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Bezos Patenting 'Dumb' Tablets, Glasses, Windshields

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the insert-x-terminal-joke-here dept.

Books 87

theodp writes "GeekWire reports on Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' pending patent on remote displays that communicate with base stations and operate on wireless power. Reducing devices to mere screens with minimal storage that receive pre-rendered content (e.g., bitmap images), the patent application explains, eliminates the need for bulky batteries or processors, and employing techniques like electromagnetic or electrostatic induction allows one to cut the cord completely. Such remote displays, Amazon suggests, could find a home on college campuses (tablets), in your car (windshield displays or DVD players), and even on your face (eyeglasses)." There's already a (not wirelessly powered) device similar to the one described in the patent.

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Great, he's re-invented the X station of yore (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43279789)

$SUBJECT says it all.

I'm thoroughly impressed.

Re:Great, he's re-invented the X station of yore (4, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#43279811)

Hey, it's more innovative than "1-click"...at least we're heading in the right direction!

Re:Great, he's re-invented the X station of yore (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year and a half ago | (#43279843)

It's about innovative as this [wikipedia.org] , which has been around since the 60s in one form or another.

Re:Great, he's re-invented the X station of yore (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about a year and a half ago | (#43279865)

Neither the X station nor the dumb terminal "receive pre-rendered content".

The iWatch, however.... to me this looks like a pre-emptive strike against Apple.

Re:Great, he's re-invented the X station of yore (4, Informative)

Mkx (614118) | about a year and a half ago | (#43279897)

Neither the X station nor the dumb terminal "receive pre-rendered content".

You're not entirely right. They both receive partly pre-rendered content. Dumb terminals receive data about which character they need to display at certain (relative) screen location, however the shape of characters is done by terminals. X terminals receive parts of display content pre-rendered as bitmaps, they don't invent any of contents. Indeed they don't receive exact display contents in full and every time (eg. acording to refresh rate), they need to re-assemble full display content from incremental updates received from the mainframe/X client ...

Re:Great, he's re-invented the X station of yore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43281727)

"..they need to re-assemble full display content from incremental updates received from the mainframe/X client..."

Yes, dumbshit, they need to ~render~ it.

Re:Great, he's re-invented the X station of yore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43279899)

The iWatch, however.... to me this looks like a pre-emptive strike against Apple.

Apple haven't said they're making a watch - lots of other people have. Google, Samsung, LG - and a bunch of journalists who haven't anything else to write about.

The iWatch could be a complete hoax

Re:Great, he's re-invented the X station of yore (1)

Alumoi (1321661) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280385)

Of course Apple said nothing, they are waiting for the product to gain popularity then wham! sue for patent infringement.

Re:Great, he's re-invented the X station of yore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43279933)

"receive pre-rendered content"
Isn't that television ?

Almost all thin clients technologies use server-side rendering and a VNC-like protocol these days...
Giving them a new power-source don't make them new and innovative...

Pre-rendered? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43279971)

So it's more like a TV set or a VGA display?

About time someone patented that. I mean: so much intellectual property going to waste. What a pity!

Re:Great, he's re-invented the X station of yore (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280047)

Even if terminals don't, monitors do(and, while it may have shown up earlier in specific proprietary or embedded systems, Embedded DisplayPort 1.3 even includes "Panel Self Refresh", a power-saving feature where the LCD panel itself has enough memory to store a single frame, to avoid the GPU having to keep the link active just to keep displaying a static image).

The developers of RFB(best known now as the basis of VNC) might also have a thing or two to say about the originality of a dumb client device that receives pre-rendered content(yes, VNC can operate in more sophisticated ways, updating only parts of the screen and using image compression; but at its dumbest it doesn't have to).

Re:Great, he's re-invented the X station of yore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43280207)

Right, and a pdf file is generated every tie it's displayed.

