FunPika (1551249)
      Someone mod this up. TFA even shows one of Google's not so good ideas for Street View on hiking trails (having someone hike with a huge Street View camera mounted to a backpack) that this is intended to replace.
  • They're already working on the first generation of muttations. Don't say anything incriminating in the presence of talkative birds.
  • I have figured out the pattern. /me Goes to register googlefalseteeth.com

    • Sergey Brin is getting old just as fast as anyone else. Already having sufficient retirement funds, he plans ahead in other ways.
      • by Nexus7 (2919)

        I look forward to innovations in elder care and access as the Google bigwigs age. How about family care? Do these guys wish to marry, procreate?

  • Great (Score:4, Funny)

    by Digital Vomit (891734) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @09:09AM (#44049289) Homepage Journal

    Time to update the list of things that will let you automatically get a patent for something:

    • - on a computer
    • - on the internet
    • - on a stick
  • ... stroke canes and aluminum walkers.

  • Did anyone else think of a walking stick bug? I had a vision of a creepy spynet made up of little bug-bots. Sounds more like a DARPA thing than a Google thing but who can tell anymore :P

  • GoogleScope. Street View of the world through the eyes of a sniper.
    GoogleShotglass. Street View through the eyes of a drunk.
    GoogleCokemirror. Street View through the eyes of a drug addict.
  • The goal of this project seems to be to map the places the google-street-cars cannot go: ea public buildings, parks, private properties and others.
  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @09:19AM (#44049387)
    I am sorry, but how is this not obvious? The only thing that is not obvious is why one would want to do this (although once you consider what Google is doing with Streetview, etc, even that goes away). However, as soon as one has a reason to do what this does, the solution (which is what they are patenting) is obvious.
    • by cdrudge (68377)

      I am sorry, but how is this not obvious?

      How many "elongated members" (walking stick was just used as an example) do you know have computers inside them with imaging devices, anti-shock and vibration module(s), and imaging devices that also include location sensors?

      If they invented just a walking stick, then yeah, obvious. All things tided together, maybe not a revolutionary invention, but not obvious IMHO either.

      Plus, even if it is semi-obvious it helps prevent someone else from patenting it then going aft

      • How many uses do you imagine for such a device? Once one has a use for such a device, the device itself is obvious.
        • by Agent0013 (828350)
          It seems obvious now that we have seen it. But we must remember that even Google's first version was that huge backpack thing. So it wasn't that obvious even to them when they started mapping trails and such.
          • I do not believe that the reason Google's first version was lack of obviousness, more likely it was lack of miniaturization. The first cellphones were huge as well, but that was not because people thought that big portable phones was the way to go.
      • by tepples (727027)

        How many "elongated members" (walking stick was just used as an example) do you know have computers inside them with imaging devices, anti-shock and vibration module(s), and imaging devices that also include location sensors?

        Any smart camera or tripod-mountable smartphone on a monopod.

      • by Splab (574204)

        Well there are lots of one legged tripods for cameras, DSLRS have stabilizers, computers, anti vibration, gps etc. build in or as modules.

        So no, not exactly a new idea.

  • I'd rather have one that shoots lightning. Just sayin.
  • They lost me at the first line of the patent..

    "An elongated member is provided with one or more imaging sensors, location sensors, and a switch in its bottom end."

    • They can probably get away with that, because the prior art consists of elongated members with a knob at the bottom end to provide a varying rate/degree of vibration, not a simple on/off switch.

  • ...it just won't be complete.
  • Maybe the first thing the patent office should ask is "why"?

    Really, does putting a camera on a stick warrant protection from a patent?

    Is there any real competitive advantage Google has owning this patent.

    Is there absolutely no example of anybody ever doing this in the past. Absolutely nobody in history has ever put a camera on a stick?

    The patent office is swamped with patent requests but there should be some fundamental litmus test that should be applied to even accept a patent.

    Otherwise, charge $1 million

    • charge a percent of your gross income. not a fixed number.

      that way, you and I can still afford to patent, but large companies will think twice about it.

      THAT would be a good goal to shoot for.

      america has become the land of the big company. and if you're small or medium, your only goal is to become larger. I think that's broken by design. its almost always a freedom-reducing process to merge and consolidate companies into bigger and bigger ones.

      no one speaks for the little guy anymore. reason: he can't a

    • Maybe the first thing the patent office should ask is "why"?

      Really, does putting a camera on a stick warrant protection from a patent?

      Is there any real competitive advantage Google has owning this patent.

      Is there absolutely no example of anybody ever doing this in the past. Absolutely nobody in history has ever put a camera on a stick?

      I've heard of walking sticks with a gun barrel, with sword blades, and with hidden compartments... None with a GPS or camera...

  • by tnk1 (899206)

    Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you...

    The Google Pimp Cane.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @10:05AM (#44049959) Homepage

    Again proof the Patent office is a joke. this is simply attaching something to another thing.

    I would like to patent the method of attaching things to other things in order to file a patent.

  • Isn't a cell phone on a monopad the same? And weights less?
  • I hereby committ to the pubic domain the invention of a device consisting of a ball capable of elastic collision upon impact with a surface (a process defined here as "bounce"), embedded with a camera that will take a picture with each occurence of such bounce. This device will possess the ability to perform the described action while interfacing with a computer.

    Of course, it's only public domain if someone else hasn't patented this idea beforehand.

  • without getting your picture taken!

    I have no StreetViews of this place...

    .
  • Would have had a great time with one.

  • What if you take a tripod with a camera screwed into the top and fold all of the legs together, add a little bit of duct tape to construct a walking stick. Would you have to pay royalities to google for using their "invention"?

    If I put the same components in a pogo stick or bowling ball do I deserve a patent for that too?

  • ...we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely giving this technology such a central position in our lives.
  • Why trigger it when it hits the ground? It must be running the gps constantly, so why not when it moves a given distance? That's what's really required.
    • by bmk67 (971394)

      Probably because that's about the only time when you have a reasonable expectation that the camera will not be in motion.

  • Such is the state of the US patent system that it's acutally news when something new and novel gets a patent.

Lo! Men have become the tool of their tools. -- Henry David Thoreau

Working...