Welcome to Patent Bolt, a dedicated Intellectual Property news site that specializes in dissecting patent applications from leading industry players such as Microsoft, Google, Samsung and others. If you love to explore future inventions, you'll love our site.
According to a new DigiTimes report this morning, Google will be shifting their Nexus 8 tablet display to 8-inches in order to better compete against their competitors who are focused on 7 inch tablets. The new Nexus 8 is being prepared for a mid-2014 release.
In March 2013, the US Patent and Trademark Office officially published Google's granted patent relating to their "Facial Recognition" invention. The granted patent focused on the facial recognition system behind Android's "unlock" security feature. Although the patent outlined a failsafe module or mechanism to ensure the system couldn't be fooled, our report pointed to a test that the Phandroid website performed that proved just how easy it really was to fool the system using a simple photo of a device owner. This month the US Patent Office revealed that Google filed a follow-up patent in an effort to rectify their glaring security flaw. Their latest invention now adds new verification techniques such as having users perform a simple "liveness" test.
One of Motorola's latest patents published by the US Patent & Trademark Office reveals a crazy future flexible, rollable display that could also function as a smartphone. It could also function as an illuminated sign, a flashlight-like device and yet only illuminate areas that are note touched by the user so that the user won't experience any display heat. Built-in sensors know where the user's face is at all times and could alter the size or position of text depending on where the user's eyes happen to be. While it's interesting and very futuristic, the jury is still out as to what it's supposed to accomplish for either the consumer or enterprise user. While Motorola has a vision here, they're apparently not in any hurry in wanting to share that with us at this time. A few tech companies including Motorola, Microsoft, LG and Samsung are betting on the future of devices with flexible and foldable displays. Some look like they have promising form factors. Motorola's idea, on the other hand, is really out-there – yet perhaps a little too out-there. While we love to applaud those who think outside the box, in this case, it's a grand idea with nowhere to go. I don't think there's much of a market for a paper-like scrollable smartphone. Then again, maybe it's just me.
Patent Bolt began covering Samsung's patent applications for foldable devices/displays back in September 2011. We noted in a December 2012 report that it was becoming a trend in IP filings from Samsung, Microsoft, Sony and others. Months earlier we had noted that Samsung filed for a patent involving a tri-fold flexible/foldable display device. So how real is this IP trend? To make it crystal clear, Kwon Oh-hyeon, vice-chairman and CEO, Samsung Electronics, stated during an analyst meeting that they "would lead innovation by introducing the 'foldable' display in 2015." We considered that statement a starting gun firing to kick start a new race for next generation smartphone and tablet form factors. As the New Year kicked off, Samsung was behind closed doors at CES 2014 showing off their next generation foldable display products.
This week the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from LG that reveals a possible future smartphone with a multifunctional backside control button. Depending on the type of app that is running on the smartphone, the backside control button will automatically adjust accordingly. It could be to turn a TV channel, raise the volume of a video or scroll through a webpage and more.
According to a new Gartner report, ultramobiles, which include tablets, hybrids and clamshells, will take over as the main driver of growth in the devices market from 2014, with a growth rate of 54 percent. Tablets alone are expected to enjoy a prosperous 47 percent leap in growth in 2014. In order for Motorola to even make a dent against Apple's world-leading iPad – they'll have to deliver a real wow-feature that could excite consumers. Today, a newly published Motorola patent application reveals that they may have such a feature in the works. Motorola's invention uncovers a possible future Xoom tablet (and/or RAZR MAXX smartphone) coming with a 3D display. Motorola states that "it would be desirable to display objects in a stereoscopic manner such that their manipulation is intuitive to a user and they provide a realistic stereoscopic appearance before, during, and after manipulation."
One of Google's latest inventions that were published by the US Patent Office today relates to a digital photo frame with unique "dial-a-tag" functionality. In our cover graphic above you can see Google's illustration of a digital photo frame that has a docking station for an Android smartphone. The dial-a-tag functionality will enable a user to make an outgoing phone call via their Android phone to a friend or client appearing in a digital photo rendered in digital photo frame automatically by simply touching the face in the photo. When someone is calling you, be it a friend or in context with a conference call, photos of the caller(s) will automatically appear in the digital photo frame. In a conference call, the participants could be illustrated in the form of a slide show format.
A year ago at CES, Intel's keynote theme was "A Game Changing Year Ahead." Their keynote was deadly focused on delivering the new hybrid notebook-tablet category or convertible Ultrabook that would breathe new life into the personal computer. Did Intel succeed in making it a game changing year? No. But they were successful in stopping the ship from sinking and may eventually stabilize the PC sector in 2014 in as far as notebooks are concerned. A new report published by Gartner just yesterday stated that while the PC market was "Driven by an uptake in Windows ultramobiles, the PC market is estimated to remain relatively flat in 2014, after a decline of 9.9 percent in 2013. The Gartner consumer survey showed that less than eight per cent of users would replace their laptop with a tablet, while a transfer to an Ultrabook is almost twice this figure." As CES began this week, Intel's new CEO Brian Krzanich was on stage to kick-off a series of keynotes at CES 2014. It was a quieter and less ambitious keynote which may indicate that Intel's bigger revelations for the year may be reserved for future keynotes such as those scheduled for Intel's Developer Forums (IDF) or other key industry events throughout the year. For now, Intel's Krzanich revealed a move into wearable computers with a smart earbuds system and a new headset device debuting this year that will allow your smart devices to be operated in a hands-free fashion by tapping into digital assistants like Apple's Siri, Google Now or Microsoft's Cortana. Krzanich ended Intel's keynote with a surprising social message about conflict materials.
Even in light of a driver being called into court over a traffic violation regarding Google Glass in context to it being a distraction to drivers last month, Hyundai's new Genesis will be boldly showcased at CES this week. The new car will introduce a new service designed to Link Up with Google Glass. The coolness of car owner's just tapping their Google Glass rim to start their vehicle at a distance was just too hard for Hyundai's engineers to resist.