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Top 10 Craziest Patents Ever Filed

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Mark Sammut

These blurred the line between genius and insane. From Robot Skin, to Electronic Skin Tattoos, to Underwater Data Centers, these patents will make you scratch your head with confusion! WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 Craziest Patents Ever Filed by Huge Companies.

Special thanks to our user boxtroll for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Craziest+Patents+Ever+Filed+by+Huge+Companies.


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Top 10 Craziest Patents Ever Filed by Huge Companies

These blurred the line between genius and insane. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Craziest Patents Ever Filed by Huge Companies.

For this list, we’re looking at the weirdest and most nonsensical patents filed by large corporations. Whether they actually developed the technology or not is irrelevant.

#10: Robot Skin

Sci-fi quality androids still seem to be a long way off, but in 2012, Hewlett-Packard Development was granted a patent for a sensor fabric capable of propelling robotics to the next level. Despite the technological advancements made in the last couple of decades, robots have struggled to replicate basic sensory functions, meaning an object's attributes cannot be identified by touch. The patent promises to fix this shortcoming by using flexoelectric material and electrodes that - when the skin comes in contact with an object - generate a voltage that examines the surface's measurements.

#9: Electronic Skin Tattoo

Google & Motorola Mobility
This is for those situations when a normal microphone is just too big of a hassle. Google and Motorola Mobility's electronic skin tattoo is practically a wireless microphone that, once attached to someone's throat region, can transmit and receives data from a smartphone or a controller. At first glance, Google's idea might seem silly, but the tattoo's close proximity to the user's vocal chords should reduce noise and improve communication in certain environments. Additionally, Motorola believes the tattoo could be able to detect when someone is lying.

#8: Underwater Data Centers

A research project or a poorly disguised hideout for a James Bond villain? Either way, Microsoft has our attention. Project Natick hopes to be Microsoft's answer for environmentally sustainable and low-cost cloud datacenters, which can be constructed in around 90 days. With a substantial amount of people living near the coast, these centers allow for a cloud to be installed as close as possible to the customers, while also taking measures to encourage marine life. At the tail end of 2015, Microsoft launched a prototype – the Leona Philpot – one kilometer, or 0.62 miles off the Pacific coast, with promising results.

#7: Electronic Bees

Finally, the real world has caught up to horror movies and Saturday morning cartoons. In the early 20th century, the Agriculture industry has been facing a crisis due to a decline in bees and other insects needed to fertilize crops. As mother nature's designated pollinators, bees play a crucial role in the reproduction process of fruits, vegetables, and nuts; so fewer bees equals fewer apples and oranges. Walmart was hardly the first to recommend robotics as a solution, but their patent received a ton of press, including a mention on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update, of all places.

#6: Odor Removing Device

Google is the ultimate wingman. The technology company is not usually associated with deodorants, but Google's patent for an Odor Removing Device suggests an expansion might be on the horizon. Designed to look like a fan, this high-tech spray predicts when the user's body odor could be taking a turn for the worse and attempts to get ahead of the situation. At that point, the device counters with a splash of fragrance to dull the body's natural smells. If the device is fighting a losing battle, Google's portable fan can access the person's social network profile to see which public areas should be avoided.

#5: Foldable Phone

Samsung has been working on an alternative phone for years, and the Galaxy X is set to turn that dream into a reality. Among other things, the US Patent and Trademark office granted Samsung a design patent for a fold-able smartphone. Unlike normal applications, design patents are not required to state the material used in the creation process, but Samsung's smartphone will have a wraparound screen and could fold out to the size of a tablet. Samsung has yet to announce a release date for the Galaxy X, but it would be cool to see one of these patents actually came to life.

#4: Sealed Crustless Sandwich

The J.M. Smucker Company
Sorry if we lose you with all the upcoming technical jargon. In the late '90s, Smucker's filed a patent for a crustless sandwich – that is, a stack of two slices of bread with the outer edge removed – that was capable of standing the test of time without the central filling leaking out. After spreading peanut butter on the upper and lower portions of the flour-based panel, jelly is then added as the central filling before the bread pieces are pushed together. The patent's abstract explains that this design would prevent the sandwich's jelly from radiating through the bread.

#3: 'Smart' Wig

Have you ever failed to realize that your phone was vibrating? Well, Sony has your back! The multinational conglomerate patented a wearable computing device that blends a stylish hairdo with the future. If created, the wig would hide a sensor, processing unit, and a communication interface that is linked to a smartphone. When a call or message is received, Sony's device would provide feedback to the user. If a smart wig sounds a little too weird, Nokia's patent for a vibrating tattoo might be the next best thing.

#2: Car Glue

Google believes that self-driving cars are the future, and the company is taking steps to improve their chances of success. Even if these vehicles are safer, Google knows that accidents will continue to happen, but hopes that “car glue” might decrease the risk of injury. Google's patent suggests coating a vehicle's exterior with an adhesive substance; if a pedestrian is hit, they would get stuck rather than bouncing off and suffering a secondary impact. The downside, in addition to being hit and stuck to a moving vehicle, is that the victim would become a makeshift bumper.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Glass Staircases

Vein Recognition

#1: Rectangle-Shaped Phone

In the midst of the smartphone wars, Apple was granted a design patent for the rectangle shape of a portable display device. Basically, Apple won control over the standard look of a smartphone. For a design patent, the solid lines are the only things that matter; in this case, Apple's image just covers the outer shape of the device and it is mind-boggling that the USPTO accepted their proposal. While this seems like a big win for Apple, a patent this broad is usually pretty worthless, as competitors could easily invalidate it.


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