patent

Apple foldable iPhone patent bends both ways

Apple foldable iPhone patent bends both ways

Now that Samsung has finally announced the Galaxy Fold, including its April availability and whopping $2,000 price tag, others are sure to follow. We do have Huawei and Xiaomi ready to make a splash, not to mention Lenovo who has actually been teasing foldable prototypes for years now. Almost everyone is in, including, surprisingly, Apple. The company has patented quite a few ideas for its own foldable device, and this latest one that popped up just last week might be the oddest one yet.

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Apple Watch with flexible display strap teased in MicroLED patent

Apple Watch with flexible display strap teased in MicroLED patent

A future Apple Watch could have a display that stretches around the band, with a freshly-published Apple patent suggesting the Cupertino firm has been working on flexible screens and more. Filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in September last year, the patent describes a new display module design that could liberate the Apple Watch touchscreen from the body of the wearable, and allow it to extend into the strap.

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TCL patents a foldable phone that turns into a wristband

TCL patents a foldable phone that turns into a wristband

This is probably the year of the foldable smartphones, or at least the year that everyone starts talking about real products rather than just ideas. While Samsung and Huawei may be leading the pack, that's not to say others don't have their own say in the matter. TCL, a known brand when it comes to displays, smartphones, and TVs, has some ideas of its own and has, in fact, patented five of them in one swoop. Four of those designs may already look familiar and old to some, but the fifth is somewhat novel in that it wants to put your smartphone directly on your wrist.

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Samsung foldable phone patent is weird and might come next week

Samsung foldable phone patent is weird and might come next week

There are patents that we wish were made real and there are some patents we wish would never see the light of day. Samsung's newly-granted patent might fall somewhere in between. For better or worse, it might also be the foldable phone that Samsung will actually show off at its Unpacked event next week. Taking a page from ZTE's Axon M book, the patent shows a phone with two screens instead of one. The difference is that it can actually fold both ways.

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HomePods might someday have gesture, face recognition

HomePods might someday have gesture, face recognition

There's no denying that Apple was terribly late to the smart speaker market. Despite marketing it less as a smart speaker and more as a premium audio accessory with smarts, the HomePod has and always will be compared to the likes of the Amazon Echo and the Google Home. And while it might seem that Apple has put HomePod development on the back burner, a recently surfaced patent could give future generation smart speakers an edge over the competition when it comes to hand gestures, face recognition, and even simple visual feedback.

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Galaxy Note S Pen might have a camera inside for selfies

Galaxy Note S Pen might have a camera inside for selfies

How much can you squeeze inside a thin stick like the Galaxy Note 9’s S Pen? Well, there is a button, a supercapacitor acting as a battery, a Bluetooth radio, and a spring. If that sounds like a lot already, apparently Samsung thinks that isn’t enough. For its next S Pen trick, it may put a camera inside. Still not satisfied, it might even add optical zoom that is mostly absent in larger smartphones.

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Samsung foldable gaming phone patent is intriguing

Samsung foldable gaming phone patent is intriguing

Samsung is already set to launch its first foldable phone this year but why stop at just one? In typical Samsung fashion, it could have another one in mind. That’s at least based on a patent for yet another foldable phone that puts a small twist to the concept. In addition to folding the opposite way from what Samsung teased late last year, this foldable device seems to be earmarked for gaming, complete with gamepad controls that may actually be too small to be comfortable.

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Intel foldable phone patent shows how to make it usable

Intel foldable phone patent shows how to make it usable

There is no shortage of patents on foldable phones and tablets and this year we’ll finally see some of them come to light. The first iterations are, however, expected to not be the foldable phones of fiction and dreams. Because if it comes to a design that makes that foldable device usable and perfect, then Intel’s 2017 patent probably comes closest to that ideal all in one mobile device.

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OPPO punch hole camera patent uses dead space as a launcher

OPPO punch hole camera patent uses dead space as a launcher

With Samsung and almost all of the major Chinese OEMs backing it up, it seems there is no more escaping the next dreaded “evolution” of the smartphone screen. The punch hole or hole punch camera is intended to be less visually invasive than the notch but, like a small black dot in an otherwise pure white paper, it may actually make it worse. Some like Samsung might try to distract users with fancy animations and gestures but OPPO might, instead, use that “dead space” as a launcher for the camera and a shortcut for other apps.

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Apple wins against Qualcomm in second German patent lawsuit

Apple wins against Qualcomm in second German patent lawsuit

You win some, you lose some, as they say. Though in the court of law, even a single loss can be devastating. But Apple can breathe a bit easier now that at least the regional court in Mannheim, Germany has verbally declared that it doesn’t infringe on the patents that Qualcomm insists it does. While that doesn’t immediately affect an earlier ban imposed in Munich, it could at least give Apple some legal leverage to have that decision reversed soon.

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Samsung patent hints at smart sports shoes ambitions

Samsung patent hints at smart sports shoes ambitions

It’s no secret that Samsung wants to build an entire smart ecosystem of its own. Not just smartphones or even smart TVs but also smart appliances and, yes, even smart clothing. Samsung’s involvement in literally wearable technology has mostly been on the fringes, via partnerships or spinoffs. A new patent, however, reveals that Samsung might be mulling over making its own line of running shoes made smarter by sensors and a smartphone app to boot. Pun intended.

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Qualcomm may have cheated in German win against Apple

Qualcomm may have cheated in German win against Apple

Qualcomm may have scored another big win against Apple, this time in Germany, but it probably shouldn’t celebrate just yet. Because if Internet sleuths are correct, the chip maker might find itself in even deeper trouble than before. According to those following the patent infringement case from the sidelines, Qualcomm effectively blocked key evidence from being presented in the German court, the same key evidence that led a US court to rule that Apple did not infringe on the said patent.

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