Why Are There So Many Weird Tech Patents?

Companies are constantly patenting strange things they have no intention of developing. Here’s why.

 Amazon is putting humans in cages to protect them from machines!

Facebook is selling your face to advertisers so it can CGI you into ads!

 Sony has a system where you can skip ads if you stand up and yell the brand’s name!

None of these things are technically true—they’re headlines driven by patents filed by these companies. In each case, the company has not developed these technologies (and in some cases, the headlines aren’t even accurately describing the patent, but we’ll get to that in a minute). And it’s likely that they never will. And yet, head-scratching and sometimes hilarious patents continue to populate the patent office and generate headlines. So why are there so many strange, somewhat terrifying patents that companies will likely never act on?

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