Optikos Corporation has invented an interesting iPhone camera accessory that will allow users to take close-up and distant night vision video or still shots when under poor lighting conditions. While the invention may apply to other devices such an Android smartphone in the future, the main patent figures that are illustrated in their patent filing show an iPhone as you'll note in our report below. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published this patent application last Thursday. Optikos originally filed their invention with USPTO in May 2013.
Last week we posted a report titled "Apple Files their Tenth Smart Pen Patent of the Year." Apple's smart pen project has been one of the longest running projects at Apple. They've covered smart pens for graphics, for handwriting and forms, as part of a collaboration system, for paper and everything in between. Sony, as noted in the video above, has developed a new A4 digital notepad that is the first in the world to use E Ink Mobius, a new flexible electronic paper display (EPD) technology that was first introduced in 2013. It's super light and writing with it is oh so close to the real thing. But that's the leading issue that plagues digital pens today: the "latency" factor. If a future Apple Pen is to be a winner, then it has to deliver one that finally defeats latency.
There was great interest in the Apple community when Aaron Sorkin began pumping up his new project about the biopic of Apple's co-founder Steve Jobs. Not many enjoyed the rushed "Jobs" movie that starred Ashton Kutcher, so there was a gap to fill. Sorkin later talked about writing the Steve Jobs character. Yet the main characters that were initially cast for the movie are by and large dropping out. For three of the top actors to drop out of this film in such short order, there must be something terrible about the script that the actors don't want to be associated with. Yet no one has come forward to say just what they objected to.
Today a CNN video report pointed out Samsung's Gear VR glasses. The Samsung representative, around the 40 second mark of that video, states that "We have created smartphone powered virtual reality. Transforms that flat 2D map of content that we've always had, into the rounded 3D globe content we've always dreamed of." Yet the basic hardware approach that they've taken was really first invented by Apple all the way back to 2010. So how original is Samsung's VR Glasses concept? – Not very.
Grammy Award-winner Gwen Stefani is taking control of the Priceless Surprises launcher to help surprise cardholders every time they swipe, dip, tap or click with their MasterCard. Stefani has teamed up with MasterCard to deliver truly unforgettable experiences and surprises for MasterCard cardholders and Gwen Stefani fans. To kick things off, MasterCard will debut a new 30 second TV spot today featuring Stefani who, with the help of a "Surprise launcher," sends Priceless Surprises to cardholders paying with their MasterCard with Apple Pay. The spot features Stefani's new song, Spark the Fire.
A Ford Global Technologies (part of Ford Motor Company) patent application published this week by the US Patent Office revealed their work on an-vehicle system using Siri. Ford notes that Apple, Inc. manufactures mobile phones and other portable electronics with Siri, an intelligent personal assistant that helps users utilize voice commands to execute specific commands on the phone, such as sending text messages, scheduling meetings, placing phone calls, etc. Additionally, SIRI utilizes natural speech and may utilize a series of prompts to complete a user's request. Apple also integrates SIRI into voice control systems of vehicle manufactures through Apple's "Eyes Free" solution. By utilizing a voice command button on a steering wheel, a driver may be able to activate SIRI on a user's phone. Additionally, the device's screen may stay in sleep mode to minimize distractions. Ford's patent covers a vehicle interface module that works with Apple's Siri.
Popular, well-known sites, such as the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue, Times Square, Macy's and the area around the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, were caught up in Friday's "die in" protests. Demonstrators angry over a grand jury's decision not to indict a policeman in the death of an unarmed African-American man, Eric Garner, converged on Friday on some of New York City's most famous businesses and venues.
Shortly after Apple introduced their new Apple Watch, the knives came out. One of the leading Swiss watch companies headed by Jean-Claude Biver lashed out at the Apple Watch for being too feminine amongst other things. Of course what he didn't reveal at that time was that his company was secretly racing to come up with a smartwatch that would eventually compete with Apple. In late October we reported that "Jean-Claude Biver, president of LVMH's watch division stated that "Maybe in nine months, we will have a smartwatch." Biver went on to say that he wasn't sure yet which technology partner that they would dance with yet. Yesterday a rumor surfaced pointing to Intel as likely being the partner that they'll work with to power their first smartwatch.
Biometrics is a class of user verification with the focus of identification of humans using characteristics unique to a particular human. Google thinks that conventional biometric systems and techniques of today are relatively inconvenient to use. The inconvenience is exacerbated as the number of secure devices continues to grow. As such, new approaches for user verification are need and desired. This is Google's second patent on bringing Iris scanning technology to the forefront based on a unique contact lens system. However the original patent laying the foundation for this invention was filed before Apple introduced Touch ID was publicly introduced. Apple's Touch ID is convenient and has recently been extended to their mobile wallet application called Apple Pay. In that light, it is the Google Contact Lenses system that appears to now be the inconvenient biometric methodology in the big picture. Yet with that said, Google's invention has its strengths and our Patently Mobile report points them out.
In 2013 a report came to light that Apple set a goal to have 200 stores selling their products in India. Apple kept negotiating with the Indian Government in 2014 to allow them to open their own flagship Apple Stores but government restrictions were just too demanding. Apple's continuing efforts in India have been bearing fruit with their premium iPhone outselling Samsung's more than two to one earlier this year. With momentum building, Apple's first iPhone 6 allotment in India sold out in 72 hours. Now with Xiaomi setting their sights on India for smartphones and tablets, Apple knows that they have to step up their game in India in 2015. Instead of aiming for 200 stores, the goal now may be to support a plan backing a new franchise of 500 "iOS" stores.
The Smithsonian recently teamed up with the White House to take a 3D portrait of President Obama.
A new report today covers photographer Brooks Kraft who has been covering the White House since 2000, and over the years, he's had plenty of opportunities to document the unveiling of Christmas decorations at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This year, however, he decided to mix things up a bit — and shot the event with Apple's new iPhone 6.
According to a new Korean report published today, Samsung, LG and other Android smartphone OEMs that design and sell premium smartphones that compete with Apple's iPhone 6 are getting really nervous that they'll be forced to delay their next generation smartphone models that were due out in the first half of 2015. Why? Because Qualcomm is having major problems with their next generation Snapdragon 810 processor that will take more time to solve.
Woz, The Myth Buster: On Monday we read that Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak and former Mythbuster Kari Byron have teamed up to make a new reality show where the two text futuristic new gadgets. The show, called The Woz," hasn't been picked up yet, but the two have been working together filming for potential episodes. Today, the Woz reveals a Myth Buster of his own that will shatter the Apple start-up Myth of it all beginning in Steve Jobs' garage.