Intel Patent Review: Wide Ranging Multimedia Innovation

By Steve Brachmann
July 22, 2014

The Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) of Santa Clara, CA, is one of the world’s most successful companies in the field of semiconductor, integrated circuit and computer processor components. Recently, Intel was announced as a partner in the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), a collection of companies including Samsung, Dell and Broadcom intending to develop standards for the Internet of Things, an industry which experts predict will be valued at $7.1 trillion by 2020. Intel also lately announced a partnership with Panasonic, a member of OIC’s rival AllSeen Alliance, to develop chipsets for Panasonic’s audiovisual systems. An increase in demand for personal computers as well as Intel’s growth into the Internet of Things and tablet markets may likely provide positive impacts to the corporation’s revenue growth in the coming fiscal quarters.

Our Companies We Follow series here on IPWatchdog is always dedicated to exploring the widest scope of technologies developed by a company as possible, and Intel provides plenty of opportunity for that. In our new format, we’re sharing even more innovations developed by this corporation, which have been filed for patent protections with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This latest review of Intel’s inventions are showing us some interesting things to expect for the near future of computing devices.

Our survey of the patent applications assigned to Intel and published recently by the USPTO showed us a variety of intriguing multimedia and data services for electronic device owners. A couple of patent applications discuss means for sharing of content across devices, both between multiple devices with a single owner and across peer-to-peer networks. Another patent application discloses a technology meant to protect sensitive data on corporate networks which are accessed by a plurality of users with various levels of data access rights. We also share one patent application filed to protect a method of improving navigational systems designed for guiding people walking through indoor environments.

Today, we get really in-depth into our analysis of Intel’s recent additions to its patent portfolio. We were intrigued by a trio of patents related to methods and techniques of better discovery of digital services, including one method of discovering television content which was awarded more than one decade after the original patent application was filed. Another interesting patent protects means for laptop owners to retrieve a lost or stolen device. We also discuss a patent aimed at analyzing the audience for a digital sign displaying an advertisement, as well as another system designed for more energy-efficient means of awaking a computer from a sleep mode.

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Recently Published Patent Applications

Intel is a global leader in semiconductor chip manufacturing, especially for microprocessors used in computing devices. As a result, this company is greatly involved in the development of technologies for a wide array of electronic devices, from smartphones to personal computers. Our most recent exploration of Intel’s research and development activities brought us a closer look at some inventions in the field of sharing access to content across devices. U.S. Patent Application No. 20140195684, filed under the title Device-to-Device Tapping Service Layer, describes a computer-implemented method of facilitating the sharing of resources among multiple devices. This innovation is designed to allow one person who owns multiple personal computing devices to access storage, speakers and other resources available through a remote device. Methods of sharing content on devices between individuals is discussed within U.S. Patent Application No. 20140196140, entitled Peer to Peer Networking and Sharing Systems and Methods. This would protect a storage medium with multiple computer nodes developed to improve peer-to-peer (P2P) content sharing. This system offers a simpler graphical user interface for device users and helps device owners identify others who are available for P2P content sharing.

With the proliferation of smartphones and other types of personal computing devices, privacy and data security have become a much greater concern among owners. Security features for computing devices as well as networks are another major goal of Intel’s researchers, to judge by a few other inventions we noticed today. An intriguing method of protecting an organization’s network against unauthorized access of sensitive data, even while many devices are allowed to connect to the network, are featured within U.S. Patent Application No. 20140189356, titled Method of Restricting Corporate Digital Information Within Corporate Boundary. This patent application would protect a method of enforcing a virtual corporate boundary by determining if both a client device and the device’s user are permitted to access sensitive data, and then rendering that data from an encrypted source.

From U.S. Patent Application No. 20140189356, titled “Method of Restricting Corporate Digital Information Within Corporate Boundary.”

Business network communications will also benefit from the technology discussed within U.S. Patent Application No. 20140179267, which is titled Operations Method for Providing Wireless Communication Services. This patent application features an improved business method for wireless communication which offers the opportunity for a flat rate billing pricing model on a network that can handle higher call volumes while reducing central network component costs.

From U.S. Patent Application No. 20140191419, titled “3D Integrated Circuit Package with Window Interposer.”

