The USPTO has just published a patent Microsoft applied for last year in which they describe a device with a main display and a secondary display which wraps around the edges of the device, which could be a smartphone or tablet, and which displays additional information.
Nokia has been busy looking for features to differentiate their Windows Phones, and the latest to turn up at the patent office is “Using a Symbol Recognition Engine.”
The recognition engine would use the touch-sensitive layer of the touch screen, and would recognize gestures which start or end outside of the touch screen.
Those gestures can then be used to open applications, but also dial numbers, launch searches in apps or even do a universal search.
While relatively cool, it seems likely it would be as fast to use the keyboard.
The patent can be seen here.
What do our readers think of this patent? Let us know below.
Thanks Andrian for the tip.
Nokia has expressed a desire to enter the wearables space after exciting the handset market.
They have now been granted a patent for a new control scheme for a head-mounted display, or what they call a near to eye display (NED).
Existing control mechanisms may comprise, for example, motion sensors, gaze tracking systems or touch sensors. However, existing control mechanisms are often difficult, inconvenient or hard to use.
Now, an improved method and technical equipment implementing the method have been invented.
Nokia’s new control method would either use gaze tracking or tracking of hand movements, the first by an infra-red camera facing inwards and the second by a general camera facing outwards. Users will be able to select commands by blinking or specific hand gestures.
In the patent Nokia writes:
Bezels are a necessary evil for large handheld devices as otherwise the supporting hand will cover the displayed content on the screen, and also cause spurious activation.
Nokia has been granted a patent for making bezels a touch more useful by making them touch sensitive.
An apparatus, method, and computer program product are described that provide for an active digital bezel area on a display of a device. Touch input may be received in a bezel area provided on the display, where user interaction with content presented within the bezel area at a location corresponding to the location of the touch input is initially disabled. A force component of the touch input may be detected and compared to a predetermined force threshold. In cases in which the force component of the touch input exceeds the predetermined force threshold, user interaction with the content at that location may be enabled. In this way, the force exerted by the user in applying a touch input in the bezel area may be considered an indication of the user’s intent to interact with corresponding content within the bezel, and such interactions may be provided for accordingly.
Nokia has of course shown off multiple prototypes through the years of bendable and deformable devices which takes input through force sensors. It may be that Nokia is finally getting ready to bring such a device to market.
See the patent here.
What do our readers think? Let us know below.
Microsoft-Nokia deal has already got most of the approvals in the countries where it is needed. US, EU and India are among them. China is one of the few nations that is yet to approve the deal. According to Global Times, there is a reason behind the delay. Usually, China’s Ministry of Commerce approves such deals after a 30-day first-phase of investigation. But this deal is now in the second-phase of anti-trust investigation, they fear that Nokia’s patent fees for the China’s domestic handset vendors might go up after this deal gets over.
The sources attributed the ministry’s careful moves mainly to requests from domestic mobile phone manufacturers, including ZTE, Lenovo and Xiaomi, who fear that upon the completion of the transaction, Nokia will charge them high patent fees for the usage of valuable technology on handsets.
In the past, Nokia adopted a loose system for patent protection in China and only charged a few of the country’s phone makers patent fees, but now it is likely to sign official patent licensing contracts with all domestic users or even charge them higher, according to The Economic Observer.
Currently, the company’s patent fees are generally 2 percent of a device’s selling price, said the report.
I hope the deal gets approved soon so that Microsoft will start the huge integration process within the company. They already got the plans in their hands, they need to execute it well.
What do you think?
Source: Global Times
You better not use your phone when you are crying, as your Nokia Lumia may automatically immortalize that moment for a custom sad face :’-( emoticon.
According to a new patent from Nokia your Windows Phone would detect your mood by looking at elements such as typing speed, typing pressure, the use of the back space key and even an external device.
Once an emotion is identified the front-facing camera may then snap a picture which can later be used in place of generic emoticons.
Of course knowing the mood of the user can also have other benefits, such as changing profiles and the like.
Do our readers agree the new technology is a big (or a lot) creepy? Let us know below.
