Items tagged with Patent

The problem for gamers who try and play VR games in their living room is that the immersion factor means furniture in the home becomes a hazard. Microsoft has a new patent application that has surfaced that shows what it is thinking about to help define the VR playing area to make play safer. The patent application is titled "virtual reality floor mat activity region." The patent outlines a system that would reduce the likelihood of someone walking into furniture. Microsoft's system has special markers that would allow a VR headset to recognize the size of the play space on a mat and adjust the play area accordingly. The assumption is if your mat is a 6x12 space on the living room floor, that... Read more...
Apple has a new patent application that has turned up at the USPTO that outlines a new system of haptic feedback that aims to make on-screen keyboards feel more like the real thing. The haptic tech described in the patent is called "Static Pattern Electrostatic Haptic Electrodes," and the goal is to to provide more tactile feedback like a computer keyboard. The patent relates to haptics that use multiple static pattern electrostatic haptic electrodes that are driven by different voltages, which allows a range of different haptic outputs. The static pattern electrostatic haptic electrode could include conductive material and voids inside the conductive material that allows the material to be the... Read more...
Microsoft files for a lot of patents, and some of the tech that is seen in the patent apps never ends up getting used in production products. A new patent has turned up, and this one is quite a bit different from some of the others we have seen. This patent appears to be for a Surface hinge and was filed by Microsoft Technology Licensing hinting that this patent could be licensed to other companies. The patent has to do with a new liquid-filled hinge design for a flexible OLED device. After the massive failure that was the original launch of the Samsung Galaxy Fold, keeping debris from getting under the screen of a folding device via the hinge is a big deal. The patent describes how a hinge would... Read more...
Nintendo has filed a patent that turned up in a patent database in Japan, for new Joy-Con controllers that might make it much more comfortable to game on the go or at home. The new controllers are hinged, and the front section can fold down to make the typically flat controllers more ergonomic and comfortable to grip and control. The patent art shows controllers where the left side folds below the thumbstick in the top section, and the right side folds just below the buttons. The patent indicates that the controller could be folded that way when attached to the Switch console or when removed. It appears that about three-fourths of the folding section moves while the other fourth of the section... Read more...
Some Apple patent applications have turned up that show what the folks in Cupertino are working that could be incorporated into future Apple Watch bands. One of the patents outlines a method that Apple is working on that would eliminate the need to enter a passcode on the Apple Watch or a paired iPhone to unlock the wearable. The patent talks about skin texture cracks generally being warmer than surrounding skin and hair being cooler than the surrounding skin. The watchband could use an IR thermal image sensor as a wrist biometric sensor. Another patent sounds like something out of Back to the Future, and describes an Apple Watch band that can tighten itself. A self-tightening band could be important... Read more...
A recently published patent application filed in the US by Microsoft describes a "multi-sided electromagnetic coil access assembly" that would be the crux of a folding PC display. Or in other words, think of Samsung's Galaxy Fold, only instead of a phone that opens up into a tablet, this could be a dual-display variant of a future Surface PC. This is not the first time we have heard of Microsoft toying with the idea of a foldable PC. If you follow these things, Andromeda should ring a bell. Somewhat reminiscent of the Courier concept from a long time ago, Andromeda is said to be the codename of a rumored dual-screen device Microsoft is working on, which would pair two displays side-by-side in... Read more...
LG has a new patent that was granted in China for a smartphone that goes beyond what the folding screen devices we have seen so far offer. The patent shows a device that has a folding screen in the middle with no seam, similar to what Samsung did with the Galaxy Fold. Things get quite different from there. LG's patent shows a Z-fold device, and as one of the images here shows, the third screen is a stand-alone unit and appears to fold back onto the front surface of the smartphone. The design would give a full front screen that looks pretty much like all the smartphones we are used to seeing today that can unfold into a device that has a screen three times as wide when needed. LG filed for the... Read more...