CruisePad (2)

MDMurphy (208495) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280757)

I was thinking more like this: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/bibuxton/buxtoncollection/detail.aspx?id=178 [microsoft.com]

"Rather than a free-standing slate/tablet computer, the Zenith CruisePAD was a remote terminal to one's PC. It was designed to allow the user to interact with that PC's applications from a distance over a wireless network. What made it interesting to me was that it let one do so directly on the CruisePAD's screen, using either a stylus or finger."

Re:Great, he's re-invented the X station of yore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43280499)

But this is totally different! It's on a computer... erm, I mean, mobile device!

{shudder}
I just had a terrible vision of the future, where all old things are patented for the third time, because /this time/ it is on a tablet or cellphone.

Well, the patent lawyers should be happy anyway. And isn't making lawyers happy what this country is all about?

Re:Great, he's re-invented the X station of yore (1)

Technician (215283) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280025)

Wireless power, Check - Solar, Web, Check, Prior art..

http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/627880918/VMS_Australian_standard_highway_running_direction.html [alibaba.com]

1. Function and Technology Character

  (1) Multiplied file formats, such as AVI, MOV, MPG, DAT, VOB are comprehensive, and also we have three display mode as VGA+VIDE and VGA. There are also interfaces for Sound signal and video signal, including CVBS, S-Video, VGA, DVI, HDMI.
  (2) 8 bits controller: 4096 grade grey control system and the color is over 16.7 millions, and the brightness, contrast, saturation, chroma can be adjusted by manual and sensor, whose scope is 256 grade.
  (3) 16 bits controller: the color is over 281 trillions, high brightness, and very high contrast.
  (4) Show all kinds of word, text, graph, picture, video, 2-dimention, 3-dimention cartoon and other information with your PC does synchronously.
  (5) Line-Double technology is adopted for the picture adjustment.
  (6) Can be connected with PC and the web net and show the content, and also can be controlled remotely via VPM+ADSL. (One-Sever-AnyClients supported)
  (7) Can be used outdoor in all kinds of weather, and excellent capability of antisepsis, waterproof.
  (8) Calibration function supported.

Re:Great, he's re-invented the X station of yore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43286039)

Bezos has patented reduced functionality of existing technology... if he uses that to hinder development of products that do that and more I'll be pissed.

Maybe he's just doing his part to kill patents altogether? He tried killing software patents with 1-click and somehow that didn't work.

Re:Great, he's re-invented the X station of yore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43280415)

These kinds of patents are insanity to me, and its just government catering to large corporations and thus allowing them to get larger.

What novel process did this display invent? For a physical world analogy--it's no more than taking three fabric weaves and stitching them together in a fashionable way, and claiming its patented. eLvis doesn't get to do this, why should amazon (or other tech groups).

Re:Great, he's re-invented the X station of yore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43280165)

No, what he's done is set up a way to litigate someone for using a remote x-window over wireless using unix redirection commands.

Re:Great, he's re-invented the X station of yore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43280193)

Did Bezos buy SCO?

What was that Sony thing called? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43280239)

You know, it plugged into a computers screen port and was a portable dumb screen receiving video content and sending back raw mouse coords, exactly as 'invented' by Bezo, it didn't sell. I wish I could remember what it was called.

Then Microsoft copied it but added extra smarts and tried to milk another windows license. So that the user could drive the main screen and portable screen separately, and that failed too.

And now Bezos has a patent on such a device... whose only uniqueness is that its wirelessly powered. And the patent office has granted it?

Bezos and his 1 click non inventions.

Re:What was that Sony thing called? (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280277)

And now Bezos has a patent on such a device...

No. 'Pending'

Re:Great, he's re-invented the X station of yore (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#43285647)

$SUBJECT says it all.

I'm thoroughly impressed.

It's different because it says "wireless"

Bezos is remarkable! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43279793)

Even though he's a CEO, working 24/7 on that job, he still has time to invent all these things and patent them?

Incredible!

Re:Bezos is remarkable! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43279969)

He truly is the Thomas Edison of our time.

