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Equinix Picks up a Packet

Edge Computing Patent Forecast®

January 16, 2020

At Magic Number, we tend to talk about building a patent portfolio versus buying one. This week, however, Equinix is doing something completely different as they are ignoring patent assets and buying a physical portfolio instead. A data center services provider for global enterprises, financial institutions, and over 500 service providers, Equinix has announced they are buying bare metal provider Packet for a currently undisclosed purchase price. Keeping this in mind, Packet's last funding round included a valuation of over $100 million.

Equinix has numerous patents in the edge computing space, mainly relating to cloud-based services exchange. Packet, on the other hand, while well known in the Edge space, has no published intellectual property. This acquisition will enhance edge services for Equinix's customers, as Packet owns more than 20 data center locations worldwide, many at the bases of cell towers, which will create the opportunity for single tenant servers. 

Packet has previously partnered with Vapor IO and EdgeConneX, collocating at cell towers to deploy its bare metal cloud system. Competitors in the space include Google.

In October, Equinix launched a joint venture to build data centers for providers including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google. This venture is valued at $1 Billion.

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Heathrow goes after pilots, not drones

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Patent Forecast®

January 16, 2020

Heathrow Airport has installed an anti-drone system that can locate UAV pilots. Designed by Operational Solutions Ltd, with help from manufacturers like Aveillant, the system is able to locate the pilots. Finding the pilot can be a deterrent, as piloting a drone within five kilometers of an airport is punishable by up to five years imprisonment in the UK. Aveillant designs radar systems and offers a 3D holographic radar with improved detection. This seems to indicate that part of the problem was the ability to detect the drones. The solution, though, appears to be capturing the pilots.

London, Heathrow, Aircraft, Airport, Sunrise, Aviation

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NC-Local Co. Keeping Your Children Safe from Smoking

Cannabis Patent Forecast®

January 16, 2020

While some companies were looking to profit from vaping off of a younger and vulnerable generation, Pneuma Respiratory was taking the necessary precautions to prevent a youth smoking epidemic. Pneuma Respiratory is a local to North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains in Boone, NC, and since 2015 has been designing fully connected nanomist inhalers for smoking cessation and treating COPD and non-small cell lung cancer. 

With safety in mind, Pneuma designed their inhaler with integrated biometrics and an IoT platform to implement geo-fencing and prevent smoking in schools and public places where smoking is prohibited. Furthermore, the inhalers are equipped with sensors for monitoring certain health parameters and patient compliance during medical treatments. 

Pneuma’s inhaler can be used to safely deliver a plethora of drugs and pharmaceuticals such as nicotine, THC, CBD, ipratropium and albuterol. Delivering nicotine and cannabis products from an inhaler rather than a vape decreases the likelihood of creating toxic chemicals from heating the fluids, making it a safer alternative to combustion smoking and vaping.

Pneuma Respiratory is assigned to 4 US patents and 9 US patent applications as well as a family of PCTs, with their most recent patent, US Patent No. 10,525,220, granted January 7, 2020 for an inhaler device, which can be found in the Magic Number Cannabis sector tagged under Devices - Dosing Inhaler. Pneuma’s assets assisted them in raising nearly $5 million in April 2019.    

Cigarette, Smoking, Addiction, Unhealthy

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Spotify Wants to Get in Bed with You

Consumer Sleep Technology Patent Forecast®

January 16, 2020

Spotify has entered the consumer sleep technology sector with a recently published patent application assigned to them for tailoring music to a person’s heart rate to help them rest. US Publication number 20200019371 titled “MEDIA CONTENT SYSTEM FOR ENHANCING REST” discloses a system for selecting a song with a tempo at or below a heart rate obtained from a mobile phone or wearable of a user trying to get some rest. Binaural beats at a certain frequency are also initiated for the user. The tempo of the song and frequency of the beats are tapered down to help ease the user into rest. 

Users will be able to select from different “moments” of rest such as bedtime, power nap, long nap, airplane, kids, commuting, meditation, massage, or prayer which will determine how changes are made to a song’s tempo. Spotify released a sleep timer December of last year that shuts off music playback after a pre-programmed time is marked. This new feature will have more Spotify users inviting Spotify into bed with them for a good night’s sleep.

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EV Charging While You Drive

Energy Financial Settlements Patent Forecast®

January 16, 2020

HERE Global's (HERE) latest published patent relates to implementing EV lane charging on roadways. Through the use of a lane charging management device, reading real-time data, HERE is able to generate lane charging commands associated with a road segment. The lane charging management device may be integrated directly into a road's surface. When combined with a geographic database containing integrated roads, roads are able to acquire real-time charging information from EV's and accept a command to begin charging a user's vehicle.

HERE designs and develops software solutions, including location and map-based applications, tracking and positioning, mobility, and traffic services for automotive, transportation, insurance, and telecom industries. This is HERE's first patent in the Energy Financial Settlement sector.

