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D-Wave Gives Pandemic Researchers Free Quantum Computing

Quantum Computing Patent Forecast®

April 2, 2020

Canadian quantum computing company D-Wave is giving anyone working on COVID-19 responses free access to its Leap 2 quantum computing cloud service. D-Wave's current partners - Volkswagen, DENSO, Jülich Supercomputing Centre, MDR, Menten AI, Sigma-i Tohoku University, Ludwig Maximilian University and OTI Lumionics - will provide engineering expertise. 

Leap 2, launched on February 26th, is able to solve large scale problems, something that could be useful to groups working on pandemics. While D-Wave has focused on the hardware aspects of quantum computing, it also has two issued patents for optimization methods. 

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AI and Covid-19

AI Biotech / Diagnostics Patent Forecast®

April 2, 2020

Coronavirus, officially named Covid-19, is causing substantial changes to the daily lives of people around the world, dramatic damage to financial markets, and unfortunately, thousands of deaths. The disease is, however, causing previously unseen levels of collaboration between firms of many industries, and leading many others to release open source models for tools to help health care workers and everyday citizens alike. One industry seeing lots of collaboration is AI Biotech, as firms look for both vaccines, treatments, and diagnostic tools. Here are just a few firms doing high impact work using AI:

  • Exscientia is screening over 15,000 drugs from a Scripps Research Institute collection for effectiveness against Sars-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19
  • Moderna is running a clinical trial with 45 participants for a vaccine
  • Microsoft and Adaptive Biotechnologies extended a partnership to aid public health officials and researchers to access and track data regarding Covid-19 patient immune responses, aimed at helping the development of a diagnostic blood test. The dataset will be deployed on Microsoft's Azure with its AI and machine learning capabilities
  • AbCellera and Eli Lilly are jointly developing antibody therapies based on over 500 unique antibodies isolated from one of the first U.S. Covid-19 patients

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Cryptocurrency Mining Using the Human Body

Cryptocurrency Patent Forecast®

April 2, 2020

A new published patent application from Microsoft relates to a cryptocurrency mining system that uses body activity data.

Microsoft's system provides users with tasks in the form of "mining challenges" with cryptocurrency rewards. The system analyzes activity including brain waves and body heat emitted from a user when the user is performing tasks. Unlike traditional mining systems, which require massive computational work, this system uses data generated based on the body activity of the user as proof-of-work. This enables users to solve any computationally difficult problems unconsciously.

This application was published during a time where the majority of U.S. citizens are adhering to various stay-at-home orders and social distancing practices. With gyms closing and more and more people are turning to working out at home, Microsoft's system has the potential for people to mix exercise with cryptocurrency mining.

Microsoft is currently the holder of 36 patent and patent applications in the Cryptocurrency Sector, with this being the first patent application classified under the "mining" subcategory.

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Oura partners with UCSF to detect COVID-19 early

Consumer Sleep Technology Patent Forecast®

April 2, 2020

Oura has partnered with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) to study whether the Oura ring can help detect early physiological indicators of COVID-19. Approximately 2000 healthcare professionals on the frontline will receive the rings to wear during the study. The Oura ring measures a wearer's body temperature and heart rate, and tracks sleep patterns and activity levels. As fever is an early symptom of COVID-19, a high continuous temperature reading may detect fever early. The purpose of the study is to determine whether readings from the ring might be useful to detect COVID-19 when analyzed with other data and symptoms.

In fact, an Oura user in Finland was prompted to get tested for COVID-19 after viewing data from the ring showing an elevated temperature (over 100F), as well as a higher than normal heart rate and breathing rate. Although he was asymptomatic, the test results indicated that he had COVID-19. Dr. Ashley Mason, a researcher at UCSF, hypothesizes that the Oura ring may be able to detect COVID-19 onset two to three days before more obvious symptoms appear, such as coughing.

Oura recently announced $28 million in Series B funding, as well as sales of over 150,000 rings. The company plans to allow those 150,000 users to opt into sharing their data as part of the study. 

The company has documents in the Metrics and Sensors categories in the Consumer Sleep Technology sector. Oura faces competition from other wearable device makers, such as Fitbit, Apple, and Samsung. However, unlike Oura, many other wearables do not measure temperature. Will other companies begin incorporating temperature into their devices as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?

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Nintendo Wants to Simplify Mobile Communications . . . Using Cardboard

Mobile Data Communications Patent Forecast®

March 26, 2020

Nintendo™is no stranger when it comes to console accessories. Nintendo targeted particular previous accessory product releases to niche markets, such as the Nintendo Labo™, a cardboard cutout-style set of physical accessories for the Nintendo Switch™. 

But the Nintendo Labo™ was lacking in one area: mobile communication. Now, Nintendo™ believes there's room for improvement in this area. A newly issued patent suggests that Nintendo™ is looking to expand the cardboard cutout-style of accessories with data transmission capabilities. In one example, a cardboard backpack houses a data transmission device and captures user data and user interactions from within the pack. Thus, the case does not need to include an electric component that detects a specific interaction made by a user, nor does it need a separate part for transferring user interactions to another information processing device, such as a Nintendo Switch™. 

Patent 10596461 represents Nintendo™'s first patent in the Mobile Data Communications Sector, classified under the "WI-FI" subcategory. While an accessory like this may serve a smaller market within the video game console market, Nintendo™ has shown that it's willing to take a hit to profits if they believe the technology to be useful and entertaining to customers.

