Apple Developing Smart Glasses

Apple Inc. is weighing an expansion into digital glasses, a risky but potentially lucrative area of wearable computing, according to people familiar with the matter.

While still in an exploration phase, the device would connect wirelessly to iPhones, show images and other information in the wearer’s field of vision, and may use augmented reality, the people said. They asked not to be identified speaking about a secret project.

// WATCH BLOOMBERG COVERAGE OF APPLE’S LATEST R&D NEWS //

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Apple has talked about its glasses project with potential suppliers, according to people familiar with those discussions. The company has ordered small quantities of near-eye displays from one supplier for testing, the people said. Apple hasn’t ordered enough components so far to indicate imminent mass-production, one of the people added.

Should Apple ultimately decide to proceed with the device, it would be introduced in 2018 at the earliest, another person said. The Cupertino, California-based company tests many different products and is known to pivot, pause, or cancel projects without disclosing them. Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller declined to comment.

apple-conference-wwdc-2014-ceo-tim-cookChief Executive Officer Tim Cook is under pressure to deliver new products amid slowing sales of the iPhone, which accounts for two-thirds of Apple’s revenue. In July, he expressed enthusiasm for augmented reality after the rise of Pokemon Go, a location-based game that uses the technology. AR, as it’s known, adds images and other digital information to people’s view of the real world, while virtual reality completely surrounds them with a computer-generated environment.

The glasses may be Apple’s first hardware product targeted directly at AR, one of the people said. Cook has beefed up AR capabilities through acquisitions. In 2013, Apple bought PrimeSense, which developed motion-sensing technology in Microsoft Corp.’s Kinect gaming system. Purchases of software startups in the field, Metaio Inc. and Flyby Media Inc., followed in 2015 and 2016.

“AR can be really great, and we have been and continue to invest a lot in this,” Cook said in a July 26 conference call with analysts. “We are high on AR for the long run. We think there are great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity.”

Apple has AR patents for things like street view in mapping apps. It was also awarded patents for smart glasses that make use of full-fledged virtual reality. Apple is unlikely to leverage VR in a mass-consumer product, Cook suggested in October.

“I can’t imagine everyone in here getting in an enclosed VR experience while you’re sitting in here with me, but I could imagine everyone in here in an AR experience right now,” he said during an onstage discussion in Utah.

Apple’s challenge is fitting all the technology needed into a useful pair of internet-connected glasses that are small and sleek enough for regular people to wear.

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Google’s attempt to develop internet-connected eye wear flopped in part because its tiny battery ran out quickly. Google Glass, as it was called, also suffered a privacy backlash and poor public perception of its external design.

After that disappointment, technology companies largely turned their immediate focus to VR and away from AR. Google recently introduced a VR headset alongside its Pixel smartphone, and Facebook Inc.’s Oculus VR unit has teamed up with Samsung Electronics Co. on a similar headset. Microsoft has the most public AR offering. Its HoloLens product shows holographic images in a user’s field of vision.

Apple’s effort may be more difficult because the chips, batteries and other components that will be available in a year or two may still not be small enough and powerful enough to build slim glasses capable of handling compelling AR experiences.

However, given time, technical challenges may play to Apple’s strengths. The company specializes in turning technology that others have struggled with into easy-to-use devices for the masses. For example, Apple simplified fingerprint technology into an unlocking mechanism for the iPhone and took touch screens mainstream with the original iPhone.

Augmented reality “is going to take a while, because there are some really hard technology challenges there, but it will happen in a big way, and we will wonder when it does, how we ever lived without it,” Cook said last month. “Like we wonder how we lived without our phone today.”

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Apple Warn: Gov Chilling Demands

Apple_Wounded

 

Apple is standing up for & defending the rights of Americans.

An unprecedented  demand has been squarely refused by Apple.

If you’ve ever used a mobile device or an iPhone more specifically you should be aware the U.S. Government via the FBI is sending a clear message about everything we thought was private, on our iPhones, in the cloud or for our eyes or ears  only.

“We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good. Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them,” Cook wrote in a letter published on Apple’s website.

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has backed Apple’s refusal to comply with a federal court order to help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by one of the assailants in the mass shootings in San Bernardino, Calif. in December.

“But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.”

Snowden called on Internet giant Google to stand with Apple, saying, “this is the most important tech case in a decade.”