See the patent description after the break.
We all know that Nokia and HTC are fighting it out in the court related to patent infringement. Last week, U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that HTC infringes two nokia patents that are related to method for receiving and transmitting radio signals, and a method for eliminating unwanted signals. Since there is a possibility of HTC devices getting banned in the US, HTC is working with Qualcomm on reworking a radio chip for the HTC One, reports Wall Street Journal.
I saw some comments that once the Microsoft-Nokia deal is completed, HTC and Microsoft can work on these patent issues. The real fact is that, even after the Microsoft-Nokia deal, Nokia will still own most of the patents and the on going patent battle with other companies with continue. I hope HTC soon settles the issue with Nokia and starts focusing on the devices.
NPU reports on two Nokia patents which indicate that Nokia Lumias may be getting Galaxy S3-type hover interactions, where the phone will sense fingers some distance above the screen.
Nokia envisions it working in two ways:
1) Text or objects enlarging if you hover your finger over them. This will also make it easier to locate touch points e.g. enlarging sections of a web page.
2) Being able to manipulate text input and icons via hover mode. One mode would enlarge the text under your finger and then pan the text based on movement of your hand. As seen in Figure 8 above this should make positioning the cursor even easier.
There actions have been seen largely as gimmicks on the Galaxy platform, but I think Windows Phone could probably do with a few more gimmicks to attract the punters.
Patentbolt reports that Microsoft has applied for a patent for voice-controlling the camera in Windows Phone.
From the application the app is mainly designed for portraits or group shots, but Microsoft also suggests users may be able to manage other functions, such as deleting pictures by voice or controlling the video camera. Interestingly Microsoft suggests the device may always be listening in a low power state for commands to activate the camera, bringing to mind Google’s recently demonstrated voice search feature in Chrome. The patent also notes that snapping fingers or clapping hands could function in the same way.
Microsoft notes the feature would also be useful in tablets, or for the Xbox via Kinect.
Microsoft filed the patent application in Q4 2011, somewhat preceding the number of apps we have seen pop up recently with the same function.
Read more at Patentbolt here.
Nokia has applied for a patent for a flexible, low-profile hinge with integrated connector suitable for use in foldable tablets and smartphones.
Nokia has expressed interest in bendable smartphones before, including creating a prototype, the Nokia Kinect (right), with a bendable screen which responded to both touch and twists.
In Nokiaâ€™s new patent they propose using multi-layered strips consisting of elastomers and composite fabrics, with the first layer possibly a thermoplastic or thermoset material which would act as a sturdy spring, or natural or synthetic rubber, while the second layer could be Kevlar or Cordura fabric.
An electronic coupler could be integrated so as to connect the hardware in both portions.
Patent applications of course is very little guarantee of an actual product, but with Nokia promising â€œdifferent form factorsâ€ I think few companies would be as motivated as them to disrupt the status quo.
Thanks Charles for the tip.
Another interesting Microsoft patent application got published today. The whole idea of this patent is to have secondary devices which can be attached and detached from a smartphone. It will function appropriately in both the modes. For example, a keyboard device can be used for the smartphone when attached to it, when detached it can act as a remote control for a TV, etc.
MOBILE COMMUNICATION DEVICE HAVING MULTIPLE, INTERCHANGEABLE SECOND DEVICES:
A mobile communication device comprises a first device with a first display and multiple second devices. The second devices are releasably attachable to the first device and are interchangeable with each other. The mobile device can operate as a mobile cell phone with one or more second devices operable as a mobile phone hand set. The second devices can comprise one or more game controllers, batteries, physical keyboards and/or mobile phone handsets with a display. In a detached configuration, the first device is separated from the second devices and can wirelessly communicate with one or more of the detached second devices. In a three device configuration, the first device can send commands, control signals or content to one or more external devices in addition to the second devices.