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Cryptocurrency Mining with Natural Gas

Cryptocurrency Patent Forecast®

March 26, 2020

Crusoe Energy Systems has a new patent application publication relating to systems and methods for generating and consuming power from natural gas.

Currently, stranded natural gas represents a very low-cost power generation opportunity. Despite existing across the most prominent shale fields in the U.S., many oil and gas operators in pipeline-constrained environments offer their natural gas for low cost, sometimes even at a loss to the operator, so that they can produce oil.

Crusoe believes they have found the solution to this problem: distributed computing. Cryptocurrency mining requires innovative and inexpensive electricity sources, requiring approximately 29 terawatts of electricity per hour per year on a global basis. Crusoe hopes to generate electricity from natural gas produced from oil wells, using this electricity to operate power-intensive, modular processing units. These modular processing units can mine cryptocurrency and perform other distributed computing tasks to generate additional revenue.

This patent application publication is the second for Crusoe in the Cryptocurrency Sector, classified under the "Energy" subcategory. Also, this publication comes after a recent article where Goldman Sachs predicts natural gas prices doubling by next winter. The predictions in this article run counter to the U.S. Energy Information Association's (EIA) forecast, signaling that renewable energy production will overtake natural gas.

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How to: Induce sleep

Consumer Sleep Technology Patent Forecast®

March 26, 2020

Neuroenhancement Lab, LLC is a New York-based neuroscience R&D startup engaged in incredibly forward-thinking brain research. The firm is focused on applying new techniques called neuroenhancement and neuromodulation, both based on the idea that mental states can be "transplanted" between individuals. They attempt to do this by replicating neural correlates from one person to another. After measuring brain activity, the company strives to "play" the recorded brainwaves back, stimulating the brain with electric or magnetic stimulation, light, or sound, to achieve a desired mental state. 

The USPTO recently published Neuroenhancement Lab's second patent application in the Consumer Sleep Sector, which describes a way to induce sleep by transplanting mental states. They believe this idea has applications including inducing sleep, hyper-focus, or meditation, increasing athletic training potential, and much more. 

The company is part of Ydea Lab, a New York-based incubator that currently includes ten companies and has a goal of producing IP. Neuroenhancement Lab is also collaborating with the Neuromodulation Lab at the City College of New York to complete pilot studies for their concept.

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Limelight Announces Field Testing for EdgeFunctions

Edge Computing Patent Forecast®

March 26, 2020

Limelight Networks (Limelight) has just announced that EdgeFunctions, Limelight's global edge platform, has entered the field trial stage. The announcement includes the platform's new capabilities relating to distributed serverless computing.

The platform enables developers to run their code using Limelight edge locations, making functions globally available. In turn, this creates a more efficient Content Delivery Network (CDN). Content is delivered to users closer to where content requests are received, which reduces code execution latency and creates an optimal user experience.

Limelight has taken an API-first approach with EdgeFunctions, including support for Node.js, Python, and Go, enabling developers to focus on innovation and integration. Currently, EdgeFunctions's capabilities revolve around streaming video and content delivery use-cases. Applications include personalized streaming, access control, dynamic advertisement insertion, content protection, A/B testing, and image manipulation. Limelight's EdgeFunctions removes one of the most significant obstacles for developers: infrastructure.

Limelight's IP for the Edge Computing Sector consists of 39 patents and patent applications, with classifications spanning the "Geo/Location," "Bandwidth," "Latency," and "Platform - Non-Blockchain" subcategories.

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PhysIQ helps take on COVID-19

AI Biotech / Diagnostics Patent Forecast®

March 26, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sanctioned labeling for physIQ's continuous remote monitoring system, pinpointIQ, for use with the COVID-19 pandemic. The labeling includes the use of the physIQ's multivariate change index (MCI). The remote monitoring system will provide continuous remote monitoring for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients or high-risk patients such as those with heart failure or hypertension. The system will passively collect wearable sensor data and apply advanced analytics to help health care facilities and lower the risk of exposure for patients and health care providers. 

With 12 documents in the AI Biotech/Diagnostics sector (4 documents directed towards "multivariate residual-based health index for human health monitoring"), physIQ shows dedication to enabling proactive care delivery models through personalized physiology analytics. Hopefully, the data and analysis provided from physIQ's platform will offer healthcare providers with an improved understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Diabetes, Say Hello to My Little Friend AI

AI Biotech / Diagnostics Patent Forecast®

March 19, 2020

Daily diabetes management is a part of daily life for many people around the world, so improving the hardware and technology around it to be as easy to use and as accurate as possible is a goal for many companies. One of those companies is New York-based One Drop, who provides hardware and software for diabetes management. They offer a sleek Bluetooth-enabled blood glucose meter, test strips, lancets, a mobile app, and various coaching programs. One Drop was also an early proponent of the subscription service model, providing test strips and lancets in this manner.

Although One Drop received FDA clearance and a CE mark for their monitoring system in 2016, the company just recently had their first patent application published. The application teaches a means for forecasting blood glucose concentration for individual users. For example, the model could predict that a user's glucose will rise above 180 mg/dL or fall below 70 mg/dL within a certain time period.

Since receiving FDA clearance and a CE mark, One Drop's reach has grown rapidly. Besides being available on many smart watches, Apple sells the glucose meter in some U.S. retail stores. In September, One Drop announced a $40 Million series B round led by German pharma company Bayer. Last October, One Drop announced that its wireless glucose meter kit and supplies would be available at hundreds of Walmart stores in the U.S. Last month, One Drop presented research indicating they had achieved even higher accuracy for predictions in changes in blood glucose levels.

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