Looking across the likes of Samsung, Apple, Microsoft and Google, musicMagpie has researched the patents filed by tech giants in the past eight years to see what the future holds for our phones and other technology.

Germ-killing phones

Used as constantly as they are, smartphones end up covered in bacteria, and most of us are guilty of not cleaning them properly. Microsoft filed a patent in 2011 for an automatic smartphone disinfectant. This would involve ultraviolet light bouncing between a film and the touchscreen, disinfecting fingertips in the process.

automatic smartphone disinfectant.1

Squeezable phones

Smartphone stress ball anyone? In 2012, Samsung filed a patent that would allow the user to squeeze or stretch a phone enabling different functions within the model, and therefore adding an unusual element to the way consumers interact with their smartphones.

Squeezable phone

Vein recognition

First there was the passcode, then the thumbprint. Next? Vein recognition. Samsung filed a patent in 2015 that would allow the brand’s wearable tech devices to recognise users through the unique pattern of veins on the back of their hands.

vein recognition2

Technology that gets under your skin

In 2012, Motorola filed a patent for a throat tattoo microphone meaning that the vibrations of your voice would be taken straight from the larynx and to the handset. What’s more, in 2014 Google filed a patent for an eye implant. This would be a lens that sits on the surface of the iris, bringing your smartphone menu right onto the eye itself.

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eye implant.1

Wink, wave and unlock

Gesture recognition isn’t particularly new to the market but Google and Apple appear to be pushing the boundaries of what we already know. In 2014 Apple began to develop technology where a flick of a finger to your ear will answer a call or waving up and down can change the volume. Similarly, in 2012 Google filed a patent that will allow the front-facing camera to observe and read our expressions. It would know and recognise us specifically, and we could even unlock it by giving it a wink or a smile.

facial gesture recognition1

Other technology

But it isn’t just phones that the industry’s tech giants are working on. musicMagpie also found a number of other interesting technology patents. For example, in 2014 Google filed a patent for a vehicle safety glue. This means a membrane of glue is coated onto the bonnet of cars to ensure that if a pedestrian was struck, they’d stick to the car, so as to catch them rather than strike them down.

glue on cars.1

Further to this, HP filed a patent to artificially recreate the sense of touch. Built from a next-generation material of sensor fabric, this could give inanimate objects and robots the sense of touch, and could be used on prosthetic limbs.


wearable robot legs2

The future certainly looks exciting, if not a little bit Men in Black.


All pictures courtesy of musicMagpie