Re:Bezos is remarkable! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43280595)

Thomas Edison used to file patents for the work done by his employees.

Re:Bezos is remarkable! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43280747)

It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's the sound of a joke passing over your head!!

Re:Bezos is remarkable! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43280881)

If I'm paying you to work for me by coming up with stuff, why can I not also make the arrangement that any patentable ideas are mine as well?

Re:Bezos is remarkable! (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about a year and a half ago | (#43282901)

If I'm paying you to work for me by coming up with stuff, why can I not also make the arrangement that any patentable ideas are mine as well?

The way it normally works is that the "inventor" is the employee(s) that did the work and the "assignee" is the company that they work for.

Re:Bezos is remarkable! (1)

arielCo (995647) | about a year and a half ago | (#43284945)

Re:Bezos is remarkable! (1)

knorthern knight (513660) | about a year and a half ago | (#43285603)

> Or Kim Jong-Il

That's an old article from 2009. Back then Kim Jong was ill. Today he's dead.

Re:Bezos is remarkable! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43280625)

Nah, anyone of at least average IQ could have invented something as obvious as this during their lunch hour. Especially after having read about Google Glass. Or any of the prior art.

Wii U Tablet (2)

meerling (1487879) | about a year and a half ago | (#43279809)

Hmm... Like the Wii U tablet?
I'm not impressed, I sure hope the patent people don't fall for this one.

Re:Wii U Tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43280477)

The WiiU tablet is powered by batteries. Not the same.

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43279813)

Dumb tablets for dumb people.

Wow, he's on a tear (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43279819)

This is Bezo's second patent application this month. [slashdot.org] .

Maybe he got a hold of this book [amazon.com] ?

Impressive... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#43279851)

Don't we call a 'dumb tablet' a "monitor"? Y'know, those crazy devices that have(ever since the earliest digital displays, even if you don't want to count the analog ones), explicitly depended on a more capable device to directly fill a tiny amount of storage(corresponding to one frame worth, sometimes less if there is a clever timing sync involved) with the necessary data?

Christ, Bezos, just swapping a wire for a wireless link doesn't make it novel...

Re:Impressive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43279943)

There's already wireless monitors too (WiDi)

Re:Impressive... (2, Insightful)

gsgriffin (1195771) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280229)

read more carefully...powered wirelessly. This means that a hunk of plastic with no power can display an image delivered and powered by something else. I want one!!!! Sounds very different amazing...if it can be done

Re:Impressive... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280603)

That might make it a better product; but not a better patent.

Re:Impressive... (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | about a year and a half ago | (#43281281)

I don't care about the quality or legitimacy of the patent (which is only applied for, not granted), the point is that many people are posting how this is just like their tethered display or tablet (which I do too), but that is NOT what the patent is for. The primary patent is for a display device that is BOTH powered wirelessly and receives/displays an image with no battery or power cord. That is wickedly cool....if it exists.

Re:Impressive... (2)

chrisdc85 (2876603) | about a year and a half ago | (#43281945)

The thing is that while wireless power is cool, it has been around for decades. People have been waiting to use wireless power for many things, the reason why they haven't has been due to efficiency. Recently things have been improving in this area (eg witricity), and so start making inventions described in this patent practical. Any invention behind this patent is purely down to the researchers working on the wireless power, low power electronics and screen tech. If anything this is going to slow development down because the people actually doing and funding the research have to licence this 'invention' from Bezos (if it's granted).

Re:Impressive... (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | about a year and a half ago | (#43282283)

Like wise dude, read more carefully. These are not just hunks of plastic - they DO have a battery - just not a bulky one (as power requirements have been reduced). They will also have capacitive screens and likely a speaker. They will charge off a base station that does not require it to be plugged in. I understand that this same base station is where the processing will be.

