The not-so-secret of Google’s next step for Android got another leak today. Google has won a patent that allows Android to differentiate between users on a device by using Face Unlock. Using this alongside the multi-user framework, that is already in place just not working yet, would allow for one user to pick it up and use Face Unlock to access their profile and user data while another person’s face would take them to a different set of user data.
When finding patents like this we don’t even know if Google plans on using them, but this one seems to be critical to something they are already working on. We are just wondering in which version of Android are we going to see it first?
When Google launched Honeycomb, one of the selling points was that the action bar was always at the bottom of the tablet, where you needed it, no matter how you turned the device. With smartphone and tablet designs today looking pretty similar from any direction you look at it, telling which way is up might be a little difficult, but Google’s newest patent looks to help you with that problem.
The patent shows a phone with a microphone and speaker installed into each end of the device, and when the time comes to actually use your phone as a phone, the device will tell which end is up, and activate the speaker and microphone accordingly. It’s an interesting patent that could lead to even more interesting phone designs. Time will only tell though if Google actually puts the IP to any use.
Judge Richard Posner gave us some hope that patent wars might start to receive the attention they deserve (which is being tossed out of court) when he dismissed the case between Motorola and Apple last week. He has since softened his stance slightly and allowed the two companies to prove that there are true damages to be assessed here. The judge has given them until next Monday to submit briefs proving there is a case, but there is still the chance that neither of the sides will win anything. We will have to wait and see for now how the two sides approach this.
Via: The Verge
After going through the patent war over Android, Google is now being quick on the uptake with their snatching of patents towards their next big project; Project Glass. Recently, Google has submitted for a patent that allows the glasses to know what you are looking at and then provide neat little nuggets of information about what you’re seeing. Included in the filing is the notion of a light-up frame that would point you in the direction of something interesting. Hopefully you can turn it off otherwise be blinded as you walk around throughout the day.
Google also has some interesting uses for this patent when we are looking at a digital display. The Glasses could see the page you are reading and then fish for more information deeper in the website that you haven’t yet looked at; bringing up the most useful bits of info and showing it to you. All very interesting if it can be pulled off, but Google has the security of this patent down the road if they do get there.
This whole battle of tech intellectual property is getting, or has gotten, out of hand. It seems that every company that you know the name of is suing or is being sued for something that they have done. Most notably for readers of this site though, is the attack on Android from all sides. Visual.ly has massed together some of the numbers and has put their infographic spin on it, and the whole thing looks just as confusing as you would expect. (more…)
Even though the court-recommended talks between Samsung and Apple were supposed to start later this month, it seems the two companies have started pulling back a bit from their thermonuclear patent war. Monday, Apple filed to narrow their patent claims against Samsung to nearly half of what they originally were. Samsung responded hours later by shaving five claims off of their suit against Apple as well.
While this is a far cry from things being resolved, this might make it easier for the two to come to a complete settlement. If something is not agreed upon, the trial is set to go to court in July.
According to “people familiar with the matter,” Google’s acquisition of Motorola could clear through the U.S. Justice Department as early as next week. Proposed back in August to the tune of $12.5 billion, we can’t wait this deal to be completed. As fans of Motorola’s hardware and haters of their bootloader policies, one can hope that Google will step int to help preserve the integrity of Android. They have said time and time again that Moto will act as its own entity, but that doesn’t mean policies can’t change to better match those of Google’s.
And aside from the software side of Android, this obviously allows Google to use Motorola’s patent portfolio at will going forward. Tech patent battles are not going to end any time soon.
Will your impressions of Motorola change once this deal finalized? Or will you need to see immediate action from Google in order to accept Moto back into your life?
Motorola took its battle with Apple to a Florida court today, claiming that a couple of the Cupertino giant’s products including the iPhone 4S infringe upon six of of their patents. The patents involve technologies that utilize wireless antennae, software, data filtering and messaging. This suit follows up Moto’s win in German courts last month, a case that could force a ban on iPhones and iPads in the country.