patent

Google’s self-driving cars avoid cows—and other road hazards

Google’s self-driving cars avoid cows—and other road hazards

Self-driving cars are getting a lot of buzz lately. Companies from Google to Uber and Mercedes-Benz are each developing their own driverless car technology. In fact, Uber just partnered with Carnegie Mellon to create the Advanced Technology Center dedicated to the development driverless vehicles. If you're an engineer, you're in luck because they are hiring, too. Google is racing to get to the finish line first, and it may have an edge over the competition as its driverless vehicles can now officially avoid cows (and other conditions.)

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Patent fight, round one: NVIDIA: 1, Samsung, Qualcomm: 0

Patent fight, round one: NVIDIA: 1, Samsung, Qualcomm: 0

Samsung and Qualcomm might have had a falling out over the chips that would have been used for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, but the two might have to become frenemies soon if they are to see victory in the patent challenge NVIDIA has brought to their doorsteps. Claiming the first kill, NVIDIA proudly announced on its blog that presiding Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender has ruled in favor of NVIDIA's construction of the patent claims, which very well sets the tone for the upcoming trial, or even call for a settlement.

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Panoz and DeltaWing patent two arrow-shaped road cars

Panoz and DeltaWing patent two arrow-shaped road cars

Batmobiles these are not, but they could very well be closest you can get, especially one that you can actually legally drive and flaunt around. Motorsports giant Don Panoz and DeltaWing LLC last month filed for not one but two patents over arrow-shaped road cars, a dream that the Nissan BladeGlider once inspired and now has seemingly given up on. Simply called "Street Cars", these design patents are anything but simple. Sadly, based on the designs, only one of them might actually be practical to drive on streets.

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Apple patents could give next iPhones a superior camera

Apple patents could give next iPhones a superior camera

DxOMark has crowned the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as the kinds of the smartphone camera hill, but it would be quite out of character for Apple if it were to rest on its laurels. Apple has advertised to no small extent the power that can be found in your pocket, especially when it comes to the camera but we're still a long way from matching the capabilities of dedicated digital cameras. Apple, however, might have a solution, based on two patents that could give the next iPhone better image quality, improved OIS, and real zoom lenses.

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Google awarded patent for their smart contact lens

Google awarded patent for their smart contact lens

Remember the Google X skunkworks project that saw the company imagining contact lenses that could monitor your glucose levels? Sounded weird, and more like some means to an end for a bigger project. Then we found Google had a partner in Novartis, and the contact lens that could monitor your health seemed a bit closer to reality. It’s now even closer to being on your eye, as Google has been granted a patent to manufacture the lenses, which have multiple layers and their own chipset.

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Apple patent points to real-time location tracking

Apple patent points to real-time location tracking

In the ‘Messages’ app on your iPhone, it’s possible to see where the people you’re chatting with are on a map, should they share their location. The feature was touted as a reason we should all have Family Sharing groups, as keeping track of each other is sometimes critical. Apple’s Find My Friends app is central for letting you know where all your contacts may be on a map, and a newly granted patent takes the location sharing much further, possibly allowing for location tracking.

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Boeing scores patent for blast-inhibiting force fields

Boeing scores patent for blast-inhibiting force fields

Our the-stuff-of-fiction future is becoming ever brighter, and newest to flesh it out is a new patent scored by Boeing, which has apparently set its sights on force fields. The patent details a technology that would create force fields somewhat similar to what we've seen in movies like Star Wars, though they won't work quite the same. Rather than taking the impacts from objects, they'll absorb or otherwise inhibit the shockwaves that result from a blast, helping keep the blast contained while protecting nearby people and structures from the damage that could result.

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Apple patent points to dock that is potentially an IoT hub

Apple patent points to dock that is potentially an IoT hub

A patent application from Apple, published today, reveals a new accessory. It’s not a USB-C cable, nor is it a new cover for an iPad. This one is listed as a dock, presumably for the iPhone (though any Apple handheld can probably be used), which makes use of a second screen and inductive charging. The dock also supports gesture controls, and has features for wireless communication with other gadgets. From the sound of the patent, this dock is a lot more than a place to rest your phone.

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Apple patent suggests next device lineup might be waterproof

Apple patent suggests next device lineup might be waterproof

There are lots of things that can go wrong with your phone. Drop it, and the screen might crack. Load too many apps, or too much media, and it might be sluggish. Both those scenarios often leave a phone usable, but dropping it in water typically sidelines the phone. With so many iPhones in the wild — and the clumsiness we as humans seem prone to — it seems reasonable that waterproofing them is a really good idea. A new Apple patent suggests that’s exactly what’s going to happen, too.

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Ericsson ramps up patent battle with Apple

Ericsson ramps up patent battle with Apple

Ericsson has set its sights on Apple, accusing the company of infringing dozens of its patents for different aspects of mobile device communications, as well as user interfaces and more. According to Ericsson, the company has offered licensing options to Apple, but the latter company has turned them down (and likewise engaged in a legal battle of its own). Now Ericsson is threatening to file seven more lawsuits in the United States, and it is seeking to block Apple product sales in the US.

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