August 28, 2012 23:01 by Jeremy
In what's possibly the largest piece of tech news these days, consumers and developers alike have been reeling back at the results of the Apple vs. Samsung trial. The jury's verdict claims that Samsung, "...should have known or did know they were infringing," and Samsung must now pay over a billion dollars in damages. The patents in question alleged that Samsung copied the Apple iPhone's physical design and user interface.
The trial isn't exactly over yet, though. The jurors made their decision quite fast (a little too fast, even for legal experts) - for them to gloss over 100-pages of rules as to what they should be judging, only to come out hours later with a verdict, seemed a little sketchy. The jurors are defending their verdict, but some people have even pointed out flaws in their logic as far as calculating the damages owed. Samsung will likely use this in their appeal of the decision.
While Apple floats on cloud nine, with CEO Tim Cook issuing an internal memo regarding Samsung's thieving ways, the rest of the world has been left wondering what the next stage is. The courts will continue the case of Apple vs. Samsung, but where does this place other manufacturers such as HTC and Nokia? Large companies such as Google and Microsoft have even chimed in, with the former stating that, "Most of these [patent claims] don't relate to the core Android operating system, and several are being re-examined by the US Patent Office."
If you were planning on buying any Samsung cell phones in the near future, you might want to do it sooner rather than later - Apple is already trying to figure out which of the infringed products they'd liked banned.
Sources: latimes, mashable, theverge (1), theverge (2)
Last week, Google showed off their latest advances with their Google Glasses: several professionals jumped out of a helicopter, equipped with the Google Glasses Explorer Edition, and made their way towards the I/O 2012 Event. This week, we're seeing two other companies who may possibly tred along the same path of technological-eyewear: Apple and Olympus.
Olympus' headgear doesn't actually have a camera like the Google Glasses do, nor are they a standalone-unit. Instead, the augmented reality spectacles will connect via bluetooth to your smartphone or tablet. Olympus boasts that the Meg 4.0, the current prototype, will last for 8 hours; however, they expect users to use the glasses in 15-second spurts every three minutes, which just doesn't seem as feasible.
Meanwhile, Apple doesn't even have a working unit yet. Their big news comes in the form of a patent granted to them earlier this week. The patent allows for a dual-lens, dual-HUD eyeglass that projects images directly to your eyes. This would provide a more immersed experience than just simple glasses. Also, by using stereoscopic projection, the user would more likely avoid motion-sickness.
The Olympus augmented-reality glasses have no current release date, and Apple's "iGlass" (for lack of an official name) hasn't even been touted as a product idea - a patent doesn't necessarily mean there's already a game-plan behind it. However, if Apple does join the fray, then we'd be closer to centralizing our market on eyewear and heads-up displays...which definitely can't be a bad thing.
Sources: slashgear, gizmodo
As if smartphones weren't encroaching on the camera industry's turf enough, Apple's latest plans may sway a few more loyal customers to their cause. It's common to see phones with up to 12-megapixel cameras attached to them, which certainly makes digital cameras lose their appeal - after all, who wants to lug around an extra electronic when your cell phone can handle it all?
Apple seems to be thinking along the same lines, and recently filed a patent to have an iPhone with swappable lenses. Digital camera fans beware, since basic point-and-shoot cameras normally don't even have the option to change lenses.
For Apple, this could mean gaining a few consumers from the opposition, as Android phones don't have swappable lenses just yet. Meanwhile, for the digital camera industry, this is just another obstacle to overcome as they struggle with their hold on the market.
However, better pictures on your smartphone doesn't come without its quirks. While no official information has been released yet (such as, say, whether this is even going to be a feature in the next iPhone), one can only imagine what kind of an effect all the picture-taking and lens-swapping will have on your battery life.
Sources: appleinsider, pcmag