What the latest tech patents say about the future

PayPal wants you to buy stuff through AR. Ford wants to make cars smell better. Amazon is improving its “no checkout” tech.


July 12, 2021

Trends member Neer Sharma has been rounding up the best corporate patents every week for his must-read newsletter Patent Drop.

Here are recent findings:

PayPal is souping up AR shopping

With this new patent, fintech giant PayPal wants to facilitate payments within augmented reality (AR) glasses:

“Imagine you’re wearing AR glasses as you walk down the street. A stranger passes you by in a cool, pastel-painted, vintage bicycle.

As you look at it, a message appears in your AR glasses – “this is for sale for $100!”. You think to yourself – “wow, this completes my nomad, hipster garments. I gotta buy it”. And through your AR glasses, you make an offer on the bicycle.”

Ford with a VERY forward-looking patent 

In anticipation of a world where car sharing is ubiquitous, Ford has a patent for “odor mitigation”. 

The automaker is offering up 2 potential solutions: 

  • An e-nose (AKA electrochemical nose) uses sensors to detect certain scents. It then deals with the smell via a filtration or air freshener system. 
  • Another option is using something called the human nose. Riders are asked to flag offending smells, which the odor mitigation system can deal with the next time it senses it. 

The next frontier of Amazon’s convenience store 

Amazon’s convenience store (Go) already lets customers enter, shop, and exit without using checkout. Off-the-shelf items are automatically tallied via computer vision and AI. 

A recent patent from the company adds a new wrinkle: it wants to let customers do “no checkout” with customized orders like a made-to-order deli sandwich.

Sounds delicious (and convenient). 

Join 1.5m+ professionals getting The Hustle daily news brief

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

100% free, no ads or spam, unsubscribe anytime

Psst

How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

Join us, it's free.

Look, you came to this site because you saw something cool. But here’s the deal. This site is actually a daily email that covers the important news in business, tech, and culture.

So, if you like what you’re reading, give the email a try.

If you don’t like it, unsubscribe any time. Privacy policy.