Apple Could Let You Store Your Passport on an iPhone

Apple has been very keen on trying to make sure the iPhone can replace a bunch of other stuff you'd normally carry around. Credit cards, loyalty cards, gig tickets, plane tickets, and so on. Now it looks like it might be considering taking things a step further, and seeing whether it's possible to store your passport on the iPhone. Read More >>

Bizarre Amazon Patent Application Suggests Jellyfish-Like Drones for Warehouses

Amazon is on a mission to mechanise as much of its supply chain as possible, and has—through publicly available documents—considered autonomous vehicles, drones that react to screaming, and flying warehouses. Among the strangest is a patent application which became public yesterday, and it’s, uh, some sort of crane game jellyfish thing. Read More >>

Nike Patent Imagines Shoes With Tiny Treadmills Built Into the Soles

A recently published patent filed by Nike depicts a new “rotatable conveyor element” designed to help people put on their shoes. Essentially a tiny treadmill, the proposed device is a conveyer belt that’s embedded in a shoe’s insole and “configured to rotatably engage a body part of the wearer as the foot enters the space and draw the foot into the space,” according to the patent first spotted by Digital Trends. Read More >>

Why the Round Apple Watch Dream Won’t Die

Yesterday, Apple was awarded a patent for an “electronic device having display with curved edges” that brings the dream of a round Apple Watch a little closer to the realm of possibility. Noticed by 9to5Mac, the patent mostly discusses the technical challenges when it comes to creating curved and circular displays, but the fact that it exists at all adds fuel to the fire inside me, the fire that demands a circular Apple Watch so I can stop looking like a total dork with a bit of disposable income. Read More >>

Amazon Just Got a Patent to Track Bitcoin Transactions and Sell the Data

Big companies file patents all the time. Not because they want to use them, just to have them and stop someone else from coming along and claiming the idea for themselves. Amazon is no different, and back in 2014 it filed a patent for a 'Streaming Data Marketplace' that would allow it to collect online data streams, analyse the data, and after combining multiple streams together they could sell it off to someone else. Read More >>

This Amazon ‘Sniffer’ Patent Sounds an Awful Lot like Spying to Me

If you have a smart speaker, like the Amazon Echo, you should already know that you have a device in your house that's always listening out for that key phrase "Alexa" so it can jump in to help you do whatever it is you can't (or won't) do for yourself. Amazon insists that the speaker doesn't record anything else you say before using the activation phrase, though a new patent suggests it's been considering expanding the number of keywords that will activate the Echo's digital ears. Read More >>

Amazon Patent Points to Future in Which Humanity Is Reduced to Screaming at Drones

Get ready to grovel for your next shipment of toilet roll. A recently published Amazon patent depicts a delivery drone capable of recognising and responding to human gestures and speech, which means you may want to practise the art of supplication to ensure proper delivery of that two-ply to your front door. Read More >>

Facebook Patents Self-Balancing Robot, and It’s Anyone’s Best Guess Why

Earlier today, Facebook filed a patent for “a self-balancing robot that transitions from a three-wheeled mode to a two-wheeled self-balancing mode” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Facebook isn’t typically thought of a as a hardware company, and the details on what this is intended to do are left vague. Read More >>

PayPal Wants to Solve the Problem of Bitcoin Payments by Cutting Down the Transaction Time

Some people would have you believe that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are the future of money, decentralised currencies free from the interference of the government and mostly anonymous (if you want it to be). The problem is not a lot of people will take Bitcoin in exchange for goods and services, and to try and fix that PayPal has a new patent that it hopes will fix that by cutting down the transaction time. Read More >>

New Patent Hints That Apple Could Get Rid of Physical Keyboards Entirely

If you’re a holdout who refuses to upgrade to a post-2015 MacBook because of Apple’s revamped keyboard and its shallow butterfly switches, it seems like your prospects for a better experience in the future just got a little bleaker. Read More >>

Uber Thinks it Has the Solution to Car Sickness

Motion sickness is a bitch to deal with, particularly if you're the kind of person who gets it whenever they're not driving. That's a big problem with the autonomous future we're finding ourselves heading towards, but Uber thinks it has a solution. A solution that involves vibrating seats and bursts of air. Oh my. Read More >>

Could the Whole CRISPR Patent Kerfuffle Have Been Completely Avoided?

For the better part of the last three years, the introduction of the most powerful gene editing technology ever invented has been marred by a nasty patent battle. The two groups of scientists involved, each contributing significantly to the future of genetic engineering, are pitted against each other in a bitter contest for glory and fortune. Read More >>

Amazon Just Patented a New Wristband to Help Direct Warehouse Employees

Amazon deals with a lot of orders, and has to hire a bunch of employees as a result. If you have that many people working for you, how can you maker sure they're always where they need to be? Those Prime deliveries certainly can't process themselves, you know. Not yet anyway. That's probably why the company has just patented an ultrasonic wristband to tell workers where they need to go. Read More >>

Apple’s Latest Patent Is For A Notebook Chassis Powered By Your iPhone Or iPad

Apple's automatic shotgun approach to patent filing means we get all sorts of weird and wonderful insights into the imaginations of the company's designers, who have come up with everything from "sick vapes" to phones made entirely from glass. The most recent patent appears to err on the more conventional side of design, proffering a contraption that combines a phone or tablet with a notebook "shell". Read More >>

Supreme Court Printer Cartridge Case Could Be the Citizens United of Products

It’s an obscure case that hasn’t received a ton of attention as it has made its way to the Supreme Court, but the final verdict could set off a cascade of consequences in the world of consumer products. Read More >>