Social media comics, server ship, camera cane, virtual keyboard on the arm, tattoo with a microphone and much more. All these are patents for amazing programs and devices that will soon enter our lives thanks to Google Corporation.
Search engine giant Google is known far beyond its websites and applications for mobile gadgets. During 2013 alone, scientists and engineers at the corporation received an average of 10 patents daily from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Most of them concern the improvement of the Android mobile operating system, as well as search programs and other network services. But the corporation also has many patents for various gadgets, such as Google Glass, contact lenses for diabetics or self-driving cars.
Many of these devices will no doubt have a big impact on the quality of life of our generation. But there are those, at the sight of which you just want to scratch your head in bewilderment.
We present a list of seven of the most unusual patents that Google has received over the past few years.
Updating social media statuses with comics
It seems that the times are passing by when people just wrote regular text messages in statuses about getting a new job, taking a vacation in Italy or visiting a dentist.
Back in 2010, Google applied for a patent for the technology "Automatic creation of comics by users in social networks and other forms of communication."
According to this application, users will be able to choose a relevant topic, and the program will provide them with ready-made comic strips, the title and text of which can be changed to their liking. The patent was issued in 2013, but the corporation has not yet launched the corresponding application.
Millions of people who use search engines or watch videos on YouTube are unlikely to think that every action they take costs the corporation a lot of electricity. Google spends several million megawatt hours each year just serving its customers.
The Hydropower Data Center patent likely reflects CEOs' concerns about electricity costs. Google intends to place some of its servers on a ship that will convert energy from the constant ebb and flow into electricity.
News agencies in October 2013 already reported that the company was building a strange four-story structure on one of the barges in the San Francisco Bay. Whether the corporation is going to repeat the famous "Philadelphia Experiment" or is building its long-awaited server-ship is still unclear.
Google Glass, augmented reality glasses, will soon radically change the daily life of its users, as conceived by their creators. It is quite possible that within a few years Google Glass will become as common a gadget as mobile phones in our time.
But when using them, a number of problems can arise. How, for example, to give a voice command to "smart glasses" if you are at a noisy party?
Google decided to take care of that too.
Thanks to a patent obtained last year, smart glasses will be able to project a virtual keyboard onto a client's hand, if necessary, effectively turning it into an analog of a touch screen for a smartphone.
Tattoo with built-in microphone
Another opportunity to transmit commands in a noisy place is provided by the original tattoo, patented by Google. Inc two years ago.A small printed circuit on the skin of the throat will include a microphone and a wireless transmitter that will allow the user to control their smartphone in even a very low voice.
The new invention will also help employers and law enforcement agencies: if you add a small galvanic sensor with an LED to a tattoo, the circuit will turn into an excellent lie detector.
A collection of photographs from the Google Maps service literally revealed the most secret corners of the world for the citizens of the Web. Now you can virtually travel around one-story America or the African savannah without getting up from a comfortable chair.
In addition to Google cars photographing neighborhoods on the roads and city streets of many countries around the world, the corporation has also used tourists who use special cameras installed in backpacks to shoot 360-degree panoramas in the mountains and valleys of North America - where no SUV.
But Google. Inc. even that was not enough. In 2013, the company received a patent for a trekking pole with built-in sensors to determine the location, and cameras that take pictures whenever the stick touches the ground.
The new technology will help not only photographers working for a corporation, but also ordinary tourists, as well as elderly people who use a cane while walking.
Restaurant bill splitting software
Imagine you went to a restaurant with a group of friends. The waiter brings the bill at the end of the celebration, each of the participants at the same time lays out the amount for his order. But what if someone forgot what they ordered? It also happens that someone does not have enough cash - do not give everyone their credit card for payment?
To avoid such unpleasant scenes in the future, Google last year received a patent for a smartphone application that not only calculates exactly how much everyone owes the restaurant, but also allows you to automatically transfer the required amount to the account of one of the guests of the restaurant, and he then calmly pays the waiter the required amount from your credit card.
Heart from hands
The famous gesture became a trademark for country singer Taylor Swift, which did not stop the giant search engine from filing a patent application for a heart out of hand in 2011.
But unlike the pop star, Google isn't going to use it to declare love to its fans. The "heart" will serve as a gesture command for Google Glass - to take a snapshot of the object of interest, which can then be immediately published, for example, on a social network or sent to one of your friends.