Oakley Sunglasses patent offers a peek

Oakley's eyewear of the future could project images onto a thin display lens a la Oakley Glass, according to patent documents published Thursday.The concept in the patent application depicts conventional eyeglasses accompanied by a wearable device. The glasses would charge using a docking station, according to documents at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The patent explains how the concept would include an "e-paper" system to display an image on an insert in the lenses. E-paper display technology looks like ink on paper that isn't backlit, but reflects light as normal paper.A spokesman for the Foothill Ranch-based company declined to discuss how the patent could be developed into merchandise."We have a robust IP portfolio that includes wearables, but we are not ready to disclose future innovations at this time," the representative said in an email.
The new concept aligns with moves in recent years by Oakley's parent company, Luxottica, which partnered with Oakley in 2014 to design and manufacture Oakley Glass. While Oakley last January discontinued production on the prototype glasses, in late December it filed a new application with the Federal Communications Commission for the next version of Oakley Glass.
The patent comes amid Oakley news last week from Intel. CEO Brian Krzanich said in his Consumer Electronics Show keynote that his company and Oakley are partnering to create smart eyewear for athletes that will go on sale later this year.The glasses, called Radar Pace, can act as a coach with voice commands that offer guidance to wearers while they run. Radar will be able to advise users if their pace is too slow and answer the runners' questions.
The glasses have earplugs and a microphone. There is also a tiny computer on it, which has drawn some comparisons to Oakley Sunglasses.Krzanich did not announce how much the glasses will cost.Oakley has been developing smart eyewear for more than a decade. In 2004, the company sold its Thump sunglasses that integrated a music player that piped in tunes through black earbuds.