patent

Apple knows how to make iPhone antennas invisible

Apple knows how to make iPhone antennas invisible

Radio waves may not pass through metal, but Apple is developing new materials that could look like aluminum even as they play nice with LTE and WiFi networks. The distinctive strips running around the edges and across the rear of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are a necessary evil, given the interference a fully-metal chassis would introduce to the wireless tech a smartphone relies upon. However, a freshly-filed Apple patent suggests a fix could be on the way, and it could have big implications for MacBooks, too.

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Amazon patents ear-scanning technology for unlocking smartphones

Amazon patents ear-scanning technology for unlocking smartphones

Forget typing in a four-digit code, or drawing a specific shape as a passcode, and even using your fingerprint to unlock your smartphone. Amazon thinks that the next great way to secure your digital device is by scanning the shape of you ear. The company has just received a patent for technology that would scan your ear with a phone's front-facing camera, unlocking it as you hold the device to the side of your face when answering a call.

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Samsung’s Korean patent shows tri-folding tablet design

Samsung’s Korean patent shows tri-folding tablet design

It seems that Samsung is getting back on track when it comes to its fantastical display ambitions. Once known for its obsession for foldable and bendable displays, Samsung is once again the subject of rumors of equally fantastical devices of the future. A recent patent granted to its by the Korean Intellectual Property Office reveals just how much the Korean OEM has thought about the topic. This latest shows a tablet that can fold in three parts to become what could very well be a phablet.

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Google patents contact lens with an iris scanner

Google patents contact lens with an iris scanner

Google definitely has a thing for eyewear. After the failure that was Google Glass, it has and continues to fawn over over contact lenses instead, embedding anything that can be embedded inside of something that will sit extremely close to our eyes. Most of those, however, reside in patents and this latest patent takes into the realm of spy fiction. Filed almost a year ago, this patent basically uses our unique irises as a biometric fingerprint, which the contact lens can collect and compare with a stored reference for identity matching.

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Samsung patent details voice controlled auto-ejecting stylus

Samsung patent details voice controlled auto-ejecting stylus

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has just published a patent application from Samsung which specifies an "automatically ejectable input touch pen system" which can be controlled by voice commands or gestures. The new built-in stylus design is rumored to be for the Samsung Galaxy Note, but it could be incorporated into any mobile device with a stylus. This patent application was filed at the end of 2014, and the patent has not been officially granted yet, just published. Therefore, it's still undergoing the examination process.

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Apple patent details earphones that can be used between 2 listeners

Apple patent details earphones that can be used between 2 listeners

Apple was recently granted a patent from the US's Patent and Trademark Office for a new type of earphones that can detect when they are being used by more than one person. The new technology is said to be in the earphone's cable, and would make it possible for each user to hear audio in a mono output, instead of stereo intended for a single listener. Also mentioned is the ability for each listener to hear different audio tracks.

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Ford opens EV car patents to auto rivals (for a fee)

Ford opens EV car patents to auto rivals (for a fee)

Ford is throwing open its electric car patent portfolio, offering rivals access in the hope of driving EV development, though unlike Tesla it will be charging a fee. The IP will include technology around better battery charging, regenerative braking, and how to assess driving styles and habits to better balance powertrain use. In total, Ford says, it has in excess of 650 electrified models, including both all-electric and hybrids.

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Apple granted patent for ‘fusion keyboard’ with multitouch keys

Apple granted patent for ‘fusion keyboard’ with multitouch keys

It appears the ultra-shallow keyboard keys on Apple's new 12-inch Retina MacBook were only the beginning. The company was granted a patent this week that may one day see a complete revolution in keyboard functions, possibly eliminating the need for a touchpad altogether. Dubbed a "fusion keyboard," the input device would still feature the mechanical keys we're used to today, but each one would have touch sensors on top, and they could each be pressed down to register multiple stages, enabling multitouch gesture support.

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Samsung patents dual OS phablet-laptop dock combo

Samsung patents dual OS phablet-laptop dock combo

Samsung has recently teamed up with Microsoft in a deal that brought the latter's Android apps pre-installed on Samsung's flagships. But Samsung might actually have something even more intimate in mind. A patent filed back in late 2014 reveals one of Samsung's ideas for combining two platforms: a phablet that runs Android by default but switches to Windows when joined with a dock that is practically an empty laptop shell, thereby providing the familiar mobility of Android on mobile with Windows productivity in the workplace.

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“Creepy” Google robot toys would be your smart home butler

“Creepy” Google robot toys would be your smart home butler

Google is flirting with the concept of interactive robotic toys, that could provide a personable - or just plain creepy - interface to the smart home. The research, revealed in a recently published patent, is the handiwork of Richard Wayne DeVaul of Google [X], the search giant's unorthodox skunkworks lab: like a cuddly, moving version of Amazon Echo, the robo-pals would listen out for trigger words and then subsequent spoken instructions, capable of responding with not only speech but actions and expressions.

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