Re:Impressive... (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | about a year and a half ago | (#43283685)

Micro-batteries (used to just allow for continuous flow when there is a brief interruption of wireless power) is nothing like the tablets or monitors people are using. My whole point is to everyone saying that this is nothing new and already used by everyone every day (many posting how they already have this on their desk...BS).

Whether they have capacitors or micro-batteries is nothing like the big batteries in tablets today. This is new. So new that it probably doesn't really exist. I was commenting to the first post of this is a "dumb tablet' or 'monitor'. Just swapping wireless for wire for BOTH power and data IS innovation. The patent is for two stations...one sending power and one sending data. On the device...one receiving POWER and the other data. This is NOT just a simplified, low-power consumption monitor. The power comes wirelessly. Yes, it will display something like a monitor, but in a radically new way that could change a lot of things for us.

Re:Impressive... (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | about a year and a half ago | (#43326475)

ok, i simply did not believe the article was about wireless power. if that were the case, i would not be expecting that kind of announcement to come bundled in a new product article. It belongs in a science publication. as you said, it probably doesnt exist. I dont believe it exists either.

of course we do know about wireless power via solar panels, but this is something of a different order.

Re:Impressive... (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280453)

Well, if you call monitor something wireless, that is not rectangular and dedicated but fitting in existing surfaces, that gathers information (not just touchscreen, maybe other kind of sensors too), and probably should have some level of transparency, then yes. But probably will get a new shiny name like happened with smartphone or ultrabook.

curious authorship (2)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43279857)

It's more common at large tech companies to claim that one of your engineers invented something after careful study in the lab etc etc. Then you have them file a patent, but with assignment to the company. You don't typically put the CEO's name on the patent, because it's not so plausible that random things the CEO sketches out are properly patentable inventions that have had real technical work go into them.

Re:curious authorship (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280173)

It's more common at large tech companies to claim that one of your engineers invented something after careful study in the lab etc etc. Then you have them file a patent, but with assignment to the company. You don't typically put the CEO's name on the patent, because it's not so plausible that random things the CEO sketches out are properly patentable inventions that have had real technical work go into them.

That's not necessarily true, as it depends on what's in the claims. The inventor is the one (or ones) who fully conceived of the invention as recited in the claims. The engineer may reduce the invention to practice and figure out the technical details, but unless they've specifically contributed to a claimed idea, then they're not an inventor on that patent.

So, for example, Steve Jobs can come up with the idea for the design of the iPad and then hand it off to an engineer to figure out how to make all of the internal components fit. Jobs is still the inventor of the design patent. The engineer may, instead, be an inventor of a novel form factor of battery.

Re:curious authorship (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43281511)

Good point on Jobs; he is indeed on a number of patents. I guess I was thinking more along the lines of places like IBM or Intel, where it's quite rare for anyone from management (certainly not the CEO) to have their name on a patent. Instead patents tend to be filed by the technical staff.

Re:curious authorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43281745)

You fail to account for the massive egos that are (were) Bezos and Jobs.

Where is the invention on the pattent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43279887)

I didn't found anything apart from wishes and wants and should do...

Basically, ideas not patents...

This is awful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43279889)

So I guess we'll be seeing it soon! Oh wait, you can patent broad ideas in which you have no idea how they'll work, preventing others from actually inventing the idea? That's not so great for innovation.

note to editors: Bozos, not Bezos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43279893)

First time I read the title it said Bozos, which made perfect sense.

Boycott (1)

hughbar (579555) | about a year and a half ago | (#43279955)

Well, for the moment, I'm still using AWS EC2, but I've started buying books [and everything else] from other suppliers, because of this. A real shame, I feel that Amazon is a genuine success rather than dotcom froth, but big things seem to become evil by some hidden law of scale.

I have prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43279967)

I designed this about 5 years ago, almost to the same design described here. How does one go about bringing it to bezos attention?

