Apple iPhone patent: settings and profiles change based on location

How Apple plans to make sure your iPhone never goes off in a movie theater again

By on July 3, 2014 at 6:15 PM.

How Apple plans to make sure your iPhone never goes off in a movie theater again

A couple years ago during a performance at the New York Philharmonic, an iPhone alarm interrupted a performance of Mahler’s 9th Symphony, prompting the conductor to stop the performance. The culprit said his iPhone had been set to mute, but the iPhone overrode this switch for a preset alarm that its own said he didn’t even know about.  More →

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Apple touchscreen patent

New Apple tech could revolutionize touchscreens

By on April 3, 2014 at 1:42 PM.

New Apple tech could revolutionize touchscreens

Apple was recently awarded a patent that would allow its touchscreen devices to detect how hard the user presses on the display. The patent, first noted by Apple Insider, uses a technology called frustrated total internal reflection, or FTIR, along with current capacitive touch sensors to determine force applied to the screen. More →

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AT&T Illegal Downloads

AT&T wants to track your illegal downloads, ban access to file-sharing sites

By on December 16, 2013 at 4:30 PM.

AT&T wants to track your illegal downloads, ban access to file-sharing sites

A new AT&T patent awarded in mid November describes methods through which the Internet service provider may track the privacy-related habits of customers and assign them a “Subscriber Reputation Score” (SRS) which could be used to limit access to file-sharing or P2P sites for repeat pirating offenders. The patent, discovered by Torrent Freak, basically explains a means of regulating traffic inside a network by following patterns for users and monitoring Internet-browsing habits with a specific focus on pirated content. More →

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T-Mobile iPhone Network

Future iPhones could have true wireless charging with no station required

By on November 29, 2012 at 4:32 PM.

Future iPhones could have true wireless charging with no station required

Wireless charging is set to take off this year with the likes of  HTC’s (2498Windows Phone 8XNokia’s (NOK) Lumia 920 and 820 and Google’s (GOOG) Nexus 4. By comparison, Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5 feels decidedly last-gen without wireless charging or NFC. Apple’s reason for omitting wireless charging is that smartphones still need charging stations/plates plugged into the wall to work. A new Apple patent discovered by AppleInsider suggests the company is investigating a more elegant solution – wireless charging that uses “near-field magnetic resonance” to recharge an iPhone’s battery. The patent details a “virtual charging area” about one meter wide that can be used to provide electricity to devices simply by stepping within a certain radius of a power source. The patent calls the idea a “realistic and practical approach to wireless transferring.”

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Apple patent reveals future iPhones could have ‘shake to charge’ battery tech

By on September 20, 2012 at 5:10 PM.

Apple patent reveals future iPhones could have ‘shake to charge’ battery tech

iPhone Patent Shake To Charge

While Nokia (NOK) is busy trying to convince everyone that wireless charging is the way of the future with its Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 smartphonesApple (AAPL) has yet to make any revolutionary changes to battery charging. Perhaps the future is not as plain as Nokia thinks it will be, though. AppleInsider discovered a patent by Apple that reveals a concept for shaking an iPhone to charge it. According to the report, the patent involves the “use of printed coils with one or more moveable magnets, a reversal of the traditional configuration in which the heavy copper coil moves across a stationary magnet. The magnets in Apple’s system move alongside a circuit board holding printed coils to create an ‘electromotive force,’ or voltage, across said coils which can be used to generate power.” Does that mean iPhone owners will be able to do a quick workout and juice up their iPhones in one go? It’s not likely to happen, but if it did, it would change everything, as searching for an outlet would be thing of the past. More →

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Microsoft’s vision for the future of gaming transforms your living room to make it part of the game

By on September 11, 2012 at 3:45 PM.

Microsoft’s vision for the future of gaming transforms your living room to make it part of the game

Microsoft Gaming Projections Patent

It’s tough to know exactly what Microsoft (MSFT) has in store for its next-generation Xbox (codenamed “Durango“), but that hasn’t stopped PatentlyApple from unearthing technologies that the Redmond-based company is dreaming up. Microsoft’s patent filed in the first quarter of 2011 and made public recently by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office outlines the use of an “Environmental Display” aka “wide-angle RGB projection display device configured to project a peripheral image in a 360-degree field around the environmental display.” Basically, the walls of a room can be cloaked with game graphics that act as an extension of an HDTV. When combined with Kinect for depth-tracking, players can be immersed into a virtual reality-like experience without the need for cumbersome headgear. As with most patents, Microsoft’s doodles are just ideas and there’s no telling if such a concept is in the Xbox’s near future or not, but one can dream.
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Patent reveals Microsoft’s detachable dual display technology

By on June 8, 2012 at 4:20 PM.

