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Ten Weird Patents That Google Owns





Take a look at Ten Weird Patents That Google Owns

#10. Social Networking Updates by Comic Strips

#10. Social Networking Updates by Comic Strips

Back in ancient times - in online social networking terms, that's about 2006 - it was really cool to post a text message on Facebook to inform all your friends that you were vacationing in Hawaii, starting a new job or getting a mole removed at the dermatologist's office. But now that we've all read countless status updates, that medium has gotten a little, well, mundane. That may be why Google in 2010 filed a patent for a technology called "Self-Creation of Comic Strips in Social Networks and Other Communications." The latter would allow a social network user to post a multipanel cartoon online across a variety of networks.

#9. Floating Wave-powered Server Farm

#9. Floating Wave-powered Server Farm

Every time you do a Google search for cute cat pictures, watch a YouTube video or send a message via Gmail, Google has to use electricity to provide those services. The global information giant burned up about 2.26 million megawatt-hours in 2010 - about the quarter of the output of a typical nuclear power plant. Perhaps to reduce its utility bills, Google filed a patent application for a "Water-Based Data Center" in 2008. The latter would consist of a barge or cargo ship equipped to capture energy from tides and convert it to electricity, which then would be used to power row after row of computer servers for Google's global information network.



#8. Gadget That Projects Keyboard Onto Your Hand

#8. Gadget That Projects Keyboard Onto Your Hand

Google Glass, the technology giant's realized vision of a wearable, voice and gesture-activated computer with an optical head-mounted display that would resemble a pair of eyeglasses, would make us all into the equivalent of Tony Stark in the "Iron Man" movies. But while that might theoretically free us from being deskbound and even from having to carry hand-held devices such as smartphones and tablets, in practice there still would be a tricky downside. Not to worry, though. In 2013, Google filed for a patent for a technology called "Methods and Systems for a Virtual Input Device," in which the Google Glass headset would project a virtual keyboard onto a user's hand, turning it into a virtual smartphone-style touchscreen for the user's other hand.



#7. Throat Tattoo Microphone With Optional Lie Detector

#7. Throat Tattoo Microphone With Optional Lie Detector

The animated TV series "Futurama" once jokingly suggested that future smartphone users would have an "eye-Phone" attached to their eyeballs, but Google's idea of implanting a microphone in users' throats isn't that much more far-out of a notion. The 2012 application by Google's Motorola Mobility subsidiary, titled "Coupling an Electronic Skin Tattoo to a Mobile Communication Device," would attach a digital tattoo - essentially, a tiny printed circuit - to the skin on the outside of a user's throat.

#6. Image-capturing Walking Stick

#6. Image-capturing Walking Stick

In 2013 however, Google was granted a patent for a device that would make shooting such landscapes far easier. The application, titled "Walking Stick with IMU [inertial measurement unit]," basically is just that - a staff with embedded cameras and location sensors, coupled with a switch at the bottom that causes the cameras to snap pictures whenever the stick taps the ground. While the gadget could be used by Google's own photographers, the patent application notes that similar technology could be repurposed in canes, crutches and other mobility devices used by disabled people. This would allow them to shoot and transmit pictures while their hands were otherwise occupied or if they had a condition that made it difficult to operate a camera.

#5. Sound, Light and Temperature Advertisement Generator

#5. Sound, Light and Temperature Advertisement Generator

In a 2008 patent application titled "Advertising Based on Environmental Conditions," Google envisions equipping smartphones and other devices with a sensor that would detect temperature, humidity, sound, light, and/or the chemical composition of the air around a user. The mobile device would transmit that data back to Google, which then would use it to send ads targeted to the user's particular settings. For example, if you're in a hot, humid locale, you might see an ad pop on your screen from an air conditioning manufacturer. And if you use your mobile phone while you're at an Adele concert, the technology could send you ads for music by other British female singers or for restaurants close to the concert hall.

#4. Software for Splitting Restaurant Bills

#4. Software for Splitting Restaurant Bills

This ever happened to you? You go to a restaurant with a bunch of friends, and the waiter will not allow split checks. So you offer to pay the bill, expecting to be reimbursed by the rest of the party for their share. The tricky part is, some of the group may "forget" to pay you back. But don't worry; your days of reminding your friends to cough up may be coming to an end, thanks to a solution being developed by Google. In 2013, the company applied for a patent called "Tracking and Managing Group Expenditures." It envisions a software app - presumably for smartphones - that not only calculates how much is owed to the person who is paying the waiter, but also automatically transfers the money to that person's online account. Now all you have to do is get your friends to install this app before dining.

#3. Pay-per-gaze Advertising Tracking System

#3. Pay-per-gaze Advertising Tracking System

In 2013, Google was awarded a patent for a "gaze tracking system" in which a head-mounted device - presumably part of a computer system with video capabilities, such as Google Glass - would capture everything that the wearer gazes at, with an eye to spotting advertisements. (These either could be ads projected by the wearable computer, or else billboards, signs on bus kiosks, and other physical objects.) The system then would record how long the user looked at each ad, and possibly measure the degree of pupil dilation to determine how much of an emotional response the ad evoked.

#2. Virtual Assistant That Tweets and Posts on Facebook

#2. Virtual Assistant That Tweets and Posts on Facebook

Wouldn't it be so much easier if your computer or smartphone helped you out? Once again, Google seems eager to come to the rescue. In 2011, the company sought a patent for "Automated Generation of Suggestions for Personalized Reactions in a Social Network." The technology would look at others' postings, dig up related information about the topics, and then automatically suggest "personalized" responses to them, based upon the app's recollection of how you've responded to postings in the past. When the program wanted to make a post, it would notify you first and ask for your approval. That precaution would save you the embarrassment of having your electronic clone post a seemingly intimate birthday greeting to a Facebook friend that you barely know.

#1. The Heart-hand Gesture

#1. The Heart-hand Gesture

Singer Taylor Swift may have popularized the gesture of using the hands to make the shape of a heart, but that hasn't stopped Google from trying to patent it. The company filed an application in 2011 titled "Hand Gestures to Signify What is Important," which seeks to lay claim to "a hand gesture forming an area bounded by two hands in a shape of a symbolic heart." But unlike Swift, Google isn't intending that move to be used to signify affection for a celebrity boyfriend, whom you eventually will break up with and then excoriate in song lyrics. Instead, it wants wearers of its Google Glass device to be able to make the gesture at an object - say, a grande latte at Starbucks - in their head-mounted video camera's field of view and highlight it, capturing a snapshot of it. The Google Glass wearer could then use the device to post the picture on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.





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