How tech patents rule the world. Zachary Hiller Law Houston, TXSmartphones have taken the world by storm. The industry is making an incredibly large amount of money, and consumers aren’t holding back their wallets anytime soon. Many of us rely on our phones every day for work, our social lives, and even simple tasks, like waking up in the morning. Phones are more than just small computers we can carry around; they are a lifestyle.

We are hooked on our phones, and an example of this is how Apple fans closely watch and patiently wait for each new update. Fans waited for the release this Wednesday of the new iPhone, although some were left a little unfulfilled.

Tech watchers, reporters and fans had spent months speculating on the possible newest additions to line. Many of these theories originated in a careful look at some of the patents that Apple holds, fueling conjecture and the hopes of consumers. These tech patents are filed far in advance of any commercial application, allowing the companies to take time for research and development, while protecting the intellectual property rights of the innovation. Patents make consumers hopeful, and lend for an easy let down when these patents aren’t utilized for the next update.

Consumers have been hoping for better battery life since Apple patented an innovation for keeping your phones battery working for weeks. The iPhone 6S released this week didn’t include this feature, but the technology is rumored to come out for the iPhone 7 in 2016. Apple watchers have noticed that typically major updates are made on even numbered years, so keep those who are waiting for the new year, might get lucky.

In this most recent presentation Tim Cook announced that the iPhone has a better camera, new colors, and force touch options. However many consumers wish it could have integrated some of the ideas that Apple has patented over the past few years. Speculation points to the following innovations:

1.Waterproof Smartphones

In March 2015, Apple applied for a patent to protect “water sensitive” electronics by coating them with a hydrophobic coating.

2.  Car-finder

Losing your car in a crowded parking lot I an awful experience, all car owners have at least once in their life. A pair of patents filed in 2013 suggests Apple may be working to solve this problem. These patents detail how an iPhone could establish a Bluetooth connection with a car and, using triggers and guides its owner to the location.

3. Voicemail screener

Filed back in 2003, but granted last year Apple has a patent that would enable iPhone users to listen to voicemails as they’re being left, with the option to pick up mid-message. Flashback to landlines!

Of course Apple had to file for patent protection on many of these innovations well before they could make their way into the iPhone. Those in the industry will continue to watch patent filings for clues to the next big thing on the horizon. In the meantime we are left to wonder which of Apple’s big ideas will become commercially viable with each big roll-out. I for one could use a water-proof phone!

What would you like to see Apple roll out with and what patents are you closely watching?

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