Uber’s evidence locker

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Plus: Meta wants to give your eyes a break; Sony wants to know your mood.

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A quick programming note before we jump in: The next edition of Patent Drop will be published on Tuesday, Feb. 21 in observance of Presidents’ Day on Monday, Feb. 20. 

This morning, we’re taking a look at Uber’s potential new safety feature, Meta’s plans to be easier on the eyes, and Sony’s tech to adjust your WFH workspace to fit your mood. Let’s take a look.

#1. Uber’s safety play

Uber has had its fair share of safety complaints. Now, it wants to keep track of them itself. 

The company filed a patent for tech that controls “use of secure media recordings.” Essentially, this tech allows both riders and drivers to make media recordings of their rides in-app if an incident occurs, then stores those recordings securely and directly with Uber. That way, if the recordings need to be used as evidence in a case, law enforcement can retrieve them from Uber and be ensured that they haven’t been tampered with by either party involved. 

“While users can record media on their devices separate from resources of the service, the recording of such media can be illegal, viewed as an invasion of privacy to the other party, or deemed unreliable,” Uber said in its application. 

The recordings are also timestamped to ensure that no unrelated parties are hauled into court. For example, if a driver was recording before and after a passenger incident, any riders picked up before or after wouldn’t be brought into the case.