Archive for patents

Apple Wants to Help you Text While You Walk

Posted in Apple,patents by Tam Yue on March 31st, 2014

Texting while walking.Not too many of us are willing to admit it, but it most likely has happened to you. You are walking along and you get a text that you need to reply to. Do you stop, step out of everyone’s way and then reply? Most likely you continue walking, your eyes focused on the phone in your hands and not on the inevitable light pole just ahead. We all know what happens next, we have all seen the youtube videos and think that it could never happen to you.

Well, walking into harms way while texting might be more common than many people think and has actually spawned some laws in some cities. To this, Apple has just filed for a patent to start working on the technology for “transparent texting“. This technology will enable you to text and see …

Apple patents social networking for retail shops

Posted in patents by Conner Flynn on December 30th, 2010

Apple has already tested the waters of social networking via its Ping music-sharing service and now the company has filed for a patent that details a social networking tool for brick-and-mortar shopping. It allows iPhone owners to share comments, opinions and recommendations about any product. The store would allow customers to access a product list from their phone, which can then be shared through the social network, where you can do things like ask friends for approval or rejection of the item, or get feedback.

The patent also lets users create a community discussion, communicate and share easily with friends, without them having to be physically present.

Microsoft patent would let touchscreens make real keyboards

Posted in patents by Conner Flynn on November 28th, 2010

A new patent from Microsoft has been spotted and it could lead to touchscreens that could change shape to create keyboards and other tactile objects where none exist. It is called a technique for a “light-induced shape-memory polymer display screen”.

It can send ultraviolet light to a plastic layer above each pixel, changing its topography. Varying UV wavelengths would serve to make different parts hard or soft, creating bumps and ridges that could feel like a real surface with actual keys. This design could be used with projectors, though it might not be limited to projectors.

Sony stereoscopic screen sharing patent

Posted in patents by Conner Flynn on July 20th, 2010

Looks like Sony has applied for two recent patent apps, titled “Stereoscopic Screen Sharing Method and Apparatus Patent” and “3D Shutter Glasses with Mode Switching Based on Orientation to Display Device,”.

The patents show stereoscopic 3D technology that will allow two individual players to see different information on the same screen. Also, the glasses could have earbuds, further putting you in the game with separate audio feeds.

Apple iTravel Patent

Posted in patents by Conner Flynn on April 22nd, 2010

Apple never sleeps. They are always filing interesting patents. Like this patent for iTravel. The idea is that it turns your iPhone into a device that can handle all your travel needs. It would allow you to search for and book flights right from your iPhone.

You can then share that information with your iPhone contacts if you like, or set it so that you receive travel updates via SMS or push messages. The app could use RFID, so that your boarding pass is stored on your iPhone and can be scanned using QR codes or an RFID chip.

Apple files Patent for Digital Concert and Events tickets

Posted in patents by Conner Flynn on April 18th, 2010

Details have come to light regarding a new Apple patent which could see the iPhone and iPod Touch used as digital tickets for concerts and events. The patent was filed in September 2008 and reveals that the system would use near field communications technology. Your iPhone or iPod would be simply swiped allowing you to enter the concert or event.

Rumor is that if you like the show and are a female, you can also use your iPhone to digitally throw a pair of panties not onstage, but from your iPhone to the band’s iPhone. Okay, I made that part up, but it certainly opens up some interesting possibilities.

Apple Targets Nexus One, Maybe Google in Lawsuit

Posted in Legal,patents by Darrin Olson on March 3rd, 2010

Apple files lawsuit with HTC over Android based mobile devices.On Tuesday Apple filed complaints with both the U.S. International Trade Commission and a federal court in Delaware seeking to stop the import, sales and use of some phones made by Taiwanese manufacturer HTC. The complaint suggests that HTC has infringed on patents owned by Apple with a number of their mobile handsets, all which rely on Google’s Android operating system.

The mobile devices in question include the Pro Touch, TouchPro 2, Touch Diamond, myTouch 3G, Tilt II, Pure, Imago, T-Mobile G1, Hero, Droid Eris, HD2 and of course Google’s own Nexus One which was also made by HTC. As many as 10 of the 20 accused violations involve the Nexus One, which brings up some speculation. Since Apple is targeting Android-based mobile devices with HTC, they could be gearing up to go after Google directly with the Android operating system. Not all of the patent infringement complaints by Apple involve the Android OS, however.

