On Tuesday, the US Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple a patent that gives credence to those rumours of an edge-to-edge OLED iPhone. For years, users have longed for a phone that's totally made up of a screen — no bezel needed — and this looks like one way it could happen.
Tagged With patents
With so much information online, coders can cook up scrapers to gather all sorts of data and present it in an interesting format. Even a topic as boring as patents can become a curious novelty just by looking up the ones expiring, say, today and making them browsable to the world at large. And that's Expatents in a nutshell.
We get it Samsung, it's hard playing second fiddle to Apple. You owe them a billion dollars from a four-year-old patent lawsuit, because the Samsung Galaxy was a lot like the iPhone. Another time you got a smartwatch to market, and then Apple descended from the clouds of Cupertino to declare to the world that it has revolutionised mobile electronics with the creation of a truly revolutionary smartwatch, and everyone lost their damned minds. That's a rough life you got there buddy.
With millions of tourists visiting its theme parks around the world each year, it makes sense that Disney would want to track how visitors move about its attractions to help minimise lines and crowds and also to provide a unique experience for each guest. But does it have to sound so incredibly creepy?
The thumbwheel was the signature feature of BlackBerry's original handsets, and while touchscreens have made them mostly obsolete, the Apple Watch proves there's still a place for physical dials. But is Apple finally planning to introduce that rotating crown to the iPhone or iPad? A recently published patent suggests that the company might be considering it.
Florida man Thomas Ross believes that he divined the future of human communication 15 years before Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone. Ross scribbled together a patent application for a device back in 1992, and claims that Apple stole his design. Now, the Florida man is suing Apple for over $US10 billion ($13.4 billion).
Merging biology with electronics isn't a question of if, but when. Some enterprising biohackers have even decided that the time is now. Google-parent Alphabet appears to be preparing for our cybernetic future with a new patent for electronics that can be injected onto your eye.
Even on a hot summer day, the outside temperature at 9200m can hit 45 below zero. Ice forming on a plane's fuselage is inevitable, despite how dangerous it can be. So to help ensure planes can survive freezing temperatures, Boeing is developing fake plastic ice to make it easier to test its aircraft.
Mattel might be the first to market with a 3D printer aimed at kids, but Hasbro isn't sitting by and letting its main competitor have all the 3D fun. The company just patented a kid-friendly 3D scanner that can digitise small objects using a smartphone's camera and clever software.
A patent filed by Ford a few weeks ago reveals a rather unorthodox alternative to throwing a bicycle in your boot. Like the Batpod that ejected from the Batmobile in The Dark Knight, the back wheel of your car could quickly transform into a self-balancing electric unicycle.
As soon as powerful processors were tiny enough to pack into your pocket, companies big and small have been hunting for other ways they can strap tech onto our bodies. Fitness trackers and smartwatches were only the beginning, and if the last few months worth of patents divine wearables' near future, smart rings are next.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once advised, "Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door." The world would have been in for a bit of a shock if they'd found themselves at the door of one J.E. Bennett of Fredonia, Texas in 1882. That's the year he patented the mousetrap pictured above.