The Sony Corporation of Tokyo, Japan, is a global technology manufacturer with a wildly diverse lineup of hardware electronic products. A number of Sony’s brands are highly recognizable throughout the world, such as the gaming console Playstation, one of its most popular products. Recently, gamers all over the world took note of an announcement by Sony that the company plans to include voice and gesture control on the soon-to-be-released Playstation 4. Sony hopes that the console, which will come out later this year, will sell five million units globally by March 2014.
IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series has gone through the recent developments at Sony Corporation before, and now we return to see what this multinational conglomerate has been working on. We’ve accessed a number of patent applications and issued patents assigned to Sony from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to see what the future holds for consumer electronics.
We’re taking a really close look at one intriguing patent application published recently by the USPTO that enables a production studio and consumers to earn money off of content sales. In this system, purchasers of digital content can register to sell the content to others, supporting a company’s marketing and enabling those users to earn some money. Other patent applications that pique our interest include improved stereoscopic 3D glasses for use in conjunction with normal eyewear, as well as a more secure system of digital rights management for online media streams.
Qualcomm Incorporated is a San Diego-based manufacturer of semiconductors often found in iPhones and similar devices. Qualcomm is also one of America’s leading technology innovators. As you will see below, Qualcomm’s innovation is not limited to semiconductors; they engage in a wide range of innovation and have an aggressive patent protection plan that routinely sees them in the top 10 in number of international patent applications filed. See 2012 top filers page 3.
Today in IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series, we’re returning to take a look at one of the nation’s most successful technology developers. Three Qualcomm patent applications and issued patents published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office recently have focused heavily on mobile device improvements. Two applications pertain to device cameras: one would protect a system of automatic picture taking at events, and another would improve location mapping services based on recognizable venue features. A third patent application we explore here would allow mobile device users to send text messages to 911 or other emergency service providers.
The General Electric Company of Schenectady, NY, is a major American innovator, involved with the development of technology infrastructure, energy systems and many consumer technologies. The wide scope of this business’s activities makes them a regular feature in IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series. See General Electric articles for our features on GE.
Recent reports from multiple news outlets announced that General Electric was moving on from plans to develop solar energy power plants by selling it’s solar technology to First Solar Inc., an American developer of solar panels. At the same time, GE is looking to increase its presence in the aviation industry. The early August acquisition of Avio Aero, an Italian developer of military and civil aircraft systems, is a step in this direction for the corporation.
Today, we check in with General Electric to see what technological systems it’s trying to protect through the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many of the published USPTO documents we feature here discuss improvements to energy systems. These include two patent applications, one that would protect smart energy storage for in-home water heaters and another that would protect a system of monitoring damage to power cables. An issued patent discusses GE’s development of a self-healing electrical power grid.
We also take a look at two other patent applications that showcase General Electric’s activities in other areas of consumer and industrial innovation. One application is filed to protect a detachable dishwasher door that makes it easier for technicians to provide maintenance. One final application we include discusses a system of trapping gaseous carbon dioxide exhaust from power plants in a solid state.
During the summer months, beaches are major tourist destinations across the country. Americans take almost two billion trips to beaches every yearand spend billions in beach communities, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection agency. All of these beach visitors look for a variety of ways to enjoy their time near or in the water.
Today in IPWatchdog’s continuing Summer 2013 Fun series, we want to look at some very intriguing patent applications and issued patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office regarding fun at the beach. A number of these documents describe active games for many participants that involve a lot of physical activity. One issued patent protects a safe game for young children who rush out to plant a flag in the coast while avoiding incoming waves. Another issued patent describes a portable tennis court for beach use.
Three other patent applications featured here encourage more passive forms of play and recreation. A first application would protect a style of beach golf where players can easily build a small course. Another patent application describes a portable beach toy kit that builds a more complete play environment, including a castle and a moat. Finally, we take a look at a patent application that would protect a board for a seashell collection game.
With droves of people flocking to the beach, the role of the beach lifeguard becomes much more important. According to the United States Lifesaving Association, which certifies open water lifeguards, USLA lifeguards completed a total of 69,070 rescues during 2012, about half of which were rip current rescues. USLA lifeguards also completed a total of 307,893 medical aids during that year.
Today in IPWatchdog’s 2013 Summer Fun series, we’re taking a look at patents that recognize the importance of safety at the pool or beach. A number of patent applications and issued patents published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office that we feature in today’s column describe systems and tools to aid lifeguards in their work. One patent application explains a buoy system that can wrangle multiple distressed swimmers and provide them with a flotation line. One issued patent protects a rescue tube with a recessed extension strap for safer use. A second issued patent protects a system of detecting rip tides through computer analysis of video.
Two other documents we’re discussing here create safety systems for swimmers when there are no lifeguards present, or if a lifeguard can’t detect a problem. One issued patent is for an alarm system that sounds if it detects that a swimmer is in danger. Finally, one last issued patent discusses an emergency contact system for putting poolside rescuers who aren’t trained to react to emergencies in touch with emergency personnel.
For many summer weather enthusiasts, this time of year is the best for getting out on the water and surfing the largest waves they can find. Surfboards have been around since the 1940s and have grown in popularity as a summer pastime in coastal areas.
Today in IPWatchdog’s Summer 2013 Fun series, in honor of the ongoing U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California, we’re featuring some of the most interesting new patent applications and issued patents related to surfing. Some of these newly devised innovations are designed to help a surfer save their physical energy. One patent application describes a new powered surfboard with a detachable chair for riding far out into a body of water. Another issued patent protects an attachable hard edge that can improve the performance of inflatable surfboards, which are easier to transport. A new four-pointed tail design from a patent application would improve a surfer’s speed and control on the water.
The summer months are a great time to enjoy a wide array of outdoor activities, like swimming, running or different types of team sports. However, even just a few hours outside with unprotected skin can create a sunburn that’s not just uncomfortable but possibly damaging.
A person with fair skin can develop a sunburn in 30 minutes, even when the ultraviolet (UV) index is at low levels. However, many don’t protect themselves like they should with clothing and sunblock lotion. In fact, a study conducted by Macmillan Cancer Support found that 40 percent of those in Britain that sunbathe for a tan purposefully continue until they’ve gotten a sunburn, even when many know that this increases their risk of contracting skin cancer.
Today in IPWatchdog’s Summer Fun series, we’re looking at a series of patent applications and issued patents protecting systems of improving protections from UV radiation. A number of these documents regard new systems of determining unsafe levels of radiation. One patent application has been filed to protect an apparatus that detects the level of sunburn developing on a person’s skin. Another application protects a reactive dye that changes color to indicate UV radiation levels. An issued patent protects a test strip kit that can also indicate unsafe UV levels prior to going outside.
Treatments for sunburn are another major focus for developers of UV radiation protections. One issued patent protects an orally administered treatment that helps prevent against sunburns. A final patent application featured here has been filed to protect a topical ointment that can either prevent or treat sunburns while improving on prior chemical compositions for sunblock lotion.
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