Intel’s chipset options include a diverse array of integrated circuit products which power many of the world’s electronic devices. We were intrigued by one innovation designed to greatly increase the complexity of electronic device features through ever more intricate circuitry, which is discussed within U.S. Patent Application No. 20140191419, titled 3D Integrated Circuit Package with Window Interposer. The semiconductor package that this patent application would protect a method of manufacturing 3D integrated circuits which utilizes non-through silicon vias (non-TSV) techniques, reducing the cost of manufacturing these chipsets.

We also noticed one last invention that Intel is seeking to patent which involves the application of electronics for walking navigation guides. U.S. Patent Application No. 20140194138, entitled Constraining Inertial Navigation System Solution According to Pedometrical Data, discusses a method of leveraging data from external sensors for improving indoor navigation. This technique utilizes more accelerometer data to reduce issues in providing accurate navigational assistance caused by changes in the distance of the device from a user, as well as differences in step length among system users.

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Issued Patents of Note 

With 1,455 patent grants obtained by Intel during 2013, this company earned the 14th-most patents from the USPTO among all corporate entities in that year. In recent weeks, Intel has been receiving dozens of U.S. patent grants, owing a great deal to the company’s investment in computing innovations. Our search of recently issued patents assigned to Intel brought us into close contact with many intriguing technologies, including one meant to help laptop owners find lost or stolen devices. U.S. Patent No. 8763111, issued under the title Enabling a Service to Return Lost Laptops, protects a computing device with a theft deterrence module that generates a unique identifier for a laptop device and sends a message to an external service. A message sent from the external service to the laptop can disable functions until the service authorizes the full functionality of the device, once it has been returned to its rightful owner. Methods of activating advanced functionality for computer programs are protected by U.S. Patent No. 8769295, which is titled Computing System Feature Activation Mechanism. This patent protects an apparatus comprising coding for built-in feature activation so that software vendors can charge customers for enhanced functionality on software installed on a computing system.

We were also intrigued by a number of patents directed at protecting methods for discovering unknown content available online. The indexing and identification of online content for more precise searching of digital content is the focus of U.S. Patent No. 8776244, titled System and Method for the Generation of a Content Fingerprint for Content Identification. This protects a method of creating identifying information for content by performing technical analysis on the content. The technical analysis can include facial recognition, logo recognition, voice analysis and other techniques. Methods for improving the ability of users to find information on television shows available through an electronic program guide are protected by U.S. Patent No. 8776118, issued under the title Using Web Based Information to Select Television Programs. Incredibly, this patent was issued more than 14 years after the patent application was first filed in May 2000. It received its first non-final rejection in March 2009 under Section 103 of U.S. patent law for obviousness in light of a patent awarded in March 2001 for a multimedia broadcast system providing schedule information through a hypertext markup language (HTML) data stream. The last non-final rejection, issued in October 2013, again cited the 2001 patent and included claims of rejection under Section 102 of U.S. patent law, which governs novelty of a patented invention.

From U.S. Patent No. 8776118, issued under the title “Using Web Based Information to Select Television Programs.”

In the same vein of discovering online content, we also noticed U.S. Patent No. 8768323, which is titled Service Discovery in a Wireless Network. This patent protects a method completed by a wireless access point to increase a user’s experience by helping them find unknown but available resources on a given network.

Methods of decreasing power consumption in personal computers displays, which can constitute up to half of the power consumed by computers, are protected by U.S. Patent No. 8774145, issued under the title Techniques to Determine User Presence. This patent discloses a method of determining the user’s presence near a computing environment by utilizing a beacon signal between a wireless communication device and a personal computer. When the beacon power crosses a certain threshold, a computer user is considered to be present and the computer is sent into an active mode. Finally, we were intrigued by an Intel innovation aimed at helping advertisers more accurately determine the size of their audience, which is protected by U.S. Patent No. 8766914, entitled Method and Apparatus for Measuring Audience Size for a Digital Sign. This system utilizes a camera situated next to a digital sign which sends video data to a processor. This processor includes a face detection module and other analytical features which can help it measure an audience and analyze their viewing behaviors as relevant to the digital sign.

The Author

Steve Brachmann

Steve Brachmann is a freelance journalist located in Buffalo, New York. He has worked professionally as a freelancer for more than a decade. He writes about technology and innovation. His work has been published by The Buffalo News, The Hamburg Sun, USAToday.com, Chron.com, Motley Fool and OpenLettersMonthly.com. Steve also provides website copy and documents for various business clients and is available for research projects and freelance work.

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