Apple and Google engineered their software so they cannot unlock devices in the wake of damaging revelations by Snowden that made the world suspicious they created “back doors” for American intelligence and law enforcement.
The fear: Unlocking the iPhone could hand law enforcement a master encryption key. The FBI hasn’t been able to access the smartphone because it is passcode-protected.
“The technical changes the @FBI demands would make it possible to break into an iPhone (5C or older) in a half hour,” Snowden tweeted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Millennials Don’t Want To Buy Stuff

The concept of shopping has shifted from owning stuff to buying into new ideas. 

As all forms of media make their journey into a digital, de-corporeal space, research shows that people are beginning to actually prefer this disconnected reality to owning a physical product. So is technology the culprit, then?

Though it often seems to be the driver, technology cannot be the cause either, because it is simply an extension of the way we think. New tech is created because someone has decided to think differently about the world. This may, in turn, spur new technology, but the new thinking is always first. And there’s the culprit.

Humanity is experiencing an evolution in consciousness.

We are starting to think differently about what it means to “own” something. This is why a similar ambivalence towards ownership is emerging in all sorts of areas, from car-buying to music listening to entertainment consumption. Though technology facilitates this evolution and new generations champion it, the big push behind it all is that our thinking is changing.

(Not an exact quote: Much like Nikola Tesla expressed not so eloquently in his early interviews… “Often times technology, or the idea of the convenience it provides must wait while the world comes around to the idea itself.” For inventors & entrepreneurs, sometimes the wait can be agony.)

Read The Complete Fast Company Story | 

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Self Destructing Smartphone | BOEING BLACK

Boeing Black

Click to View the Boeing Black Marketing Video, complete with outdated techno.

The U.S. defense and security communities demand trusted access to data to accomplish their missions. Despite the continuous innovation in commercial mobile technology, current devices are not designed from inception with the security and flexibility needed to match their evolving mission and enterprise environment. Boeing Black is one possible solution.

When one thinks of Boeing’s core business, smartphone manufacturing doesn’t typically come to mind. Planes, flight systems & all manner of weapons… sure, but not phones, mobile or otherwise. 

According to Boeing’s website, “Black smartphone was designed with security and modularity in mind to ensure our customers can use the same smartphone across a range of missions and configurations.”  |  Boeing Black Spec Sheet (PDF)

WSJ Reports the phone will be available for government use Fall 2014 while a joint venture between two software firms launched the $629 Blackphone, which is being touted as a highly secure device that doesn’t run on any traditional telecom carriers or operating systems is availible now. Defense contractor General Dynamics makes a keyboard-equipped, BlackBerry-like secure phone called the Sectera Edge that is certified by the National Security Agency. Motorola Solutions makes a secure phone running on Android called the AME 2000. Motorola says its phone is already being used by federal agencies.  |  Watch The Boeing Black Promotional Video

Using embedded hardware security features, software policy configurability and physical modularity, Boeing Black claims greater security, more flexibility and productivity by featuring: 

Android™ Operating System: Convenient smartphone for Android usage, Disk Encryption: Encrypted storage for sensitive data, Hardware Root of Trust: Ensures software authenticity, Hardware Crypto Engine: Protects stored and transmitted data, Embedded Secure Components: Enables trusted operations, Trusted Platform Modules: Provides secure key storage, Secure Boot: Maintains device image integrity & Hardware Modularity: Endless modularity capabilities… As well, Boeing has included a self-destruct option for the device. Whether or not, means the phone simply erases itself or explodes… has yet to be seen.

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iOS7 Keylogger Flaw

Apple Key_Broken

Last week Apple issued an update to iOS 7.0.6, which fixed a serious flaw that could allows hackers to bypass SSL/TLS security verification and intercept their data. Apple just patched a this  vulnerability flaw, but that doesn’t appear to the end of its mobile security problems.

Researchers now say malicious keylogging apps can exploit your iPhone.

Ars Technica pointed Tuesday to a blog post from security company FireEye that shows a new security flaw in iOS 7 that could allow certain apps to log your keystrokes as they run in the background. According to FireEye, it has been collaborating with Apple on this latest security issue & we should expect a patch soon.   

|  Read The Full Security Breakdown by FireEye

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Apple iOS / OSX Security Flaw

A major flaw in Apple software for mobile devices could allow hackers to intercept email and other communications that are meant to be encrypted, the company said Mac computers were even more exposed. 

