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Automotive

Porsche’s electric plans decoded

While this month's news of plans for an electric-powered Porsche sent the traditional car press into a frenzy of speculation there’s been little substance behind the talk of which direction an all-electric model might take, with many suggesting the company will opt for a Panamera-like Tesla rival. But a spate of patent applications from the firm reveal that in fact it may be working on something far more like a battery-powered 911 – right down to the trademark rear-mounted powerplant.Read More

Drones

Disney may use the magic of drones in future theme park shows

The weird and wonderful world of Disney may be about to get a little more weird and wonderful, depending on how you feel about drones. The Walt Disney Company has filed three patents suggesting it may intend to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to control giant marionettes, replace fireworks and suspend floating displays in its future theme park shows. Read More

Apple patents earbuds with fitness-tracking tech

We recently featured a set of fitness tracking earbuds called The Dash. Now, a new patent has surfaced from Apple that locks down similar technology, citing "an audio output device configured to be positioned within a user's ear; a monitoring system located in substantially close proximity to the audio output device." Read More

Medical

Landmark decision? US Supreme Court rules human genes cannot be patented

In what is being ballyhooed as a landmark decision likely to set the course of DNA-based diagnostic and therapeutic medicine for the next several decades, the US Supreme Court unanimously decided on June 13 that human genes are not patentable. Rather than objects invented or discovered, human genes are henceforth to be treated as "naturally occurring phenomena," and hence fail the patentability test under 35 USC 101. As is usual in patent cases, however, the ruling contains delicate shades of meaning.Read More

Mobile Technology

No more screen-smash: Apple files patent for self-righting iPhone

In a move that may just stoke a faint ember of optimism in anyone unlucky enough to have suffered from a case of smashed iPhone screen syndrome, Apple has filed a U.S. patent application for a protective mechanism that would "selectively alter a center of mass of" an electronic device, and which goes on to describe various aeronautics-inspired means by which a device such as an iPhone might self-right when dropped.Read More

Electronics

Sony patents universal 3D glasses

Sony has filed a US patent for 3D glasses that can be used with any 3D TV set. The glasses use a variety of downloadable software and interchangeable modules that hold out the promise of cheaper 3D glasses that aren't tied to a single receiver model. Read More

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