Verizon and Kiosk Patents

Interesting article on Verizon from IP Watchdog as Verizon joinsverizon-logo their list “Companies We Watch”.  Verizon has been very active in the patent and self-service area.  Their patent for tele-diagnosis and analysis of dermatological skin conditions is fascinating one for me.

Excerpts from IP Watchdog

Verizon’s inaugural appearance in the Companies We Follow series revealed plenty of patent applications in the realm of retail kiosk services, including one that discusses a kiosk which allows users to purchase mobile devices and activate subscriber services. Other recent patent applications published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office referenced some useful technologies involving vehicles, including one designed to restrict the use of mobile devices when an owner is driving a vehicle.

A few of the patent applications that we ended up exploring in detail discuss a few innovations in retail technologies designed to improve Verizon’s ability to get its products into the hands of consumers. U.S. Patent Application No. 20140351075, which is titledKiosk for Dispensing and Activating User Devices, discusses technological innovations that allow customers to purchase wireless devices and activate data subscription plans without having to visit an actual store. The patent application would protect a device with one or more processors that determines device information associated with a user device housed within a kiosk, dispenses the user device, receives subscription information associated with the device’s purchaser and provide activation information permitting a user device to be activated on a network. Through this system, a purchaser could visit a website to begin the purchase of a device, including selection of subscription package, and then purchase and activate the device from a kiosk instead of an actual store. Tools for providing more personalized customer service in retail establishments are described within U.S. Patent Application No. 20140324638, titled Near-Field Communication (NFC)-Based Retail Experience Using a Retail Kiosk or Mobile Device. The retail kiosk claimed by this patent application includes a display unit, a user-input interface and an NFC reader that establishes an NFC-based communication link with a compatible user device to authenticate the user and provide a personalized retail experience through the user-input interface and display unit. The resulting invention provides customers with a kiosk through which they can access information for a meaningful comparison of mobile wireless devices; the kiosk is capable of detecting what device the customer may be interested in purchasing through the use of the NFC link.

Finally, we wanted to share one novel patent developed by Verizon which allows a mobile device owner to utilize his or her smartphone as a health diagnostic tool. U.S. Patent No. 8891841, entitled Mobile Dermatology Collection and Analysis System, protects a system enabling a device user to get professional medical advice for a developing skin condition, such as a rash, without having to visit a physician. The patent protects a mobile communications device method of obtaining one or more images, extracting features from those images to create feature vectors and determining a dermatological classification of the images based on a dermatological analysis model.

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