“It’s as bad as you could imagine, that’s all I can say,” said Johns Hopkins University cryptography professor Matthew Green. Recently stung by leaked intelligence documents claiming authorities had 100 percent success rate in breaking into iPhones, Apple now must explain & fix the encryption vulnerabilities of its’ products.

Read TheGuardian.co.uk Report 

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Future-Sci-Fi Fantasy | AT&T Mobility Innovates

AT&T Mobility’s Recently Uncovered Patent Filing Delivers Technology Beyond Your Wildest Imagination

AT&T, the former market-leader in exclusive contracts with Apple, has yet to officially announce  next big thing, but recently uncovered US Patent  20140010082, filed September 2013 outlines the future of mobile technology throught the eyes of AT&T.

Their next blazing fast network will feature a system allowing the wireless carrier to charge subscribers more money for using file sharing, video, music & more intensive bandwidth services, arbitrarily.

The patent outlines how the future system operates with an additional credit system, whereby users erode their credit total by using select types of content & services. The novel idea granted a patent by the USPTO is entitled, Prevention Of Bandwidth Abuse Of A Communications System.

“The user is provided an initial number of credits. As the user consumes the credits, the data being downloaded is checked to determine if is permissible or non-permissible… prevented from consuming an excessive amount of channel bandwidth by restricting use of the channel in accordance with the type of data being downloaded to the user,” this fresh pile of patents is steaming with possibility.

Thus, if traffic cops use speed traps to issue speeding tickets & generate local government revenue in the name of safety – it stands to reason AT&T’s brightest would conjure up, and patent Bandwidth Abuse Prevention Tech! Truth be told, AT&T doesn’t know the meaning of the word abuse. Who recalls the pre-smartphone bill-pay years? After all AT&T was mistreated… waiting on hold to pay me all those months, years.  

THe additional cost will apply for any/all content or service AT&T deems “non-permissible.” “Various restriction policies also can be applied, such as levying additional fees and/or terminating the user’s access to the channel” should they exceed their credit allotment or try to use content not authorized by AT&T under their current plan.

AT&T has patented a plethora of ideas & simply let the ideas sit. For years AT&T pushed and nearly launched the controversial feature sponsored data. Remember when heavy-iPhone users, new-not-dumb, discovered AT&T had been throttling data connection speeds in direct breech of advertised & contracted transfer speeds? Billing & hardware companies pined for confining, Corporatization of otherwise freewheeling web-based systems, simply hoping to cash in on consumers caught of guard or unaware.

Essentially, the play AT&T is hoping to run amounts to implementing a fee based system… a toll or tax, levied upon the once free YouTube videos, iTunes music downloads you’ve already paid for once. This move is aimed at further monetizing AT&T’s network while it continues waning in popularity among net-neutrality advocates.

Even more disturbing, AT&T is self-declaring a role to itself… both dictating “acceptable” Internet use, while imposing an entirely additional pricing layer. It comes as no surprise the former ring-masters long for the days where they called the shots of the big-show. Fortunately, technology advanced, adoption & competition went up & the big-top of big bucks & good times came to a close for AT&T, for all the telephone/telecommunications corporations.

ATT Big Top

It seems likely (if ever actually implemented) this system would be layered over the top of  existing cap & overage bandwidth pricing models. Ignorance? Someone is missing something… somewhere.

Neutrality rules & protection the open-web remains less-than-boldly-backed. So, regulators are happy to approve such creative pricing initiatives. The new head of the USPTO is the former lead legal counsel for Google, Michelle Lee. So, it stands to reason she’s totally unbiased. Right? With the typical actors in place & the old guard clinging to profit & power positions… familiar mechanism come back into play (Queue the lobbyist, campaign contribution & political smarm).

There’s really nothing (other than consumer complaints and bad press, neither of which are guaranteed to keep a crazed animal, passed its’ prime… from attacking. Rest assured when it does, the social media soccer mom, the high school video blogger, the casually addicted mobile gamer or download addicted masses will cry out. Will it be loud enough or too late to scare AT&T or Verizon away from such a bad idea?

|   Find No Mention of This Future on AT&Ts CES 2014 Innovation SirQillJay 

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