By Laurie Riedman, Xerox contributor

Seems Xerox researchers truly take to heart Plato’s sentiment that “Necessity is the mother of invention.” You see, Xerox inventors love to tackle complex problems, and dream up ways to simplify life’s basic necessities.  Perhaps that is why Xerox innovators work on making otherwise complex or difficult things – easier.

Our researchers take a real-world approach to innovation – how to solve everyday challenges using cool technology. Here are two examples that help to solve major transportation challenges.

Quick, Mobile Payments for Transit

If you live in a city, you probably use different modes of transportation to get around. Xerox introduced Xerox Seamless,TM a new, disruptive way to pay for public transit with your smartphone.

While most mobile payments use the mobile phone as a ticket, the Xerox solution incorporates Near Field Communication (NFC) tags that use your mobile phone as a payment terminal.

Smartphone

Xerox continues to add to its innovation portfolio. Xerox inventors received 1,551 U.S. patents in 2015.

The system has a low implementation cost, it’s designed to be universal – independent of SIM cards and compatible with all mobile phone operators. Transportation operators can install the solution quickly and efficiently while offering the same security guarantees as conventional contactless ticketing. The system, piloted in France since 2015, will be available later this year.

Downtown Uproar: Where to Park

What about easing the frustration of trying to find parking in a crowded downtown area?

Xerox researchers teamed up with the city of Los Angeles to create a new parking system called LA ExpressPark.TM The demand-based pricing system uses data from street sensors that send real-time information about space availability, and adjusts parking rates based on driver demand. The result is better use of parking spaces across the city and a 10-percent reduction in congestion of drivers cruising for parking. Drivers also can use a mobile app or go online to find the best places to park ahead of time, or be alerted when their meter is up allowing them to add more money to the meter remotely. Take a look at this video:

These are just a few examples of how Xerox ingenuity is hard at work to make our lives better one commute at a time.

Xerox Inventors Received 1,551 U.S. patents in 2015

The majority of Xerox patents issued last year applied our expertise in imaging, business process, analytics, automation and human-centric innovation to support solutions that make complex processes easier to do.

The stats show that the company continues to add to its innovation portfolio with Xerox inventors receiving 1,551 U.S. patents in 2015.

IFI Claims, a research company that compiles an annual patent list, ranked Xerox as 37th in its 2015 report based on 938 patents – including patents from PARC, a Xerox company. However, when you add the 613 patents from Fuji Xerox Co. Ltd., a joint venture in Japan –– the Xerox group had 1,551 patents, placing the company at No. 18 on the IFI Patent Intelligence list of patent recipients.

Laurie Riedman owns Riedman Communications. She is a geek at heart and loves working with Xerox scientists around the globe.  When she isn’t talking to media on behalf of Xerox or her other technology clients, she is cooking and baking up a storm feeding family, neighbors and friends.