One way to see the future? Track corporate patents

Check out the latest corporate patents from Facebook, Google, and Spotify.


December 23, 2020

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

Here are some of Sharma’s recent findings, with the first 2 patents exclusive for readers of The Hustle:

Facebook’s animatronic eye

A realistic mechanical eye that can either track the eye movements of a user, or be trained on a real human’s eye movements so as to look realistic.

Why? It looks like it might be used as a way to train, measure, and track the quality of the eye-tracking systems within VR headsets.

(P.S. Not legal advice, but if Zuck-sauce doesn’t want FB painted in a negative light, he should probably consider less ominous-looking patents.)

Google’s crossword generator

Google already knows everything about us, so obviously it has a patent for a crossword generator that can be tailored specifically to users’ interests. 

For example, if you’re interested in politics, Google could generate a crossword that helps you test how well you understand what’s going on in the world at the moment.

(In semi-related news: The New York Times launched an AR-enabled crossword puzzle for Instagram). 

Spotify — pairing video with music based on emotions

Spotify is looking at recommending music based on the emotions displayed within user-generated video, and vice versa.

So let’s imagine you’ve taken a video on your phone. Under Spotify’s filing, they would extract the latent emotions expressed within the video, and give you back a video clip with appropriate music added to it.

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