Patent reveals Microsoft’s detachable dual display technology

Microsoft Patent Detachable Dual Display Technology

Documentation regarding a recently published patent from Microsoft highlights a new invention for a dual display smartphone that can separate into two functional units, Patent Bolt reported on Friday. The software giant’s patent could take the hassle out of sharing a screen — literally — with another person. Rather than being crammed in front of one screen, the smartphone’s display could be split in two, allowing each viewer to watch his or her own display. The technology could also be used in a situation where a user needs to talk on a smartphone and browse data simultaneously without the need for a headset or a loudspeaker. The two displays would be held together with magnetic strips that are aligned edge-to-edge on the side of the display, according to Microsoft’s patent. The company filed for the patent in February of this year, however it has been in possession of the technology since 2009. More →

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Samsung envisions wireless brain implants for medical monitoring

By on April 25, 2012 at 1:05 PM.

Samsung envisions wireless brain implants for medical monitoring

The United States Patent and Trademark office recently published details surrounding a patent from Samsung regarding a technology that strategically implants electrodes into the human brain called Implantable Medical Devices (IMDs). The South Korea-based company states that an IMD may be implanted into a human body and be used to help monitor primary organs such as the heart and brain itself, PatentBolt reported on Wednesday. The IMD may also be used to monitor a patient’s physiological and pathological state, though Samsung notes that it may be difficult to control or change operation of the IMD because of the complex procedure involved with implanting it into the body. The IMD would also be accompanied by an external user device that could be used to display information to a patient’s doctor or to medical personnel in the event of an emergency. More →

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Microsoft may be working on a two-sided smartphone display system

By on April 20, 2012 at 6:10 PM.

Microsoft may be working on a two-sided smartphone display system

The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently published details on a Microsoft patent relating to a two-sided smart device display system for phones and tablets, PatentBolt reported on Friday. The invention features an integrated second low-power, possibly E Ink, display on the back side of a smartphone or tablet that would contain certain types of information. The secondary display could provide vendors with an opportunity to move standard items like a clock off of the main display to free up space, or it could display a variety of other information that might otherwise not be shown. The second display would use its own low-powered processor and may reduce the power load from a device’s primary display. The patent appears to be similar in intent to Samsung’s “smart-device-skins” invention — a technology that may allow users to change the appearance of a handset using chameleon-like technology — and it could be used to display images or animations on the back side of a device. More →

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Microsoft patent reveals hand gesture system for future tablets

By on April 16, 2012 at 3:50 PM.

Microsoft patent reveals hand gesture system for future tablets

A recent patent application from Microsoft reveals that the software giant is looking to bring real-time hand-gestures to tablets, PatentBolt reported on Monday. The patent summary doesn’t provide an extensive overview of the invention — instead, the company states “its sole purpose is to present some concepts disclosed herein in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is presented later.” Microsoft goes on to say that there is “a need to provide simple, accurate, fast and computationally inexpensive methods of object and hand pose recognition for many applications.” The application highlights Microsoft’s image processing system, which will be incorporated into the tablet to be used to classify images captured by the camera. The classification information can then be used by the tablet to control software and the user interface. More →

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Apple patent suggests face unlock may come to the iPhone and iPad

By on April 6, 2012 at 12:15 AM.

Apple patent suggests face unlock may come to the iPhone and iPad

Apple patent documentation made public this week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office indicates that the Cupertino-based company is exploring different ways to utilize the forward-facing camera on its devices. The patent, which was uncovered by AppleInsider, describes a system that could scan and detect a user’s face to unlock a device. If the user cannot be identified by the system, he or she would by asked to enter a security code, much like Google’s face unlock technology. Apple isn’t looking to use face detection to simply unlock a user’s device, however. After a user’s face is recognized, the software could be used to set pre-determined settings and launch various applications. “If the detected human face is recognized… an operation of the (device) can be modified based upon the recognized human face,” the patent application reads. “The modification can include executing a pre-defined set of operations such as opening email, opening text messages, and so forth.” More →

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Google wants to listen to your phone calls to promote ads

By on March 23, 2012 at 12:25 PM.

Google wants to listen to your phone calls to promote ads

Google is attempting to file a patent that would thrust smartphone users into Orwell’s “1984.” TheNextWeb reported on Wednesday that the search giant is looking to patent a technology that can analyze the background noise during mobile phone calls and then serve up advertisements based on the environmental conditions Google hears. In short, the company’s famous “don’t be evil” motto may soon evolve into “we are going to listen to your phone calls to make money.” One example of Google’s proposed technology would recognize the background noise made by rain when a user makes a phone call in inclement weather, and then serve an advertisement for umbrellas. In addition, the system might also analyze background noise while users take photos and videos to serve up similar targeted ads. Of course there is no reason to sound the alarms just yet, as technologies described in patents often don’t see the light of day. More →

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