The biggest patent fight in history, the one we are witnessing now between Apple and Samsung has been described as a fight over a rectangle. This is true to some extent, their fight is generally a tussle over the rectangular shape of today’s smartphones. It appears that today’s smartphones are becoming simpler and simpler symmetrical designs with most of them taking the shape of a rectangle with rounded edges, and the screen taking most of the front of the device. One problem that this design presents, especially if manufacturers are going to eliminate hardware keys on the front of the device completely, but Google are working on something simple but new: A phone that you can talk to either end.
If you find yourself holding the phone the wrong way when you receive a call, then the new patent awarded to Google will solve this issue. This patent puts an end to the orientation confusion such that you can receive calls on your phone without worrying about whether you have the right side up.
The patent solves this problem by adding a speaker and a microphone on both ends of the device such that when the phone is picked up, the speaker located on the upper end of the device and the microphone on the lower end of the device will be activated. The phone will automatically detect which side is pointing upwards or downwards and select the microphone and the speaker accordingly.
Note that this is just a patent application; there is no indication that we will see it on actual devices any time soon or in the future. For now, we just have to smile, appreciate Google’s innovativeness and ingenuity and hope that the next Nexus smartphone will have it.