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This article was published on March 13, 2016

This week in patents: Google ads, Facebook says “hello” and more

This week in patents: Google ads, Facebook says “hello” and more
Deepak Gupta
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Deepak Gupta

Deepak is the founder of patent services firm PatentYogi, a new kind of patent services firm that simplifies the patent process for the inve Deepak is the founder of patent services firm PatentYogi, a new kind of patent services firm that simplifies the patent process for the inventors across the globe. They provide free patentability search service for individual inventors and startups. He also runs a YouTube channel, PatentYogi, where he publishes videos on patents. For interesting daily updates on patents, check their Instagram and Facebook.

This week, the US patent office issued 5,436 patents. Each patent adds a little something new to the human knowledge base. As we cannot list all five thousand, the PatentYogi team has selected the six most interesting patents.

Apple’s multi-function device

US 20160070399

Apple filed a patent for an all-in-one device that can work as a PDA, an iPod, an iPad, an iPhone or a camera.

The multi-functional hand-held device has a few physical buttons, keys, or switches so that its display size can be substantially increased.  The device incorporates a user-configurable GUI for each of the functions of the devices.

UI for improving single hand device use

US 20160070466

Apple developed an ergonomic mode that allows single-handed operation of devices.

In the ergonomic mode, the graphical user interface (GUI) of the application is displayed in a bottom area of the display screen to allow the user to more easily interact with objects.

Further, during the ergonomic mode of the keyboard, the keyboard is shifted towards a vertical edge of the display screen to allow a user to more easily reach keys of the keyboard that were previously unreachable without the user switching to two handed operation of the device or repositioning the electronic device in the user’s hand.

3D prints with ID

US 20160067927

Disney discloses technology to 3D print a model of an identification element to limit unauthorized copying.

This technology involves operating the 3D printer to print the layers of an object along with an integrally formed ID element, embedded within.

Voice generation with emotion

US 20160071510

Computer speech synthesis is increasingly becoming prevalent in the modem computing devices. For example, smartphones are expected to offer an intelligent personal assistant interface for a user of the smartphone, providing services such as answering user questions and providing reminders or other useful information.

In the existing speech synthesis systems, the emotional content is absent from the speech rendering of an underlying text.

Multiple emotionally diverse candidate speech segments associated with a given semantic content are generated.

The table in the figure shows four candidate speech segments, which offer a diversity of emotional content corresponding to the specified semantic content, where each candidate speech segment has text content and heuristic characteristics that will provide the listener with a perceived emotional content distinct from the other candidate speech segments.

Ranked according a predetermined criteria, the highest ranked speech segment is converted into audio form and played to the user.

Velocity based content delivery

US 9,280,212

Google patented a velocity based advertisement delivery system.  The system determines position, speed and direction of movement of the user device and then selects an advertisement to provide to the user device based on its position and velocity.

The system allows advertisers to narrowly target advertisements to interested users.  For example, the system uses the user device’s position and velocity and the time of travel to select a potentially relevant advertisement for the user device’s user. 

Facebook improves its Hello app

US 20160072878

Last year, Facebook released an app called Hello, which was similar to a popular app called Truecaller – that finds contact details globally given name or telephone number, and has an integrated caller ID service to achieve call-blocking functionality and social media integration to keep the phonebook up-to-date with pictures and birthdays.

Hello app performs many of the functions performed by Truecaller. This week Facebook filed a patent for an improved version. The patented all-termination triggered social interface leverages information associated with an incoming phone number for display to a user of a mobile device post-call and permits the user to conveniently issue commands to the mobile device or social networking system to take specific actions for the number or entity associated with the number on the social network. 

Read next: Let these apps illuminate the words that you could not find