When he sues you (1)

tekrat (242117) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280241)

If you live in the USA, the award goes to the guy who got to the patent office first, not the first guy who invented it. Sorry dude, look for the lawsuit in your mailbox soon. The way the laws are written now, if you're rich enough, you can patent the wheel.

First to publish (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43281215)

the award goes to the guy who got to the patent office first, not the first guy who invented it.

It used to be first to invent. Now it's first to publish, and publishing doesn't necessarily mean filing a patent application. Say both Biddy and Chester come up with the same invention. If Biddy publishes it before Chester files his patent, this makes Biddy the inventor, and by the time Chester's application gets to the patent office, Biddy's publication has become prior art, and anybody can use it in court to invalidate Chester's patent.

Great invention; have been using it for months now (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43279977)

I've been using an old, broken (touchscreen no longer working) no-name brand 7" Android tablet as a third screen for months now. It displays the Chrome developer console window.

I'm using RedFly, but there are atleast 3 similar apps for Android and 2 for iOS devices and this kind of functionality has been around for much longer than I've been using it.

How come Amazon keeps getting away with getting patents on completely obvious and common technology?

Re:Great invention; have been using it for months (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43280107)

Actually they simply invented a TV. Pre-rendered images that are displayed, received over a wireless connection.

Re:Great invention; have been using it for months (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280695)

Nice summary reading fail. But, this is /. This device is supposed to be powered via induction, not batteries, and certainly not corded like a regular TV. It's not just the signal that's wireless. By the same token, it can't be considered truly mobile. Both signal and power are sent to the thing via induction, and the patent would likely involve some novel method of combining the signal with the power.

Re:Great invention; have been using it for months (1)

MrMickS (568778) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280111)

I've been using an old, broken (touchscreen no longer working) no-name brand 7" Android tablet as a third screen for months now. It displays the Chrome developer console window.

I'm using RedFly, but there are atleast 3 similar apps for Android and 2 for iOS devices and this kind of functionality has been around for much longer than I've been using it.

How come Amazon keeps getting away with getting patents on completely obvious and common technology?

If you're using an app on a, more capable, tablet then you aren't doing what this patent describes. You paid full price for the tablet, with the touchscreen, and battery, and decent processor etc. This is for a much lower cost device that won't be able to do anything but act as a display.

Re:Great invention; have been using it for months (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280237)

If you're using an app on a, more capable, tablet then you aren't doing what this patent describes. You paid full price for the tablet, with the touchscreen, and battery, and decent processor etc. This is for a much lower cost device that won't be able to do anything but act as a display.

Since when is cost a factor in the validity of a patent? Does it do the same tasks?

We've had dumb-terminals for decades, so nothing at all new on that front.

To me, moving from wired networking to wireless networking is pretty obvious since we've been moving in that direction pretty steadily. The specifics of the networking is irrelevant I'd think.

Other than the wireless power, which I'm never clear actually exists ... this is taking several existing things, and putting them together in what seems more like an evolution than an invention. At which point it becomes the usual "system and methodology for combining several well understood technologies in a fairly obvious way".

What I'd really like to know is what claim 1 was in the patent which is now cancelled. I'm sure it was something ridiculous they couldn't support.

Re:Great invention; have been using it for months (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about a year and a half ago | (#43282991)

Since when is cost a factor in the validity of a patent? Does it do the same tasks?

If you come up with a way of doing something, e.g. extracting a metal from ore, that costs 1/10 of what any other known method costs, you can certainly get a patent on that.

Of course, this doesn't appear to apply to the patent discussed in this article, but as a general principle, doing something more cheaply can be patentable.

Re:Great invention; have been using it for months (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#43283357)

Of course, this doesn't appear to apply to the patent discussed in this article, but as a general principle, doing something more cheaply can be patentable.

Sure, and I don't disagree with that as long as you're actually coming up with something new and not just combining technology in ways that have already been done.

If I take a device, and that device has notionally input, display, networking, and power systems ... if someone invents a better version of any of those systems, and you replace an older technology with it, have they invented something which is patentable? Or have they basically made an incremental and obvious enhancement?

