An interesting patent application from Apple has just been made public, and it looks like one that may actually get some use (and seems like a “legitimate” patent, to boot). It has to do with a new mechanism for keyboard keys, one that loses much of the depth necessary in mechanical or scissor-switch mechanisms, yet purportedly doesn’t sacrifice the tactile feel we all crave from a keyboard. → Read More
The age of driverless cars may still be years in the future, but to those playing a long game, that just means that work now will pay off even more later. Google is getting into the business of tracking and managing driverless cars, and while the technology actually steering and perceiving the cars’ surroundings will be undergoing lots of changes, some fundamentals of their interactions with the… → Read More
If you’ve been in photography for more than ten years, you probably remember the way things used to be on old film cameras. There was no electronic interconnect between the lens and the body, so lens-related functions (focus, zoom, aperture) were on the lens and body-related functions (ASA, shutter speed) were on the body. That changed as autofocus and auto-exposure, particularly on digital… → Read More
There’s no question that the cost of patents is rising. Google is paying $12.5 billion for Motorola mainly for its huge mobile patent portfolio. In July, an anti-Google consortium raised $4.5 billion for Nortel’s patents (and they overpayed). Interdigital, Kodak, and others are looking to sell their patent portfolios. As my colleague Erick Schonfeld wrote recently, we are in the midst of a patent… → Read More
Back in February of 2010, Microsoft applied for a number of patents related to touchscreen gestures on a tablet. Many of them concern a dual-screen device, conjuring images of the once highly-anticipated Courier slate. The others focus mainly on bezel gestures. Those patents have gone public now, though they have not in fact been granted yet.
With IP wars raging across the globe, it’s certainly… → Read More
Steve Jobs is a man who lives in the minutiae of details. He, with his loyal staff, perfects what others would pass off as perfect. He has 313 patents to his name, which range from the Apple III to the iPod’s acrylic packaging. Almost all of them are notable but only a few are iconic. → Read More
Bravo Google, well played.
There’s no denying that Google’s maneuver this morning to acquire Motorola for $12.5 billion in cash is remarkable. Everyone is talking about every possible angle of the deal, as they should. The summertime is usually the doldrums when it comes to tech news. Not this year. Google is pulling off an acquisition that is larger than any that Microsoft, Apple, or any… → Read More
Designing a user interface for touch isn’t an easy thing to do. At least, it isn’t easy to do well. The great number and variety of gestures possible when four fingers and a thumb hit a touchscreen may well cause development and design paralysis. Yet the gestures we see implemented often seem so simple and intuitive that as soon as we perform them once, we wonder how anyone would have trouble… → Read More