Is Samsung focusing on a rival to Google Glass?

Michele Tantussi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Samsung could be focusing on launching a rival version of Google's Glass device, according to a patent application posted in October.

Registered with the Korean Intellectual Property Rights Information Service, the designs appear to show the South Korean technology giant is working on a spectacles-like product that has been categorized as "sports glasses".

Initially reported by the Wall Street Journal, the design patents have a memo attached that states the design is of a type of glasses with integrated earphones, which allow to take phone calls and listen to music during workouts.

(Read More: Is Samsung losing its earnings momentum?)

Design patents on Korea Intellectual Property Rights Information Service website (credit: PocketLint)

The memo adds that the device is linked to a smartphone and displays alerts for information running on the phone, according to the WSJ. It adds that the device features a lens that is either transparent or translucent.

Technology companies such as Samsung file a large number of patents for products in development every year. However, very few of them make it into the marketplace.

A Samsung device would be following hot on the heels of the Google Glass -- a product that is still in its prototype stage but has already received widespread attention.

Google Glass is a wearable computer with a head-mounted display that lets users search the web, use apps and respond to spoken instructions. However, its most controversial feature is its ability to record video, an issue that has raised privacy concerns. A consumer version of Google Glass isn't expected to hit the shelves until early next year.

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If Samsung's new patent turns into a consumer product, it will be the second wearable product that the company has produced. In early September, Samsung's first smartwatch was released, but the Galaxy Gear has since received disappointing reviews from technology analysts.

Despite the rocky start, wearable technology could grab vital revenue in the future as technology firms look to diversify away from a maturing smartphones.

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Recent research by analysts at Credit Suisse calls wearable tech "the next big thing" and says the industry is set to grow from around $3 billion to $5 billion today to $50 billion within five years.

Meanwhile Samsung released earnings on Friday, reporting yet another record quarter but forecast weaker mobile handset shipments of 1-5 per cent in the fourth quarter.'s Matt Clinch. Follow him on Twitter @mattclinch81