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Patent highlights

10 Mar 2005

The pick of this week's applications including a device from Nokia that operates using Morse code.

•  Title: Respiratory motion detection system
Applicant: Hermanne, Jean-Philippe and Tans, Arnaud, Belgium
International application number: WO 2005/020815
Inventors in Belgium have devised a respiratory motion sensor based on an infrared detector and a Fresnel lens. The unit can be used during the day or night to monitor firstly the expansion of a patient's chest and then the exhalation of warm air. According to the applicants of patent number WO 2005/020815, the device would suit adults, new-borns and could also benefit veterinary medicine. In the event of a prolonged respiratory arrest, the unit is able to trigger a local or remote alarm system.

•  Title: Combustion engine comprising a laser ignition system
Applicant: GE Jenbacher Gmbh & Co OHG, Austria
International application number: WO 2005/021959
GE Jenbacher, an Austria-based manufacturer of gas engines, has come up with a laser ignition system for combustion engines. The system works by introducing focused laser light into an engine's combustion chamber to ignite the fuel/air mixture. Featuring a lens assembly with an f-number of (ideally) less than 1.3, the device is designed to focus light into an area smaller than 60 x 10-6 mm2. Each of the engine's cylinders can be fitted with its own laser, or alternatively the beam from a single device can be distributed using a beamsplitter or rotating mirror. According to its inventors, the ignition scheme suits a range of fuels including petrol and liquid petroleum gas.

•  Title: Optical messaging
Applicant: Nokia Corporation, Finland
International application number: WO 2005/022871
Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia is attempting to patent an optical messaging system by equipping handsets with a large light emitting matrix. The backlit display, which can be color or monochrome, generates scrolling or blinking symbols that can be recognised at a distance of up to 4 metres. Alternatively, the phone is equipped with a single high-power LED that can be modulated manually or automatically, for example using Morse code, and deciphered remotely with a camera-phone. According to the firm, the device provides a new communication channel that does not pollute the RF band.

Iridian Spectral TechnologiesBerkeley Nucleonics CorporationECOPTIKAlluxaABTechChangchun Jiu Tian  Optoelectric Co.,Ltd.LaCroix Precision Optics
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