Road, Fantasy, Autumn, Trees, Kalampaka, Leaves

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Ambarella unveils new AI automotive camera chips

Automobile Vision: Image Recognition Patent Forecast®

January 9, 2020

Chip designer Ambarella has two new chips for automobile vision applications based on its CVflow architecture for artificial intelligence processing. The company started out as a maker of low-power-consumption video chips and has morphed into a maker of low-power artificial intelligence chips. Now with 760 employees, it is competing with the likes of Intel and Nvidia in that market. These new processors feature extremely low power consumption, which means they can be mounted in single-box, windshield-mounted forward ADAS cameras, but also in electronic mirrors with blind-spot detection (BSD), interior driver and cabin-monitoring cameras, and around-view-monitors (AVM) with parking assist. 

Ambarella has over 80 issued patents to-date and is interestingly pursuing a non-publication strategy and therefore only patenting in the US. However, since their acquisition of Italian machine vision company Vislab, they have been filing some patents in Italy, which requires 18-month publication.

Ambarella, Focus, Fruit, Juicy, Food, Ripe, Healthy
Ambarella fruit

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DJI and Livox kick it up a notch

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Patent Forecast®

January 9, 2020

Livox, a DJI-backed startup, unveiled a new lidar technology at CES 2020. The new technology uses a novel scanning pattern that reduces blind spots, as explained below. On top of that, it's a lot smaller and cheaper than traditional lidar. DJI has been adding lidar to its drones, as shown by the recent patent filings. An affordable lidar drone is raising the bar for other drone manufacturers and lowering the barrier to entry for companies working in surveying, 3D mapping, search & rescue, and just plain flying.

A Livox Mid-40 or Mid-100 sensor uses a flower-like scanning pattern (top row) to create a 3D image of the surrounding environment. Conventional lidar sensors use horizontal linear scanning (bottom row), which can run the risk of blind spots, regardless of how long the scan lasts. 

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ENEL is Using Weather to Better Manage Energy Consumption

Energy Financial Settlements Patent Forecast®

January 9, 2020

ENEL was recently issued a patent for a weather-based energy management.

It is no secret that weather is a driving factor in relation to energy consumption. While not the only factor, it is still a significant one. Currently, there are a wide variety of accepted, normalization techniques enabling an accurate comparison of energy usage from one month to another, without worrying about the impact of outside weather on energy consumption.

However, these normalization systems fail to address the main issue: energy use data granularity is less than a 24-hour period. Normalization models that are derived from energy use data having granularities on the order of 6 hours, 1 hour, 15 minutes, etc., have been shown to be exceedingly deficient in accuracy and reliability.

ENEL's system makes use of baseline data stores, a building lag optimizer, a dispatch processor, and a dispatch control component. The building lag optimizer receives identifiers for available buildings, generating energy use data set for each individual building. These energy use data sets contain energy consumption values, along with corresponding time and outside temperature values. All of these factors and elements produce energy lag values that are used to generate a dispatch schedule for a demand response program event.

ENEL is an Italian multi-national energy company active within the electricity generation and distribution sectors, as well as the natural gas distribution sector. ENEL is the 84th largest company in the world by revenue, with €73.1 billion. In addition, ENEL has a stock market capitalization of €39.4 billion, making it Europe's largest integrated utility by capitalization.

Lightning, Storm, Arizona, Monsoon, Lightning Storm

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Microsoft: The Next Godfather

AI Cybersecurity Patent Forecast®

January 9, 2020

Conventional identification and authorization of users may include discretionary controls, such as an access control list managed per-item by the user, or a mandatory control such as a user clearance level, need-to-know, and item classification. Many of these processes are still performed manually. In the case of parents concerned with their child's access to content on the Internet, this requires manual adjustment as a child grows and matures.

Microsoft's latest published patent application suggests an evolution to these manual processes: an evolving security configuration, able to automatically adapt in stages as an account's minor user grows from toddler, to young child, to pre-teen, and to a teenager. Using machine learning, the evolving security configuration is able to learn and adapt to address a multitude of parental security concerns.

Such a security system would give the parent's child greater privileges and access over time as they mature. Running in parallel, a related account for the parent would automatically lose corresponding privileges, as authority over their child's account shifts from the adult to the maturing child.

Microsoft remains the third largest holder of patents and patent applications for the AI Cybersecurity sector.

Baptism, Godfathers, Church, Holy Water

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Get Scanned in Your Sleep With Withings

Consumer Sleep Technology Patent Forecast®

January 9, 2020

It's that time of the year again, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). An event where many companies large and small unveil their most innovative products, one of the busiest sectors this year for announcements has been sleep technology. 

One unique announcement is from Withings, a company historically known for smart watches that still look like traditional analog watches with a long battery life. Withings has announced the ScanWatch, which not only monitors a user's heart rate and can take an ECG reading, but also monitors for sleep apnea using an SpO2 sensor. Sleep apnea is a major problem that often goes undiagnosed for long periods of time. According to the National Sleep foundation, over 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea.

Withings is waiting for approval from regulatory bodies such as the FDA before launching ScanWatch officially, but expects that to happen soon. The company already has an issued patent for sleep monitoring that is specifically tailored to detecting sleep apnea based on a measured drop in blood oxygenation and pauses in the breathing cycle.

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