Tag Archives: Petapator

Oculus Rift is cool, but what Nielsen works on could be more amazing!

Oculus Rift is cool, but what Nielsen works on could be more amazing!

The Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus last year is an example of how hot the Virtual Reality field is. I decided to do a quick patent search related to Virtual Reality Headset on the USPTO site with Petapator.

There are 35 patents under TTL/”Virtual Reality” and Headset. With no surprise, Oculus VR Inc. is one of the Assignees (US D701,206).



While I was browsing through the list of patents, I spotted the patents from The Nielsen Company. I wondered what a market research company like Nielsen had to do with Virtual Reality Headset, so I browsed further using number of the built-in Petapator tools right on my browser.


In Oct 2013, Nielsen filed a patent (8,548,852) on the “Effective Virtual Reality Environments for Presentation of Marketing Materials”. In the Abstract, it described the environment could input “in-store virtual reality environments such as supermarket aisles, store shelves, cooler displays, etc.”.

Given Nielsen is a company trying to understand “What People Watch, Listen To and Buy”, I can start to understand why Nielsen wants to invest in Virtual Reality. Today in order to understand the consumers’ preferences in the real shopping environment, Nielsen probably would have to set up expensive in-field tests. With Virtual Reality, Nielsen could set up a Virtual Shop to test the consumers’ feedback in this mock shopping experience.

I further browsed the patent list. As you can see in the next picture, the Word Cloud tool showed some interesting insights on the patent 8,392,250 – “related time-frequency analysis”, “collecting neuro-response”, “memory retention”. If Nielsen is able to create a Virtual Shop to show a market research test subject the suggested shop front display and simultaneously measure the neuro feedback from the test subject, this could be a game-changing innovation.


Then I did another quick search on USPTO with Petapator: AN/”nielsen company” AND “virtual reality”. Nielsen actually had started filing Virtual Reality related patents back in 2008!


The Facebook’s Oculus Rift certainly has generated lots of buzz and many media coverage. However, we should not underestimate the applicability of Virtual Reality in other fields as shown in this example.

If you are interested to try out Petapator, please visit www.petapator.com


Google’s “Creepy Toy” could be more powerful than you think.


Google has looked into making Internet-Connected toys to control home appliance.  It recently published a patent that describes devices (or toys) that would turn their heads towards users and listen to what they were saying, before sending commands to remote servers.  I looked into this patent and used Petapator to search more related information.

By searching the USPTO database using Petapator, I quickly discovered that one of the inventors, Aminzade, had 3 previous patent filings with Google Inc. as Assignee.


Among these 3 previous patents by Aminzade, I found the recent patent “Mobile computing device and wearable computing device having automatic access mode control” to be the most interesting.


US8976965 – As the wearable computing device being within a defined distance threshold with the mobile computing device, the mobile computing device would grant the user with security access for certain function.

I also performed a boarder search on “AN/google AND toy”.  Among the 69 patents published, the top inventors were Desai, Munjal, Steelberg and Ryan.   And interestingly the highest number of the patents related the “Google” AND “toy” were filed back in 2012.


As I quickly browsed through the figures of these 69 patents, I can certainly appreciate the researchers at Google are trying to develop a more human-friendly device interfaces:


With so many related technologies in-house, Google’s “creepy toy” could become more functional and powerful in the near future.  If you are interested to learn more about these patents, I suggest you to search on the Inventors that I mentioned earlier in this blog post.  To try out the Petapator tool that I use for patent search, please visit Chrome Web Store for Petapator.

Petapator 6.0 will be generally available on Sept 1st

After more than 9 months of development and 3 months of testing, Petapator 6.0 will be generally available on Sept 1st.  There are many changes in the user interface and under the hood.

Petapator 6.0 Demo

The biggest user interface change is to split the screen into half that figures are shown on the right-hand-side and texts are shown on the left-hand-side.  This should make the process of reviewing figures much quicker.  On the other hand, abstracts, claims, inventor information, assignee information, references, citations and patent families are shown in tab style to make the viewing less disorganized.

In terms of functionality changes, there are four new major features:

  1. Analyzer (will discuss more in the next blog)
  2. Patent information export
  3. Viewing all figures
  4. Download searchable PDF

Patent information export

You can now either download information shown for all patents or for selected patents only.  This helps you to make customized analysis quicker.

Viewing all figures

This feature is very ambitious because it puts a very heavy load on the image conversion server, which convers TIFF image directly retrieved from USPTO to PNG format that can be displayed on your screen.  I decide to convert all images, comparing to just the first 6 pages in previous versions, in 6.0.  However, if the load is too much on the image conversion server, I may need to impose restrictions.

Download searchable PDF

Thanks to Google, we can now download searchable PDF of patents and applications from Google Patents.  The PDF button is basically a redirection to Google Patents server.  However, Google Patents does not have the most recent patents or applications.  In such case, my PDF creation server steps in to create a non-searchable PDF.   From your perspective, you should not notice any difference in the download process.

In the next blog, I will detail the magic behind the Analyzer.