I'd argue this is incremental extensions by applying existing technology to refine something which already exists. So, taking something which has wired internet, making it have wireless internet you haven't invented something new. If someone comes out with a better CPU, putting that into an existing device is pretty much the same thing.

Since none of dumb terminal, wireless networking, and wireless power were invented by Bezos ... what exactly is the invention here?

Re:Great invention; have been using it for months (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about a year and a half ago | (#43283457)

You're correct, a combination of known technologies that results in what one would expect from the combination is generally supposed to be considered obvious. It will be interesting to see what happens with this application.

Re:Great invention; have been using it for months (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280265)

read more carefully...powered wirelessly. I bet you display has a cord plugged into the wall. If you've got a piece of plastic that is displaying a wireless image and has no batteries and no cord plugged into it, I want to see it!! This is amazingly cool, if it is possible.

Re:Great invention; have been using it for months (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43281597)

read more carefully...powered wirelessly.

So if I chose to copy their patent word for word and add '....in color!' or '...can access the internet!' at the end it would be an equally valuable innovation and invention worthy of exclusive economic ownership? What if I invent 'wireless shoes' and sue everyone that sells loafers?

Pathetic

Who would have thought of this?! (2)

Alejux (2800513) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280011)

Remarkable inspiration. Such originality! I'm glad we have a patent system to protect such ingenuity.

Windows tab (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43280077)

I thought a Windows tablet would be classified as a "dumb" tablet.

on a computer (1)

Taibhsear (1286214) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280119)

So we've moved from repatenting everything and adding "on a computer" to "on a mobile device" and now to "wirelessly powered."

Little narrower than the summary (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280157)

Claim 9 is pretty representative, and recites:

9. A remote display system, comprising:
a first primary station including a data transmitting element operable to wirelessly transmit data and a power transmitting element operable to wirelessly transmit power;
a second primary station including a data transmitting element operable to wirelessly transmit data and a power transmitting element operable to wirelessly transmit power; and
a portable display including a power receiving element and a data receiving element;
wherein the portable display is operable to wirelessly receive the power from the power transmitting element of the first primary station in response to a detection that the portable display is within power transmitting range of the first primary station; and
wherein the portable display is operable to wirelessly receive the power from the power transmitting element of the second primary station in response to a detection that the portable display is within power transmitting range of the second primary station.

Not that these claims are patentable as is, but it seems to be more about smooth handoff between the first base station and second base station.

There's also a second invention mentioned in the application that's only slightly related (which is not unusual, it'll probably be in a divisional application sometime). It relates to automatic cable tensioning:

For example, when a user holding a portable display connected to a primary station pulls the portable display away from the primary station, the tension sensor 1004 in the cable management system 1002 detects an increased tension on the transmission cable. When the tension level exceeds an upper threshold tension level, the cable management system 1002 activates the cable release 1008 to allow an additional amount of transmission cable 908 to extend out of the primary station 912 until at least the tension level in the cable drops below the high threshold tension level. By activating the cable release 1008, the portable display does not tug on the transmission cable and possibly disconnect the transmission cable from the portable display.

Re:Little narrower than the summary (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280405)

I'm not ranting at you. I'm ranting about the patent.

Not that these claims are patentable as is, but it seems to be more about smooth handoff between the first base station and second base station.

That's the irritating thing about these patents. It doesn't actually cover how to do the smooth handoff (a difficult problem with many extant solution), it just says "it happens by magic and I invented it".

Also, wouldn't the VNC or X11 or RDP or a whole variety of other protocols running over 802.11 in infrastructure mode, or GSM/3G/whatever cell data cover the whole part of wireless remote image display with smooth handoff?

It relates to automatic cable tensioning:

Now, I'm really not an expert in this area. But this whole area itself is not new, and I'll bet it's been patented to death 50 years ago by mechanical engineers. There are thousands of different spooling systems out there for thoudands of different tasks. We'll see...