Gerbil Shirt

Posted in patents by Conner Flynn on November 17th, 2009

Gerbil ShirtThis Gerbil shirt will insure that you have no friends whatsoever, though it will make your gerbil happy. It was patented by some dude who really loved Gerbils and as far as I know it was never endorsed by Richard Gere, which explains the lack of a gerbil love tunnel crossing the border of this kids pants.

The Gerbil Shirt wraps around you, giving your little buddy plenty of room to run around. The interior surfaces are textured for traction and have air vents for easy breathing. How do you clean it? Just attach it to a faucet.

Nintendo’s Wii football accessory patent

Posted in patents,Wii by Conner Flynn on August 25th, 2009

Nintendo's Wii football accessory patentGame console makers apparently entertain every single idea, no matter how silly. The latest patent dreamed up by the big N is a football accessory that holds a Wiimote and nunchuk. The idea is that it could determine throwing angle, power and direction as well as body movements, which are then translated to the game.

It beats an inflatable horse, but do we really need to be breaking more TVs, with fake footballs? It’s just a patent, but you never know. We may see this one down the road. Good idea or not.

Nintendo patents inflatable horse controller

Posted in patents by Conner Flynn on August 11th, 2009

Nintendo patents inflatable horse controllerIf you thought that the already available range of Wiimote attachments was crazy, check this out. They are not out of gimmicky ideas just yet. The patent system gives us a glimpse at an inflatable horse-riding controller that may or may not one day have geeks parting with their money.

The inflatable cushion has a spot for your Wiimote and can track your crazed bucking and thrashing as you shout yeehaw, translating it into horse movement. You would hold the nunchuk as if holding the reins.

This Pizza is saving our future

Posted in patents by Conner Flynn on April 30th, 2009


So, how do you upgrade the old pizza order and make the whole process greener? US Patent 7,051,919 has the answer. The Pizza Box is perforated and tears, converting itself into plates. It’s the future of pizza and would help save water as you don’t have to wash the plates.

A simple yet effective idea. It’s called the Green Box. The bottom is also perforated so you can fold it into a new box that conveniently fits in your refrigerator. That’s damn convenient.

Apple may release unibody iPods soon

Posted in patents by Conner Flynn on April 10th, 2009

UnibodyApple has had some success with their unibody MacBooks, so it makes sense that they would start considering the possibility of introducing unibody iPods in the future. That’s what this recently released patent application suggests.

A unibody iPod could mean a lighter, thinner and tougher iPod, plus they save money by using fewer parts. Otherwise, the iPod classic shown here remains pretty much the same, but “the final part looks like it was machined down from a large thick slab of material,” according to Apple.

Robot gaming peripheral patented by Sony

Posted in patents by Conner Flynn on March 19th, 2009

Robot gaming peripheral patented by SonyRemember Nintendo’s gaming robot ROB? Well, it looks like Sony has a new patent application for an add-on gaming robot, which will react to both the game and the user.

The patent was filed in June last year, for a robot that moves around the room detecting the environment, and then displaying the same on the integrated screen. The bot would be equipped with wheels, acceleration sensors, camera, microphone and speakers to carry out all of it’s sinister missions, like listening and responding to user commands.

Apple Magic Wand controller patent

Posted in patents by Conner Flynn on March 13th, 2009

Apple Magic Wand controller patentApple may be looking into a wireless remote wand to power the next generation of Apple TV media systems, offering the cursor on the Apple TV display the kind of accuracy a mouse gives the cursor on a PC. Just like millions of Nintendo Wii owners around the world.

Unlike the current 5-button remote for the current version of Apple TV, the wand would be capable of controlling a bunch of new operations and applications that may be available from the media system, including zoom operations, a keyboard application, an image application, an illustration application, and a media application.

Apple patent would auto-tune volume

Posted in patents by Conner Flynn on January 22nd, 2009

Apple patent would auto-tune volumeIt’s a common problem. You have your headphones on and you’re in a crowd, but the music is drowned out by the crowd. Well, check this out. This Apple patent takes a look at dynamic volume adjustment that is based on your surroundings, not your music.

Looks like a sound sensor would detect the ambient noise and adjust itself based on the situation. The system wouldn’t force you to keep it at it’s own preferences and would take into account the user’s own choices for volume when setting the sound level. Interestingly, the patent application was first filed shortly after the launch of the original iPhone. Obviously Apple isn’t using it to date, but they already use ambient sensors to detect light for the displays on the iPhone, iPod touch etc.