Big Tech is these days often accused of failing to come up with any breakthrough innovation for a very long time, being satisfied instead to harvest user data, sell ads, and collect gazillions of dollars in the process.
And when they do appear to be attempting to come up with something new, these products and services seem, and often prove to be, far-fetched, impractical, or just solutions to problems that don't exist.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last year spoke about a future filled with brain-reading wearable devices, even if at that time only at the research level. But Facebook now has an actual patent ready for a device that would merely “hear” human thoughts.
Having apparently learned nothing from the Google Glass fiasco – that showed people were unwilling to wear awkward glasses in exchange for some convenience while using their devices – Facebook's patent reveals the company also wants to go down the smart glasses route.
Why anyone would want their thoughts read by a Facebook remains to be seen. Only the market will tell, if and when this product comes to it. And it also remains unclear if Facebook has really been partnering with MIT “for years” on research into this field just for the sake of making use of voice assistants slightly more comfortable to some people (who don't mind having their minds read, though.)
Elsewhere, Amazon is still trying to make drone deliveries happen – but the problem with this idea has always been more regulatory than technical. (And tech giants are – for the moment – still unable to change regulation through patents.)