They're clever. They're creative. And some of them are just plain bizarre. How come we can't yet buy products based on these patents?
Getting all emotional
Various digital cameras now incorporate smile-detection technology. Controller-free gesture detection is coming soon to a game console near you.
Sony's emotion-detecting patent combines aspects of both ideas, using a webcam and a microphone to help your PlayStation 3 determine whether you're busting a gut with laughter, seething with anger, or half-dozing with ennui.
Presumably, PS3 titles of the future will then adjust the game play in response to your mood.
Here's an idea: maybe Sky could license the technology and use it to gauge your taste in movies, and then record ones that match your preferences?
Chuckling up a storm at a comedy would be a good sign; doing the same in response to a drama, not so much.
The Lego supercomputer
Normally, we wouldn't expect to get all that excited over an IBM patent for a technology designed to help data centres conserve energy and space.
We're kind of smitten with this one, though. It involves computers, storage, and other electronics built into brick-shaped modules that snap together.
When a company needed more computing power, all it would have to do is stack up more bricks.
The patent explains that the bricks can be assembled into cubes, walls, towers and L-shaped formations, practically inviting IT people to get creative.
NEXT PAGE: Well armed
- Clever and creative, why can't we buy the products based on these patents yet?
- Heckler's delight
- Getting all emotional
- Well armed
- Personal zipper network