Re:Little narrower than the summary (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280575)

I'm not ranting at you. I'm ranting about the patent.

Not that these claims are patentable as is, but it seems to be more about smooth handoff between the first base station and second base station.

That's the irritating thing about these patents. It doesn't actually cover how to do the smooth handoff (a difficult problem with many extant solution), it just says "it happens by magic and I invented it".

And? It's just a patent application and Bezos is entitled to write whatever he wants in it. But, if any other piece of prior art does something remotely similar (and I'm sure we can find something), then he'll have to amend his claims to claim a specific way of doing it... and if all his specification says is "it happens by magic," then he won't be able to make that amendment.

In other words, save the rant until we see something get issued. In the meantime, send in some prior art. You've got six months [patentlyo.com] .

Also, wouldn't the VNC or X11 or RDP or a whole variety of other protocols running over 802.11 in infrastructure mode, or GSM/3G/whatever cell data cover the whole part of wireless remote image display with smooth handoff?

The GSM/3G stuff is probably closer - VNC/X11/RDP are all session layer protocols, and this is hand off at the data layer. But you also need to find the power handoff, which might be more complicated. Most remote power stuff is still tied to a single area and source.

It relates to automatic cable tensioning:

Now, I'm really not an expert in this area. But this whole area itself is not new, and I'll bet it's been patented to death 50 years ago by mechanical engineers. There are thousands of different spooling systems out there for thoudands of different tasks. We'll see...

Agreed. It may be one of the reasons it's not actually claimed in this application.

Re:Little narrower than the summary (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280865)

It's just a patent application and Bezos is entitled to write whatever he wants in it.

And these things have the irritating habit of getting awarded. I've done a couple of desconstructions of some awarded patents published to slashdot. Chock full of prior art and a staggering lack of innovation.

and if all his specification says is "it happens by magic,"

It does. Well, it just says it happens without specifying how. May as well be magic.

In other words, save the rant until we see something get issued.

I've done that too.

In the meantime, send in some prior art. You've got six months.

This is another thing broken with the system. It now puts the onus even further from the submitter to prove that they should have a monopoly legally awarded.

The GSM/3G stuff is probably closer - VNC/X11/RDP are all session layer protocols, and this is hand off at the data layer. But you also need to find the power handoff, which might be more complicated. Most remote power stuff is still tied to a single area and source.

I meant that those session protocol over those link level protocols handle the whole stack from data handoff to the wireless monitor part.

In other words, much of the patent (ignoring the wireless power bit) is covered very well by existing software and hardware stacks. It's not even an innovative use of either.

Re:Little narrower than the summary (2)

Theaetetus (590071) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280957)

In other words, much of the patent (ignoring the wireless power bit) is covered very well by existing software and hardware stacks. It's not even an innovative use of either.

Certainly seems that way... But, otoh, that implies that you could strike all of the data transmission bits from the claims, have a claim that's just about wireless power transmission and handoffs, and you may be patentable. And if so, then adding the data stuff back in doesn't take away from patentability. A Delorean with a Mr. Fusion and time travel capability is still novel and nonobvious, even if a Delorean itself is well known.

Re:Little narrower than the summary (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43282115)

A Delorean with a Mr. Fusion and time travel capability is still novel and nonobvious, even if a Delorean itself is well known.

Haha, well kinda.

The time travel device runs off electrivity, so one would expect that switching round electricity sources would always fall into the realm of obvious (well, excluding a lightning strike perhaps).

The electricity sources may be patentable, but the act of using source A to power device B would seem that is should never be patentable. Of course, that's not true because the whole X but on a "phone/internet/copmuter" thing has been going on for a few hundred years. But of course it was "I've patented the idea of a crank BUT ON A STEAM ENGINE!!!11ONEone" (really).

