Patent Stories May 31, 2016

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3.06
There’s only so many ways you can shape a rectangular slab and call it a smartphone, right? Well, the tech industry is seemingly realizing so. We have seen glimpses of more radical change with LG‘s and Samsung‘s devices in the past few years, and Google is now pushing things even forward with its modular Project Ara smartphone.

But Samsung’s ambitions are far from being stopped by the Galaxy S7 edge‘s success, and as a new patent shows (via Patently Mobile), the Korean giant is apparently bringing the whole concept a big step further…

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Patent Stories February 16, 2016

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Earlier this year, we told you across several exclusive reports that new Glass hardware was in development, namely a variant of the device reworked with the enterprise in mind. Now, a couple months after getting our first look at the device in the flesh, a newly-granted Google patent provides us yet another look at the elusive remnant of a less than ideal Glass of the past…

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Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

Patent Stories January 6, 2016

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Given Google’s apparent lead in driverless car technology, you might imagine that the tech giant has notched-up the greatest number of patents in the field, but Reuters says that this isn’t the case. A detailed analysis of patent filings for autonomous car technology shows that car manufacturers are way out ahead, with Google only taking 26th place.

Toyota is, far and away, the global leader in the number of self-driving car patents, the report found. Toyota is followed by Germany’s Robert Bosch GmbH, Japan’s Denso Corp, Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co and General Motors Co. The tech company with the most autonomous-driving patents, Alphabet Inc’s Google, ranks 26th on the list.

Toyota has more than 1,400 patents in the field, twice as many as second-placed Robert Bosch …

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Patent Stories November 27, 2015

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Google seems to be keeping its options open on what the next generation of Google Glass may look like. We’ve previously seen a larger prism reportedly destined for the Enterprise Edition, and last week heard that the company is working on two audio-based models without a screen via Project Aura.

A Google patent granted this week now shows two different approaches to a flexible version of the wearable (see below for the second one), worn over only one ear, and with the option of a display viewable by both eyes …  expand full story

Patent Stories August 25, 2015

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-7.55

Google patent covers using vehicle sensors to detect road quality, improve Maps

As first spotted by AutoBlog, Google was recently granted a patent covering a system capable of detecting road quality conditions, which in theory could allow it to deliver warnings of potholes and other road quality issues to its users.

The patent describes using a number of sensors in the vehicle, in addition to  potentially adding other sensors to a vehicle’s shocks and elsewhere, and transmitting the data through a mobile network. Google would in return use the data for Google Maps to improve driving directions and potentially warn users of dangerous road conditions. It’s also data that would undoubtedly come in handy for Google’s self-driving car project.

Google Maps already offers similar warnings for things like accidents, construction, road closures, and more via user submissions in the Waze mapping app it acquired along with a few other sources. But having data compiled directly from the vehicles would likely allow it to have more accurate and up to date data for much larger areas compared to user submitted data.

You can view the Google patent in full here.

Patent Stories August 5, 2015

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Google has announced the results of an experimental initiative to buy tech patents and license them at fair rates in order to prevent them falling into the hands of patent trolls. The company revealed that it bought 28% of the “relevant” patents offered to it, paying a median price of around $150k, reports IEEE Spectrum.

Google’s senior product licensing manager Kurt Brasch said that the company was “very, very happy” with the program, with the number of submissions substantially higher than expected… expand full story

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