Technology

Uber: The Travel Agent?

Patent illustration for Uber's version of a travel agent. 

Patent illustration for Uber's version of a travel agent. 

When you travel, do you ever use some sort of travel agent? In a world filled with technology, travel agents must now be up to date and able to perform various tasks that in the past have never been needed before. What better way for a travel agent to stay up to date than for the "travel agent" to be your cellphone? 

Above is the patent illustration that Uber filed depicting how their "travel agent" would function. Essentially, a user could "input their start location, date, and time alongside a destination, and Uber would recommend an itinerary for them." However, "Uber will also organize your transportation as well." 

Read on to learn more about how Uber's "travel agent" would work! 

So, How Does Star Wars BB-8 Really Work?

With the premiere of the newest Star Wars movie on Friday, it is safe to say that social media websites are featuring massive amounts of content relating to the movie. One of the major questions about the movie right now is, "How does BB-8 really work?" The linked website features a section entitled "Patent" and this shows both an illustration of the patent, as well as a description of how BB-8 may work.

The website states that "The first thing we have learned from this patent is that there is a concept in robotics called holonomic motion. Ground-based holonomic robots are those who can instantaneously move in any direction on the horizontal plane." This may just be the answer to how BB-8 moves! 

Click on the linked article for more information! 

The Future of Air Flight?

Patent illustration of the Skreemr Aircraft.

Patent illustration of the Skreemr Aircraft.

Do you travel a lot, but hate how long it takes to actually fly anywhere? This new concept could be perfect for you! The aircraft is called the Skreemr and "a transatlantic journey could take as little as half an hour." As of now, it is just an idea, but the patent illustration is above. The illustration basically describes the types of engines that will be incorporated into the Skreemr. Also, the aircraft would travel faster than the speed of sound! 

Read on to find out more about the Skreemr aircraft! 

 

NASA & Heartbeat Passwords

Patent Illustration for NASA's Heartbeat Passwords technology. 

Patent Illustration for NASA's Heartbeat Passwords technology. 

Did you know that NASA has what is called a "Technology Transfer Program?" Essentially, NASA makes it "free for small companies to borrow technology from the agency." With the vast amount of technology that NASA has created, the possibilities of what could be used on Earth are astounding. For instance, NASA has a patent for Heartbeat Password technology.  This technology will be used through a "software application" that "uses 192 different parameters to identify a person using the waves created by their heart beating." Think about all of the possibilities for this technology! The above picture is the illustration for the patent, which attempts to show how the technology will work. 

Read on to see other patents that NASA has made available to small businesses!

An Apple Car?

"An illustration of what the displays may look like in the Apple Car."

"An illustration of what the displays may look like in the Apple Car."

Apple is known for their innovation and technology, and for them, the possibility of cars is not an exception. Although Apple creating a car is not news, the linked article shows a list of potential patents with their related illustrations, some of which are newer, and some of which are older. The above illustration is for a possible display in the car. It it called a "programmable tactile touchscreen display and man machine interfaces for improved vehicle instrumentation and telematics (2009)." Although similar to some of what we see in newer cars today, it is "more than just a regular touchscreen." Other features will be offered within the touchscreen, making it even  more technologically advanced. 

The other patents and their illustrations that are listed in the article show even more technology that could be incorporated into the car. Some of the other patents include the car potentially being linked with your phone, which could be able to "tell you the cars coordinates." Would you want to drive an Apple car if one were ever produced? 

Apple & the Future of Homes

Have you ever sat down and thought about what technology will actually be like in the future? In this new patent from Apple, found in the linked article, there seems to be technology that will make the future easier for all of us. Although Apple does not follow through on every patent, think of a world in which you walk into a room and there are no switches and no wires in the walls. Instead, there is a projector that literally, well, projects a light switch onto the wall. This "switch" will also house controls for other systems, such as the television and the air conditioning/ heating system. Think about how different this would be from what we are used to now!

Also, notice the level of detail in the patent illustration that is attached. Imagine just reading the patent. That could be confusing! Instead, we are given a patent illustration that shows exactly how the system would work. This illustration even depicts decorations in the house! The importance of a patent illustration is shown here. Without one, we would not be able to understand the patent as well as we do. 

The Future of Contacts?

As the future progresses, we see some inventions that were dreamt up and failed (so far), such as the hover board, and some inventions that were never thought up in the past at all, but that could change our lives forever. This article details the patent for a new pair of contact lenses from Google. While we have seen inventions similar to this in some sic-fi movies, "solar powered contact lenses" were not really thought about as the future when we look at movies such as "Back to the Future." 

Not only are these contact lenses solar powered, but they also have many other functions, as listed in the article. For instance, these contacts could have the ability to "monitor body temperature," "scan barcodes," and "authenticate identities when logging into devices." 

This article gives a sense of just how important patents and innovation are in the world that we live in. Without patents, intellectual property would be stolen repeatedly. Without innovation, we would live in a world with no invention and no technology.