The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office just granted Project Glass a patent that protects the trackpad feature of Google Glasses.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin appeared with his wife, Anne Wojcicki, on California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom’s Current TV show last month to briefly let the politician demo a pair of Google Glasses. During “The Gavin Newsom Show” interview (above), Brin gave the world a glimpse as to how the space-age spectacles work.

Viewers immediately noticed a trackpad-like control on the right side of the augmented-reality glasses, but the USPTO just protected the feature by granting Project Glass a patent for the trackpad. The patent covers a sensor device, for either side, that tracks gestures and finely controls the heads-up display. The Mountain View, Calif.-based Company also detailed several gestures that work with the trackpad—such as scrolling, tapping, or flipping—to provide visible, semi-transparent options.

The Google Glasses’ trackpad feature is dubbed a “finger-tracking input sensor” throughout the patent, which Google originally filed in May 2011.

[via Engadget]

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