The single biggest revolution in innovation over the past decade has been an increased reliance on external idea sources to find the ‘next new thing’. What I find so interesting about Iprova is that it provides a ‘smart’ way of doing this. The result is that Iprova has been able to raise the probability of innovation payoff.
Iprova provides us with very interesting 'out-of-the-box' inventions that are relevant to our business. These drive both new opportunities for research and the expansion of our patent portfolio.
Iprova delivered on its promise to deliver inventions which are potentially relevant to future telecommunication systems. I’m impressed by its technology, associated services and efficiency.
Our customer wanted new value-creating ways to help generate 3D and 2D content. Working closely with the customer, Iprova helped to refine their strategy and product roadmap in this area; as a result, we were then able to create inventions which underpin this. Many of the inventions we delivered were the subject of patent filings by the company, and these inventions will ultimately drive the introduction of new products and services.
Using Virtual Reality (VR) to transform video content for mobile and tablet devices
As the popularity of VR increases, more and more content is being created exclusively for the platform. However, wearing a VR headset is not always convenient and some users prefer to view content on a conventional phone, tablet or television screen. Iprova has created an invention that generates better 2D content based on other users’ collective enjoyment while watching a film in VR.
The vantage point offering the best user experience is measured and used to generate a version of the film for a normal 2D screen. This gives content creators more flexibility by, for example, finding the optimum edit for a movie shot with a 360-degree camera, or identifying the best angle to watch the action at an e-sports event.
Iprova worked with a leading company specialising in smart and connected products. They wanted to introduce new location-based products and services for mobile devices which could increase the interaction of a user with their surroundings. We presented a stream of inventions in the target area, which were subject to over 30 patent filings. These included products and services designed to enhance a user’s individual experience of an activity or location, such as tailored transportation system scheduling.
Optimising public transportation based on user geo-routines
Iprova has created an invention to optimise the use of public transportation systems such as elevators. The system tracks the movement of users, and predicts based on previous and current trajectories when a user intends to use a transportation system. Each user’s movements (known as “geo-routines”) are monitored using a radio fingerprint communicated by their mobile device. As a result, the user’s journey is automatically integrated into the transportation system’s schedule. This improves the system’s scheduling efficiency, enhancing user convenience by minimising waiting time and power consumption. The associated patent for this invention (US9323232) has been cited by patent filings from companies including Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Otis Elevator Company and Kone Corporation.
Our customer wanted future market and technical intelligence to guide a product roadmap and associated strategy. It then wanted to underpin the resulting strategy and roadmap with disruptive and protectable inventions to provide strong and enduring competitive differentiation. We helped with all stages of the project, ultimately delivering many inventions that were the subject of patent filings. The resulting patents will drive the introduction of future products and associated features.
A heat-sensitive coating enables users to determine whether their face mask is fitted correctly
An incorrectly fitted face mask can dramatically influence its effectiveness, resulting in the exposure of the wearer or their environment to pollutants. While the wearer may believe they are protected, it can be difficult to know if a face mask is fitted correctly. Iprova has invented a way of utilising a coating applied to the mask that changes colour when exposed to humid air exhaled by the user. The flow of air leaves a visible trace on the mask, helping the user to ensure that it is correctly fitted when they look in a mirror or take a selfie.
Iprova has worked with consumer electronics companies to create inventions which can directly drive new products and value-creating services. These inventions span technical areas ranging from blockchain and augmented reality to imaging and user interfaces. An example of one of these areas is Time-of-Flight technology, which is frequently found in consumer electronics such as games consoles and mobile devices and uses the properties of light to enable depth-sensing and range-finding capabilities.
Using a device’s LED backlight to reduce the cost of gesture recognition
Iprova has created an invention that facilitates the implementation of gesture recognition in a range of devices including mobile phones, televisions and computers. The invention repurposes the LED backlight present in the display of many existing devices for use in Time-of-Flight technology, a key component in gesture recognition systems. The light that is normally used to illuminate the display is adapted to provide a photon source for a Time-of-Flight system, simultaneously reducing the cost, power and space required for a gesture-based interface. The associated patent for this invention (US8810647) has been cited by patent filings from companies including Microsoft, Amazon and Google.
Our customer wanted to invent new products and product features in the area of solid state lighting, which were being driven by the growing convergence between lighting and other technologies such as mobile devices. We provided a stream of inventions, which were reviewed by our customer for their business potential. Our customer selected those that met their criteria. Subsequent patent filings based on our inventions are helping to drive new products and product features, and helping to define the next generation of lighting products.
Painting using light
The advent of LED lighting has resulted in new product families such as Philips Hue. These allow the colour and brightness of a lamp to be changed using a smartphone in order to create an ambience that matches the user’s mood or creates the best lighting conditions for a given task. When many of these controllable lamps are used, a rich lighting scene can be obtained; however, adjusting many individual lamps is a potential barrier to the user’s enjoyment of the full capability of such a system. Our customer wanted a new way to control such lamps, and in particular, an intuitive and easy method of doing so. Using the sensors in a smartphone, we invented a user interface whereby the smartphone itself can be used like a paintbrush. The user ‘paints’ the result they would like to see, and in response the lighting system adopts settings that resemble the ‘painting’ as closely as possible. Advanced users can even mix colour on a wall, similar to a painter’s palette. The associated patent for this invention is US9769911.
Our customer has a strategy that encompasses network functions virtualization, and wanted to create a patent portfolio in this area. We created a range of diverse and commercially relevant inventions that added to those coming from our customer’s own R&D teams. These inventions were reviewed by our customer’s research, business and Intellectual Property teams, and patents filed on those that extended the technical and market reach of our customer’s own research initiatives.
Our customer wanted new value-creating services in order to take advantage of new technologies being introduced in Autonomous Vehicles (AVs). The objective was to create inventions which underpinned their AV strategy, and which could be used to support related services. We delivered inventions which, because of their timing and diversity, added to those from our customer’s own research teams. Our customer has filed patents on inventions that brought new and unexpected elements to the field and plans to introduce related services.
Using the movements of an autonomous vehicle to check passenger health
Iprova has created an invention that allows an autonomous vehicle to carry out health checks on its passengers. The advanced sensors which are built into an autonomous vehicle allow the motion of the vehicle to be controlled in a precise and predictable way as it travels. By controlling small variations in its motion, the vehicle can generate different forces that can be used to carry out various human health checks. The invention can be used to assess a passenger’s balance and core stability, or evaluate the body’s response to known stimuli. This will help passengers to conveniently check various aspects of their health by harnessing the motion of the vehicle itself, and potentially enable diagnostic features in autonomous vehicles which might be used to identify the early symptoms of conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or diabetes.
Our customer asked for inventions in the area of intelligent image analysis and classification to help drive value-added features for the next generation of medical scanners. Members of the customer’s research, business and Intellectual Property teams reviewed our inventions carefully. They then selected inventions to file patents on, with a view to gaining a unique and differentiated offering for their next generation of products.