As a young adult and technology enthusiast growing up in a world where technology is changing and improving as fast as one can blink I am very much amazed and captivated by the goings-on. What has me particularly captivated at the moment however, is the mobile spectra and at them moment the kind of weapons race that goes on behind the scenes. The goings-on that even at this feisty stage are not even known by the so-called end users who just care about having a phone in their hands and have not the slightest care about how it got there. I should make it clear off the bat, that I am of the belief that if one sheds blood, sweat and tears working on something, that they should reap the benefits of it in the way that they’ve dreamed of. I am also of the knowledge that Microsoft was once the big bad wolf of monopolizing the tech world but I like others also believes that those time have somewhat changed and Microsoft is more about the people now (Win7 and WP7 are perfect examples). I also believe that the old Microsoft skin has fallen over or has been modified to fit Google, who’s "Me too" attitude I somewhat despise. Of course this is my opinion and everyone is free to have their opinion too.
All of the research I’ve done on the tech world, whether by reading from Engadget, BGR, Bloomberg, CNET, ZDNET, ArsTechnica, GigaOM has led me to believe that Google is really about providing their Android software for free so that the manufacture can gobble it up and Google can have more platforms to make money from advertising (Which is what they’re buit on). This I know must be true yet the hordes of Fandroids as they are oft called fail to acknowledge and blindly follow Google into the bottomless pits of deception. If I at this ripe age can understand this why can’t the multitude of older generations pick this up as well?
What annoys me is when fandroid like to cry out in unsion that Android is free! Android is open! Android can be customized You can do whatever you can with Android and will fight it to the death. I used to have a bit of disdain for Apple products but the more the Fandroid cry out about how free Android is the more I’ve favored Apple as second to Microsoft in my book. Wake up Fandroids half of those that own Android phones buy them for their prices and don’t know about the tons of "advanced" features that the carriers and manufacturers hype their phones up to offer. Those that claim that Android can be hacked this or that way don’t recognize that the majority of the population have no interest in those things.
Most of the regular people may just be attracted by a phone with a pretty big and vibrant screen and a nice camera, probably the ability to play the movies, songs or pictures via some external hardware using HDMI, DLNA, use the internet, play games and they’re all set. They most likely came from non-smartphones, sidekicks, flip-phones and were enthused that they could get a "smartphone" so conveniently. But if Google were about the people Android would’ve been far more usable and pleasant experience for it’s users instead of now scrambling to make tweaks here and there (this is where they copy too) and get critical acclaim from it’s users.
What the Fandroids people need to understand however is that, Android didn’t just appear out of thin air, it was someone’s work that created it and Android can’t be free because evidently it also includes software bit patented by other companies. Even if your argument is that that bit of software is too minute to consider, one must understand that someone’s effort went into thinking of and creating that little bit! Also if it were so insignificant then Google’s engineers would’ve been quick to replace the infringing bit eons ago and we wouldn’t be in this patent mess.
So in all what I am saying is may the "man" who put the effort, the blood sweat and tears into getting us where we are in mobile technology win this current patent war and that people should be informed before blindly selling themselves to a company.
(I am a budding journalist and may not have constructed all of my thoughts well but I hope you go the gist of it)
Microsoft and Motorola have escalated their smartphone patent war, with Microsoft adding 7 new patents to the 9 it was already challenging Motorola with, and Motorola adding 2 to its earlier 17.Motorola filed a new suit in the Western District of Wisconsin over 3 patents and Microsoft made counterclaims in the Southern District of Florida, alleging the infringement of 7 of its patents.
In its new suit, Motorola tries to attack the Kinect and Microsoft asserts not only five patents against Android phones (just like it did before) but also two patents against Motorola set-top boxes with DVR functionality. Two of the seven patents added by Microsoft cover important touchscreen functionalities originally applied for in connection with "pointing devices" such as a stylus but now appear to cover user interface technologies that are most relevant in connection with touchscreens.
In the past it has been rare for for large companies to go to war over patents, largely due to the the large number of products that are usually infringing on both sides, with most large companies in a Mutually Assured Destruction stand-off.
It seems, due to the new high stakes smartphones game, things have now finally gone nuclear.
Read more detail at FOSSPatents here.
Thanks Zee for the tip