Now the iPhone's been announced and is on its way, technology fans can turn their curiosity towards Microsoft and its rumoured Zune phone .

Flush from the success of its accurate iPhone predictions, Mad 4 Mobile Phones is picking through 12 of Microsoft's patents which could be related to the software giant's iPhone-challenging device.

The patents do suggest a phone-like device: one points to a technology designed to clean up ambient noise when speaking in a noisy area; another describes a 'real time language translation' tool.

Among the other patents picked out, details include:

  • A predictive text search function on an on-screen keyboard
  • Pressure-sensitive touch-slider controls
  • The accurate displaying of phone numbers
  • A slender and/or clamshell design
  • A health monitoring feature
  • Content on the phone being streamed to other device for consumption
  • An address book and alert functions, such as ringtones and vibrate
  • Web, email and other rich media reception

If these patents are for a phone, it's sounding quite iPhone-like, though that remains to be seen. Some of these patents may never reach fruition, but its fun to speculate.