Patent published on November 14, 2023

Snap's New Patent Might Make Scooting Safer and More Fun with Augmented Reality Spectacles

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, recently patented a new invention (US11813528B2) with the potential to transform both personal travel and outdoor play. With this patent entitled "AR enhanced gameplay with a personal mobility system," Snap aims to solve the lack of functional and interactive controls prevalent in existing personal mobility systems (PMS), like scooters, bicycles, etc.

The problem with these modes of personal transport, as anyone, adult or child, who has ridden a scooter can attest, is their bare-bones interface—usually simple LED or LCD speed or battery indicators—and complete lack of obstacle detection or avoidance systems. This makes it difficult for parents to monitor their child's safety, but also limits the fun that kids can have with these systems.

The novel solution that Snap has patented involves integrating personal mobility systems with augmented reality (AR) glasses, such as the company's own product, Snap Spectacles. So, now envision children (or even adult), gliding down the streets in their scooters, scooping up imaginary treasures displayed in their AR Spectacles or avoiding imminent, but fun, dangers – a world just out of the regular on-looker’s sight but very much a part of the rider’s reality.

This promising patent does not merely aim to turn the streets into a fun and interactive playground, but also plans to improve user safety. The system would not only centralize and display travel data and navigation information to the user, but also highlight obstacles, traffic control devices, and hazards, warning the user of their presence, hence potentially preventing accidents.

A safer and more fun world might be at our doorstep where scooting will no longer be just a means of transport, but also a fascinating interactive gaming experience. However, it is important to remember that this is just a patent submitted by the company. As exciting as it might sound, there's no guarantee when, or indeed if ever, we'll see this product in the market.

P.S. As always, Snap's patent presents an interesting idea, but it's just that - an idea. There’s no surety it will ever become a tangible product.

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