Our pick of the top tech stories this week...
Apple/Samsumg Patent Dispute
Just as Apple’s crown was snatched from them as world leader in smartphone sales, it appears they may have gone some way to stifling Samsung’s progress in the market. The United States International Trade Commission last week ruled that Samsung was in breach of two Apple patents involving touch screen technology and the audio socket. This means that should the ruling stand, some Samsung products will be banned from import into the US.
Critics argue whether or not this is a significant development in the Apple/Samsung feud. Intellectual property analyst Florian Mueller calls this a “significant victory” in favour of Apple. He says “Apple step by step actually is gaining leverage against Samsung”, whereas lawyer Susan Kohn Ross describes it simply as “a well-placed jab”.
The decision could yet be overturned however, as the US government has a period of 60 days to overrule. They recently overturned a reverse decision, filed by Samsung against Apple accusing them of patent violation. In a very similar situation, should it have stood, some earlier versions of the iPhone and iPad would have had to have been removed from US shelves. It will be interesting to see if the government decides to intervene in this instance.
Google Glass Competitor
In the flurry of news articles and blogs following Google Glass’s announcement, many people are still overestimating what it can actually do. Glass is not augmented reality goggles. But it turns out that Meta (stemming from a Kickstarter project) is, or at least has the potential to be. If you’ve not heard of the Meta, TechCrunch has written a great article here. A few of the trick the Meta can do include following your hand in space, interpreting hand gestures, and it can even track blank white objects.
Possibly the biggest difference between Meta and Google Glass is that the Meta is on sale now. It is, however, still very much in the early stages; it must be connected to a PC, and the device itself is effectively some cameras strapped to a pair of glasses. Even so, we’d love to try it out for ourselves.
Ubuntu Edge: Set For Failure?
It is looking likely that the Ubuntu Edge will not meet its crowdfunding target of $32 million. With only a week to go, and having reached just over $10 million, let’s hope a last-minute surge comes up with the other $22 million necessary to pull it off.
The Ubuntu Edge is a smartphone and desktop PC rolled into one; it will combine mobile Android with the popular desktop OS Ubuntu. The price of the device has finally come to rest at $695, with the phones set to ship in May 2014. According to its Indiegogo page, it will have 4GM RAM compared to the Samsung Galaxy’s 2GB, it will have 128GB storage compared to the iPhone’s 64GB, and it will also be the first phone screen to be made of sapphire glass.
We’ll just have to see how the next week pans out, and it can reach its ambitious target. If it does, it will make history as the largest amount ever raised via crowdfunding.