Items tagged with Patent

As you read this, you're more than likely surrounded by wireless signals. However, wouldn't it be great if those waves of energy could be utilized for purposes other than just delivering data? Apple sure thinks so, as its latest patent application thoroughly highlights. The proposed patent is titled "Wireless Charging and Communications Systems With Dual-Frequency Patch Antennas", and refers to using wireless routers and other wireless hardware to keep devices - such as an iPhone or iPad - charged. Imagine never having to worry about the charge of your phone as long as you're inside yor home... Read more...
Using Windows Hello, a feature Microsoft introduced with Windows 10, you can log into your system (assuming it's compatible) with your face or your fingerprint. It's a nifty alternative to hammering out a password, but it could also be more secure. In an effort to make it so, Microsoft was recently granted a patent related to iris recognition that could be used in future Windows devices, including smartphones, tablets, 2-in-1 systems, and so forth. Microsoft's patented technology also includes "liveness testing," which means the iris recognition process would be able to tell when there is a real... Read more...
For all of Microsoft's successes in hardware (Surface Pro and Surface Book are both great devices), it has never been able to make an impact in the mobile phone market. The failure to do so was underscored at the end of last year when Microsoft decided to stop selling Lumia handsets at its Microsoft Store. Be that as it may, Microsoft has never said it's getting out of the phone hardware business completely. Perhaps the company is waiting for the right moment, or the right innovation. With regards to the latter, a newly published Microsoft patent points to a foldable Surface Phone on the horizon.... Read more...
For whatever reason, Apple continues to drag its feet in offering a true laptop with a touchscreen display. However, it hasn't abandoned touch functionality on laptop systems completely. Apple introduced the Touch Bar on its latest MacBook Pro model, which replaces the row of Function keys at the top, and now it's been discovered that Apple filed a patent to dock an iPhone or iPad onto a MacBook-looking laptop.Apple's application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office is for an "electronic accessory device" that can "extend and expand usefulness of a portable computing device." Put... Read more...
Microsoft may have closed the door on its Lumia family of smartphones, but that doesn’t mean that the company has given up on phones altogether. Mobile represents a huge opportunity for a company like Microsoft — an opportunity that up until this point it has largely squandered. However, a new patent filing reveals that Microsoft could still have a few more tricks up its sleeve; in this case, a folding smartphone. If such a design were to make it to production, it would likely adopt Surface branding, joining the likes of the aerobatic Surface Pro, Surface Book and Surface Studio. Entitled “Mobile... Read more...
If you thought Samsung was going to fold after its Galaxy Note7 debacle played out, you'd be partially right. As has been rumored for quite some time, Samsung has been hard at work on a new smartphone concept that would allow its users to fold it up to save on space. We're not talking flip-phones here, but a phone that literally folds up like a wallet, thanks to its bendable display. Now we have even more proof of this concept, as Samsung has filed a patent which shows rendered images - and, for the most part, it looks exactly as you'd expect: As seen in the render, the middle of the phone is essentially... Read more...
In case you haven't already picked up on it, helpful artificial intelligence is making a big play to become embedded in many of the devices that we use on a daily basis. With its top-end Pixel smartphone, Google has an AI assistant running throughout the entire OS. And we just recently learned that Samsung will apparently push the AI focus hard with its upcoming Galaxy S8. Now, we learn that Microsoft wants to up its AI game with Cortana. The goal with any solution like this is to not only provide specific information at your beck and call, but to be able to interact with that AI in the... Read more...
We’ve stated on many occasions that Windows 10 is an excellent operating system, albeit one with a few rough edges that could be smoothed-out. However, Microsoft has angered some users over the past year or so, in its willingness to dance right up to the line of what customers feel is acceptable practice for promoting adoption of its new OS. Further, some feel the company crossed that line with respect to user data collection and privacy concerns. It looks as though Microsoft stands to garner more criticism if its recent patent filing comes to life in a production software product. The title... Read more...
There's probably isn't a huge crowd of smartphone shoppers fretting over the decision to go with Android or Windows Phone, but for those pondering the two platforms, Samsung may one day make the choice easy—go with both! That's the idea behind a patent application Samsung filed in South Korea, one that describes a phone running both OSes at the same time.Samsung's approach is different than that of a dual-booting solution. What Samsung conceived is a much slicker solution in which switching between Windows Phone and Android would be similar to bouncing around different open apps like you can already... Read more...
Google's taken contingencies for the inevitable day when a self-driving car mows down a pedestrian. To keep injuries to a minimum, Google filed for and was granted a patent for a sort of sticky hood that would grip people who've been hit by an autonomous vehicle. The concept behind it is to prevent people from bouncing off the front of the vehicle and sustaining more damage, whether it's by bouncing off a tree or simply being flung to the concrete. The patent describes an adhesive layer that's applied to the front end of a vehicle. A special coating is then put on top to prevent the hood from being... Read more...
One of our least favorite things to do is type out anything lengthy on a virtual keyboard, like those found on smartphones, tablets, and so forth. With that in mind, you'll have to excuse us for not being stoked about a recently discovered Apple patent for a "configurable force-sensitive input structure for electronic devices." The patent describes a laptop keyboard that replaces traditional physical keys with a special touchpad. If Apple were to implement something like this on, say, a future MacBook model, it would sort of be like typing on the iPad's virtual keyboard, though a little more advanced... Read more...
With so much of the VR talk revolving around Oculus' Rift and HTC's Vive lately, it'd be easy to forget that Sony has its own competitor coming, called PlayStation VR. And now, as new patents have revealed, the Japanese gaming giant could have a nifty trick up its sleeve. Or rather, a trick wrapped around its hands. That's right: it looks like Sony is developing what some could consider a spiritual successor to the Power Glove, that classic late 80s peripheral for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Since the release of the Power Glove almost 30 years ago, there have undoubtedly been some attempts... Read more...
According to a new patent published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, Apple is mulling the idea of using "self-healing" material in future iPhones to help prevent water from killing the device. The patent name is subtle: "Electronic device with hidden connector." Where the "hidden" comes in is with the use of an elastomer which will effectively block exposed connectors on the device when not in use. Apple wants this material to color-match with the device it's being used on; for example, black or white. Untouched, it shouldn't detract from the device's aesthetics, and it could actually... Read more...
Don’t get me wrong, today’s smartphones are fast, can have relatively long battery life, and keep us connected at all times. But with a few exceptions — namely the BlackBerry Priv and YotaPhone — they all follow the same basic design principles. You have a 4- to 6-inch slab of glass that’s surrounded by a plastic or aluminum body. You’ll find a few buttons littered around the perimeter of the device and perhaps a single button on the front. Everyone uses this form-factor because it’s efficient and it simply works. But Samsung is looking to the future, and newly unearthed patents show that the company... Read more...
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