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Apple patent reveals unused iPad design with two USB slots

Posted in iPad by Conner Flynn on May 10th, 2011

During an earnings conference call last year, Steve Jobs hinted that Apple had tested several designs for the iPad during its development process. One of these possible designs may have surfaced in a patent application recently approved by the USPTO and now we get to see what might have been.

This patent shows off a Wi-Fi+3G iPad with an extra USB slot for landscape connectivity. The auxiliary USB slot would let you place the iPad in a dedicated landscape dock and dock it in portrait mode while syncing using both slots. Apple holds a patent for the design, but we will likely never see this in an upcoming iPad model. Still, it always nice to see how things might have been.

Google gets a patent for Google Doodle

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on March 23rd, 2011

After almost 10 years, Google has won a patent for its “Google Doodles”. The patent is titled “Systems and methods for enticing users to access a web site” and protects Google’s system of changing a company logo to go along with a special event. Google co-founder Sergey Brin is said to be the inventor of the system.

A patent on doodles might seem a bit silly for a company like Google, but since we all associate the practice with that company, it’s a good thing for them that they now have a patent.

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.

Apple Patent App shows antennas behind the Apple Logo

Posted in Apple by Conner Flynn on December 26th, 2010

Apple is a patent filing monster. Let’s face it, they have a patent for everything. The latest patent app to surface from Apple has the name of many of the members of the iPhone team on it and once the app is approved, it will have the Apple name applied to the final patent.

The patent app details a new way that Apple wants to put antennas behind logos on their products. So in the future, your iPhone antenna might be behind the Apple logo. The antennas will be used on notebooks, phones, and other devices. This is one that we will likely see come to pass at some point soon.

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.

New Amazon Patent guarantees perfect holiday gifts

Posted in Amazon by Conner Flynn on November 11th, 2010

Amazon has an interesting patent registration for a gift conversion system. The idea is that you’ll end up with the gift that you really want, instead of getting socks or a sweater from your grandmother. The patent describes a system that allows gift recipients to set parameters for the things they want.

For instance “convert all gifts from Aunt Mildred,” or “no clothes with wool,” and “convert VHS to DVD,” etc. So if Aunt Boringpants buys you a VHS movie, you could easily convert it to a DVD.

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 patent app shows haptic feedback for gestures

Posted in Apple by Shane McGlaun on June 24th, 2010


I like running across patent applications from companies like Apple because they give us a glimpse at the kind of tech our gadgets will offer in the future. A new patent app has surfaced that Apple filed last year for haptic feedback called “Multi touch with Multi Haptics.”

The app outlines a way that Apple could provide haptic feedback for touchscreen devices like the iPhone and iPad. The patent has a bunch of haptic actuators around the screen under the surface.

IBM is planning Traffic Lights to stop your car for you

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on May 25th, 2010

Would you like it if your car did the stopping for you at traffic lights? IBM is developing a technology that will automatically cut your engine at a red light. I’m thinking that people don’t want to give up that much control.

The patent proposes that the system would collect positioning data from cars stopped at a red light. After a given amount of wait time, a “stop-engine” notification would be sent to the vehicles, with a “start-engine” notification to follow when the light changes back to green.

Apple patent app hints at heart rate logins for iPhone

Posted in Apple by Shane McGlaun on May 6th, 2010

I bet that there are lots of you who have tried to use biometrics to log into your gadgets or computers before and had a hard time. I know the notebook I used to have with a fingerprint scanner rarely let me login when swiping my finger.

Apple has a new biometric sensor patent application that has surfaced that shows a method Apple has envisioned to allow only authorized users to access future iPhones. The sensors in the case of the phone would read the users heart rate and use the readings to verify their identity.

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 3D video glasses

Posted in Apple by Conner Flynn on April 1st, 2010

Looks like Apple is getting into the 3d game too. And why not. Everyone is doing it, good idea or not. Apple has a patent application for a “Head-Mounted Display Apparatus For Retaining a Portable Electronic Device With Display”.

It was filed back in August of 2008 and the idea was that it would be a wearable display capable of streaming A/V content from a pocketable device. Like maybe, I don’t know, an iPod maybe? It would all be wireless and feature “stereoscopic imaging”.

New Google patent will really piss off Rupert Murdoch

Posted in Google by Shane McGlaun on February 26th, 2010

Rupert Murdoch hates Google. The publishing giant and Google have been at each other over Google’s book scanning program and the fact that Murdoch owns many of the newspapers whose stories are indexed by Google and then offered to readers free.

Murdoch thinks that we should all be thrilled to pay to read online news just as we pay for newspapers. Google has a new patent that will really make Murdoch unhappy. The patent is titled “Segmenting Printed Media Pages Into Articles.”

TiVo granted patent that could affect DVRs everywhere

Posted in Tivo by Shane McGlaun on February 19th, 2010

Sometimes the USPTO grants patents on technology that just doesn’t make sense. Often these patents are nothing more than an attempt by one company to try and make other firms using similar tech pay a licensing fee. TiVo has been granted a patent on software that it filed back in 1999 that could change DVRs as we know them.

The patent is for TiVo’s Season Pass software. The software sits on the DVR and allows the DVR to resolve recording conflicts based on priority. This is a feature that every DVR has today and it is used when you run out of tuners available and have another show set to record.