Microsoft’s patent application on smart speakers surfaces against the backdrop of Cortana shutting down.

In this week’s featured patents, we cover the latest patent applications from Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Apple, Medtronic, Novartis, Roche, Merck, and Abbott.

Microsoft Eyes a Patent for Smart Speaker System with Microphone Room Calibration

U.S. patent application, 20200275205, discloses a smart speaker that includes a microphone array and optical sensors to determine distances of the surfaces from the speaker. Based on the determined distances, the operation of one or more microphones may be controlled so as to avoid undesirable reverberations. The figures below illustrate a perspective view of the speaker system and placement of the speaker near wall surfaces in a room.

IBM Files a Patent Related to In-vehicle Environmental Adjustment to Harmonize with the Destination Environmental Conditions

U.S. patent application, 20200269653, discloses a method for regulating internal environmental conditions within a vehicle based on external environmental conditions of an expected destination using vehicle sensors and the comfort level of occupants. The figure below illustrates a block diagram of the components and analysis utilized by an environmental conditions analysis module.

Intel Seeks a Patent for a Sleep Management Device

U.S. patent application, 20200268341, discloses a sleep management device that detects one or more wake events, selects a wake routine associated with the wake event, and executes the corresponding wake routine by modulating an output of a display for a specific duration. The figure below depicts an example of an environment for using a sleep management device.

Apple Aims to Patent a Method for Manipulating User Interface Objects on Display Devices

U.S. patent application, 20200272293, presents a method for navigating a user interface of a device, such as a watch, based on the movements of a crown. The movements may include crown rotations, pushing, pulling, touching, and tilting, as depicted below.

 

Novartis Seeks a Patent for Treatment of Cancer using an Antibody-Cytokine Engrafted Protein Molecule

U.S. patent application, 20200270334, discloses a method for treatment of cancer through the parenteral administration of an antibody-cytokine engrafted protein wherein the IL-2 cytokine is engrafted onto the CDR region of the VH or the VL chain of the antibody.

Roche Pursues a Patent for an Automatic Analyzer

U.S. patent application, 20200271683, describes an automatic analyzer having a sample vessel transport mechanism, a reagent vessel transport mechanism, a reaction vessel transport mechanism including a reaction bath, a sample dispensing mechanism, a reagent dispensing mechanism, a display unit, an operation input portion, a memory and an operation control unit. The figure below depicts the general structure of the automatic analyzer.

Abbott Files a Patent For Biological Sample Integrity Evaluation Systems and Methods

U.S. patent application, 20200271570, discloses a system for evaluating biological sample integrity using a scanner that detects a sample container including a sample, and a sensor that detects a label coupled to a surface of the container, and further determines the sample’s properties such as sample volume or sample color. The figure below shows the scanner for use in connection with the system described above.

Medtronic Eyes a Patent for an Injectable Biocompatible Sensor

U.S. patent application, 20200268256, discloses a wireless patient monitoring system with an injectable biocompatible sensor for measuring and communicating physiological data in a body lumen. The tubular sensor comprises multiple biomedical sensory elements that measure fluid characteristics flowing through the sensor lumen, a microprocessor, and an antenna to power the microprocessor. The figures below depict the biocompatible sensor system injected within a body lumen as disclosed above.

Merck Wants to Patent a Variable, Multi-Dose Microtablet Dispenser

U.S. patent application, 20200268612, describes a microtablet dispenser comprising a microtablet reservoir disc with several wells arranged in an array, a screen plate having one opening shaped to expose all of the wells of one of the arrays when aligned, and a dose selector plate including dosing apertures arranged in dosing arrays of different patterns. The figure below depicts a microtablet reservoir disc as disclosed above.