Apple’s latest idea to reduce the size of its MacBook is by using a novel retractable keyboard.

In this week’s featured patents, we cover the latest patent applications from IBM, Samsung, Microsoft, Apple, Novartis, Roche, Medtronic, and Boston Scientific

Apple Pursues Patents for Retractable Keyboards and Reality Interfaces for Controlling Devices

U.S. patent application, 20200201399, discloses a retractable keyboard including movable magnetic or mechanical linkage elements, which are configured to reposition the keycaps and stabilizers between different positions. Structures in a movable layer allow the keycaps and stabilizers to retract to a flush position for storage thereby saving space in MacBooks. Sectional side views of a MacBook with the retractable keyboard are depicted below.

Another application, US20200201444, discusses a process for controlling an external device using a computer-generated reality interface. A user device captures a first image representing the external device and a second image identifying a gesture occurring between the display and the external device. The external device is caused to perform a function based on the identified gesture, as shown below.

Samsung Files a Patent for Controlling an Augmented Reality (AR) Apparatus Based on Action Prediction

U.S. application, 20200202119, discloses a method for controlling an AR apparatus by acquiring a video, detecting a human body from the video, predicting an action performed by the body, controlling the AR apparatus based on the prediction, and mapping the predicted actions and AR functions. The illustration below, depicts application scenes of a third-person video.

Microsoft Seeks a Patent for an Interactive Viewing and Editing System

U.S. patent application, 20200201522, discloses a tool for interacting with a rendered representation of a real-world environment. A user can indicate the size and position of a zoom window within the representation, wherein the zoom window provides a magnified view of a portion of the representation. The figure below illustrates a display with a repositioned zoom window.

IBM Files a Patent for an Automatic Slide Page Progression Method Based on Verbal and Visual Cues

U.S. patent application, 20200201598, discloses a method for controlling navigation of a visual aid during a presentation by evaluating verbal and visual cues of a speaker indicative of the end of a presentation slide and displaying the next slide at the appropriate time. A framework for controlling navigation of a visual aid during a presentation is depicted below.

Medtronic Seeks Patents for Systems for Gesture Control and Wearable Physiological Monitoring

U.S. patent application, 20200201447, relates to a medical system with a user interface that mitigates errors in gesture inputs by a clinician’s hand using a gesture control mode. The system controls medical procedure actions based on a clinician’s gesture inputs. The figure below illustrates the system.

Another application, US20200196920, describes a physiological characteristic monitoring system that includes a wearable device having a physiological characteristic sensor, a sensor connector, and a controller. The controller receives the sensor signals and determines a current value of the physiological characteristic based on the sensor signals. The figure below illustrates the wearable monitoring system.

Boston Scientific Aims to Patent a Surgical Laser Tool

U.S. patent application, 20200197093, discloses a surgical tool that includes a laser source that generates laser energy, a fiber catheter configured to acquire optical feedback and deliver laser energy to the treatment site, and an analytical device that is configured to analyze reflected light from the treatment site. The tool is illustrated in the image below.

Roche Pursues a Patent on a Combination Therapy

U.S. patent application, 20200199215, presents a combination therapy that contains human angiopoietin 2 (ANG-2) antibodies and a CD40 agonist. The combination therapy is used for treating or delaying the progression of cancer in a patient.

Novartis Files a Patent for the Use of Canakinumab

U.S. patent application, 20200199220, relates to canakinumab for use in preventing recurrent cardiovascular events in a patient with elevated high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) that has suffered a myocardial infarction.