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Three Unique Smartphone Patents to Watch

These tech companies are working hard on making their smartphones future-ready. Check out what they’re up to below:

Apple’s recent patent covering “Non-capacitive or radio frequency-transparent materials with anodized metal appearance,” could help the company rid iPhones of their unflattering antenna bands. The bands, currently covered in plastic to allow radio waves to pass through the exterior, have been argued to take away from the overall aesthetic of the latest iPhones by interrupting an otherwise entirely metallic surface.

The new patent reveals a process that could potentially allow Apple to create an anodized metal look-a-like made from composite materials, resulting in a non-capacitive and RF transparent covering for its antennae.

Amazon is also working on giving smartphones a makeover with its recent patent covering a unique ear recognition technology. Forget finger prints- users of this new technology would simply hold their phone up to their ear to unlock it. The front surface camera would scan a user’s ear, recognize its unique shape and respond accordingly, something that could prove useful when driving (or during other times when entering a pass code might be more difficult).

Rumor has it that this same tech could also work to adjust speaker volume, increasing or decreasing based on distance between the phone and a user’s ear.

Not interested in ear recognition quite yet? Samsung is currently rumored to be working on a new touch-less fingerprint recognition technology for its mobile devices. Users would simply hold their finger over the front-facing camera, which would automatically correct itself until getting the clear scan needed to unlock the phone.

It may sound more difficult than the original recognition software, however, the application would feature a guide-screen to help users get a fast and accurate read.