Likewise if it's small, then you can fit it in a car. The inventions required to make it small might be patentable, but "X" but in a CAR is always possible given a small enough size.

But back to the patent in question: the only petentable bit might be the wireless power handoff, but it doesn't say how that's actually done. The idea of power handoff per-se isn't new (redundant power supplies have been doing it for ages).

It seems googling around that wireless power handoff has been studied before, ao the idea of doing it certainly isn't new. So unless the patent covers anything beyond "it happens" then it's worthless.

Of course I'm calling it "the patent" again, not "the application" as I should.

Perhaps it will be rejected. Ho ho ho.

We can only hope ... (2)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about a year and a half ago | (#43280313)

... the patent office folks remember that bit about "obvious".

Another patent round... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43280581)

First you took something old and added "...but on a computer"

Then you took the same and it was "...but on a mobile device"

Then it was "...using geolocation data to..."

and now it is "...but powered wirelessly".

Bad patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43280613)

It would be nice if anyone who submitted a certain number of patent claims on obvious or existing ideas received a lifetime patent ban.
As it is we reward dishonesty and greed.

RE: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43280661)

.. also commonly known as TV sets...

Congratulations on Patenting (3)

PortHaven (242123) | about a year and a half ago | (#43281121)

The Wireless Mainframe Terminal...

WOOT!!!!

Shadow Boxing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43281437)

So he's patenting "shining a light on a sheet and making bunny rabbits with his hands" ???

WiDi? (2)

kheldan (1460303) | about a year and a half ago | (#43282691)

Aren't we really just talking about a portable WiDi display that also happens to support an input device of some sort? How is this innovative or original?

sounds like VNC (2)

rmelton (165795) | about a year and a half ago | (#43283079)

Except for the discussion of power it sounds like what I first read about VNC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Network_Computing [wikipedia.org] The description I read described using it for things like telephone displays etc.

Server side computing in the age of ARM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43284005)

Do we recall that hopeless eink tablet reader that was supposed to sell for 'pennies' because it relied on your phone to 'render' each page of the book, and the reader itself just used one of those digital picture frame chips popular years ago?

Do we remember Microsoft's second great tablet initiative that proposed similar 'DUMB' tablets that would simply display output rendered on your main desktop PC via a wireless link (after 2.5 years of work, they were cancelled on the verge of release over fears they would dilute the value of Windows licenses).

Do we recall Sun's 'thin client' terminals that would replace desktop PCs?

Bezos is a cretin who knows nothing about the history of computers, or indeed anything about computer science. ARM and process shrinks makes the issue of client side processing power a non-issue. Of course, this doesn't mean we don't need or want wireless linked displays sometimes. However, these wireless linked displays use H264 video streams as the software part of the transport layer, allowing for excellent performance with static or moving images.

Nvidia's project SHIELD uses this standard. So does 'wireless' HDMI. AMD also offers the same think in its new parts. The client (wireless display) just needs an ARM SoC good enough to decode HD H264, and to provide a wireless backpath for inputs. Latency is an issue, but this simply means the server side video encoding (of the desired output stream) must be as low latency as possible. Decoding, once a key-frame is acquired, is always low latency.

Bezos is a publicity seeking clueless cretin. He is a successful business man, but almost entirely by luck (providing a service that no-one else could be bothered to do at the same level of ambition). Everything he proposes here has been done before many times, is mostly wrong-headed for the applications he suggests, and is irrelevant in the light of wireless client display standards using H264 video streams.

Didn't Onlive already do this? (1)

savage_panda (201493) | about a year and a half ago | (#43284173)

Seems many technologies already do this like VNC.. services like onlive does streaming video as well.

Re:Didn't Onlive already do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43285067)

Ever listen to music over VNC ?

MS Origami (1)

tapi0 (2805569) | about a year and a half ago | (#43287217)

Also, didn't MS's Origami Project turn out to be a dumb tablet hooked up to a PC running the OS? Or was that one of their other projects back then?
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