Yesterday Microsoft introduced the new Surface Hub for enterprise collaboration and meetings during their Windows 10 event. Microsoft noted that their new Surface Hub, as noted in the video above, would introduce Skype for the enterprise, be able to manipulate 3D CAM files using multitouch, use their Surface pen to make annotations and mark-up materials on screen and more. In yesterday's presentation Microsoft introduced two features or apps called "Meetings" and "Brainstorming." As the New Year began, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published one of Microsoft's patent applications covering the basics of their new Surface Hub interactive display that our Patently Mobile IP blog discovered today. The patent filing shows us some new customized gestures that the Surface Hub may introduce along with a few other interesting facts. While I'm sure that there will be a number of future patent filings on this invention over time, for today, the timing of this initial patent application on the Surface Hub couldn't have come at a better time.
Back in September we posted a report about Apple having to ensure China's Ministry that there were no hidden back doors to Apple's iOS 8 for the iPhone 6. The report noted that China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said it conducted "rigorous security testing" on the iPhone 6 and held talks with Apple on the issue, and that Apple shared with the ministry materials related to the potential security issues. We also posted a follow-up report titled "Apple's CEO Attended Top Level Meeting in China over Security." Just when we thought that this issue was over and done with, the Chinese-language Beijing News has opened the door all over again. Beijing News is reporting today that Apple's CEO Tim Cook had agreed to submit Apple products for web security evaluations by Chinese authorities. This was reportedly agreed to during a meeting between Tim Cook and Lu Wei, the chief of the General Office of the Central Leading Group for Internet Security and Information in December.
Last week we reported on the Google Glass Project going underground until further notice. Google had taken the decision to reinvent their augmented reality device that just wasn't connecting with the consumer as first hoped for. In hindsight it now makes sense why Google chose to make that announcement so public at that particular point in time. Today Microsoft introduced HoloLens, an all-new holographic headset that will be powered by Windows 10.
A year ago we reported on Samsung's embarrassing misstep trying to introduce their Tizen OS with Docomo jumping off the Tizen bandwagon at the last moment and instead focused on Apple's iPhone. Since that time there have been other missteps like missing a launch in Russia and India. Then on January 14 Samsung surprised everyone by actually introducing a Tizen OS based phone in India for under $100. So that finally got that monkey off their back only to be hammered by reviewers and those in India for producing a product that's completely underwhelming to say the least.
In September we posted a report titled "Samsung weeps as iPhone 6 Mania Rocks around the Globe." There was just something in the air about the iPhone 6 that was different from some previous models. In part it was the introduction of Apple's first Phablet taking on Samsung's Galaxy Note. Apple was taking the battle to Samsung and there was electricity in the air as the battle began. On January 9 we posted a report from Kantar that told us tells us that the iPhone 6 had won the war by a wide margin in the U.S. Today, the news is even sweeter: Apple's iPhone 6 is the first smartphone by a foreign company to ever go beyond 20% market share in South Korea. In fact Apple smashed that record by a wide margin by taking Samsung's Galaxy smartphone line-up head on.
In October we reported that "Google and Facebook Handily Outspent Apple on Lobbying." Google spent $3.94 million between July and September while Facebook spent $2.45 million. Considering Apple's sheer size and importance in the tech sector, it was strange to find that Apple had only spent a little over a million in that same quarter for lobbying. In November we learned that Apple was stepping up their politics and hired a new DC lobbyist. Today we learned that Apple got more involved with various agencies in Washington D.C. in December. Specifically, Apple wanted to ensure that their products such as the Apple Watch wouldn't get snared in any last minute red tape regarding the addition of new medical sensors.
Apple's iPhone 6 and especially the iPhone 6 Plus ran over Samsung's Galaxy and Galaxy Note products this past Christmas. And although Samsung will be focusing a lot of their energy on taking the smartphone war to China's Xiaomi in the year ahead, the upcoming Galaxy S6 is squarely aimed at striking back at the iPhone. The new Galaxy S6 is reportedly packing heavy specs as a counter attack against Apple's iPhone in the hopes of stopping their market share and profits from bleeding any further.
In a report that we posted in September we learned that Samsung smartphone sensor technology had been dragged down by technological and legal problems. The legal issue revolved around smartphones integrating biometric sensors having to be clearly labelled as medical devices. At the time we wondered if this same problem could catch up with Apple's iDevices. Today the FDA released a draft relating to "General Wellness: Policy for Low Risk Devices." The Draft Guidance is for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff. On the surface it appears that simple heath sensors found in iDevices and the future Apple Watch are likely to be cleared by the FDA as not having to be labeled medical devices like is the case in Korea. Secondly, the FDA documents states that their guidance documents "do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities."