NASA has a mandate to push the technologies it develops for space out into Earth, too. So over the last few years, the agency has made more than a thousand patents available for licensing–from inflatable dwellings to humanoid robots. »
It’s always interesting to discover the missed opportunities that could have changed the course of tech history and here’s a doozy: In the late 1970s, it seems that major companies like HP and Apple passed on an early PDA long before they created their own. »
Jet engines are extraordinarily loud at roughly 140 decibels–and airports have struggled with mitigating their roar since the early days of commercial flight. An engineer at Boeing wants to make the cacophony more useful, if not silence it for good. »
Inventors have been coming up with devices to improve sex for decades. But before Google digitized all the records of the US Patent and Trademark Office to launch their Patent Search feature, if enterprising creators wanted to check whether their ideas were truly original, they had to search the sex patents by hand. »
Potholes are more than just a driving annoyance, they can actually damage a vehicle. So in addition to providing traffic warnings, Google now wants to use a car’s GPS navigation system to detect potholes on a road and use that info to plot a more comfortable route to a destination. »
Just when you thought Apple wasn’t integrated into your life enough, the company just won a patent for a system that targets ads based on how much money people have. This is the same Apple that’s promised not to monetize your data. As Tim Cook said last year: “You’re not our product.” Until you are, apparently. »
Patents are often interesting, fanciful things, illustrating inventions that may or may not ever be built. However, when you turn a patent idea into a somewhat animated and slightly offensive explainer video linking the inventions to popular Hollywood war movies, the result is nothing short of art. »
Google’s hoping there’s a market for sophisticated artificial intelligence voice assistants you can hug. »
If you can patent a black rectangle as phone, you can patent a smaller one as a watch. At least according to the US Patent and Trademark Office, which has awarded Apple a design patent for its new wearable.
In the not-too-distant future, eye-tracking technology will be a run-of-the-mill feature in many high-end vehicles, helping keep drivers’ eyes on the road. But Jaguar Land Rover has patented another use for the tech that allows cars to automatically trigger the rear window’s wiper so it’s always clean and clear when… »
Patent trolls can stymie innovation and bring otherwise successful companies to their knees. They’re also crazy, as John Oliver points out in this clip from Last Week Tonight.
It’s something we’ve all felt. The low, sinking kick in the metaphorical groin when you’ve read some asshole’s tweet or post, expounding on some previously unknown spoiler. But maybe, social media doesn’t need to be such a minefield of potential despair. »
If you’re one of the 7 billion humans on this planet who enjoys getting pizza delivered to your door, you have a piece of plastic to thank. A piece of plastic? Yes, that circular plastic thing that goes in the middle of a pie to prevent the pizza from sticking to the top of the pizza box. It's called a pizza saver.… »