Back in late 2018, we first talked about the controller prototypes for Microsoft's Project xCloud game streaming service that were meant to make gaming on smartphones and tablets more enjoyable. Controls are a crucial part of allowing gamers to enjoy the games xCloud offers anywhere, and few are happy with touch controls. A Microsoft patent has now turned up that shows line art that looks just like the prototypes that we saw last year. The tech that Microsoft cooked up was granted a patent on July 9, 2019, and is U.S. patent No. 10,348,108. The patent application was filed on June 13, 2017, taking a bit over two years to make its way through the patent process. Essentially, the controller attaches... Read more...
Foldable devices seemed like the way of the future as manufacturers like Samsung and Huawei rushed to get them into production. The high profile failure of the Samsung Galaxy Fold seems to have put a damper on that rush, however. IBM has filed a patent for a wearable that can be a smartwatch, a smartphone, and a tablet with a display that stacks away when not needed. The multifold display isn't anything like what Samsung used in its Galaxy Fold device. Rather than being one continuous display, the IBM patent outlines a device that uses display tiles that stack into a smartwatch on the wrist and can be folded out into different configurations to give the user the screen size they want for the... Read more...
Sony has patented a technology that could reduce or even completely get rid of loading screens in games. Assuming the patent is something Sony chooses to follow through on, the technology could find its way into the company's upcoming PlayStation 5 console, which is making the switch from a slower mechanical hard drive to a speedy solid state drive. The switch to SSD storage alone should do wonders for overall system responsiveness and, more critically (for a game console), loading times. It is not yet known if the SSD inside the PS5 will be of the PCI Express 4.0 variety, which enables incredibly fast read times. However, PlayStation architect Mark Cerny indicated that the raw bandwidth will... Read more...
Microsoft files a lot of patent applications, and of course many of them won't result in products that actually arrive to market. One patent application seen last month that is expected to result in a new product, however, was for the Surface Pro 7. On occasion, the patents do tip some future devices and give us a glimpse of the tech we may be using years down the road. Today, A new Microsoft patent has surfaced titled "Dynamic Interaction Adaptation of a Digital Inking Device." Sounds juicy and it is. The patent is for a next-gen Surface Pen that is fitted with an OLED display on one side of its barrel. The patent application was filed in late 2017 but was published by the USPTO earlier this... Read more...
Samsung rushed to be the first to market with a folding smartphone, and the high-profile failure of the Galaxy Fold highlighted the perils of rushing to market. The device failed in the hands of reviewers, and it's still unclear when the Fold might launch. Samsung is looking down the road and sees devices with folding screens as the future. A new patent application has turned up that shows something completely different with a smartphone that has a screen that rolls up inside the phone body. The patent line art shows a device that has a traditional bar-style smartphone design. Rather than having a screen that folds in the middle as the Galaxy Fold did, the patent shows a device that has a screen... Read more...
While we are likely a while away from a true replacement for the replacement for the Surface Pro 6, a patent application has surfaced that hints at one of the features of the next-gen device. The patent application describes fancy new hinges for the critical integrated kickstand that props the tablet portion of the device up when users are typing with the removable keyboard or watching video on the device in tablet mode.  On the current Surface Pro 6, the kickstand uses friction created by the hinges to stop and stay at whatever angle the user wants in the entire range of its motion. When it's time to fold the kickstand away, the same friction force resists folding... Read more...
Microsoft unveiled the HoloLens 2 augmented reality headset at MWC 2019, and as cool as the hardware is, it is aimed at the commercial market and carries the price tag to go with it. Consumers aren't the market Microsoft's fancy new headset targets, but a new patent filing shows how the software giant plans to bring virtual and mixed reality to the consumer masses via an AR smartphone app. Credit: Microsoft via USPTO A patent application has surfaced that outlines part of what Microsoft plans to do for consumers with mixed reality technology on smartphones. The patent document states that in a virtual reality experience, virtual imagery is displayed in the field-of-view of the user, to provide... Read more...
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