Apple's tablet to have 3D navigation system?

We reported back in December that Apple had submitted some patents for 3D Operating System navigation.  It turns out that they’ve also been looking at 3D multi-touch as a way of navigating a multi-touch tablet/iPhone.  The Baltimore Sun (via PED) dug up a patent from last month (#20090303231, Dec. 10, 2009  to be exact) on just such an idea.

[0034]The device supports a variety of applications, such as one or more of the following: a game application, a telephone application, a video conferencing application, an e-mail application, an instant messaging application, a blogging application, a photo management application, a digital camera application, a digital video camera application, a web browsing application, a digital music player application, and/or a digital video player application.

If this patent comes to fruition, the next iPhone/iPod/tablet interface might be nothing like anything we’ve seen before, and it could perhaps explain why we’ve been hearing the possibility of a “new type of interaction” to accompany the tablet.

The Sun also reports:

According to documents filed with the USPTO, Apple obtained the rights to this patent application from three French citizens: Fabrice Robinet, Thomas Goossens, and Alexandre Moha. The inventors assigned the patent to Apple on Sept. 29, 2008. It’s not clear if those citizens are Apple employees, per se. (Update: Actually, Mr. Moha is a product and engineering manager at Apple, per his LinkedIn profile; and Mr. Robinet is a software engineer at Apple, again, per LinkedIn.) Regardless, searches under Apple’s name in the patents database doesn’t retrieve this patent, because the names of the original French inventors are still on it. (I wonder why that is? Hmmm. :-)



Apple (AAPL) today announced that more than three billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store by iPhone and iPod touch users worldwide.

Apple and Disney dreaming up a new video standard?

Apple and Disney may be working together to develop video and multimedia on demand services via MobileMe, an interesting Patently Apple report speculates today.

Reaching for the notion, the report cites an October 2009 Apple patent. This patent enables a system by which MobileMe members could, for example, partially view television or any video content on their iPhone and then switch to viewing the media on an Apple TV, a Mac or what have you on their return home, where they would continue viewing that content from exactly where they stopped watching without having to manually reposition playback of the video.

The New York Times says we

VIDEO: Three minutes with Woz

For those who missed this entertaining clip when it first came into the light on January 1, here’s a short interview with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, ‘Woz’.

He has some entertaining things to say, explaining why he has two iPhones (one black, one white), talking on the tortures of running multiple GPS navigation systems in his car, and explaining his childlike sense of wonder at computers and technology in his formative years. Enjoy the clip.

Via: Engadget

Apple enters the advertising business, acquires Quattro Wireless for $275 million

According to All Things D, Apple has acquired a mobile advertising firm called Quattro Wireless for $275 million.  Quattro is a competitor to Admob which Google outbid Apple in purchasing for $750 million just months ago.  Google-Admob still has to meet FCC qualifications before the deal is complete.

If the Quattro deal is completed, Apple will have entered the mobile advertising world (a big departure for Cupertino), where its iPhone continually outpaces other smartphones in advertising revenues earned. 

Although we aren’t fans of the idea, Apple has filed patents for mandatory advertising within its MacOS.


Waltham, Mass.-based Quattro has raised close to $30 million from two main venture investors

Tablet might have two different finishes – WSJ

It looks like ‘people familiar with the matter’ are intent on spoiling CES.  Apple’s tablet rumors are coming fast and furious today with the Wall Street Journal reporting that Apple is working on two different finishes for the tablet.  The device will also ‘redefine the way consumers interact with a variety of content’ .

They also concur with other reports that the tablet will be announced later this month but won’t ship until at least March, will have a 10 to 11 inch screen and will cost upwards of $1000.

One of the people briefed on the matter added that Apple was working on two different material finishes for the tablet, though it was unclear whether the Cupertino, Calif., company was just testing them or planning to come out with multiple versions of the device at different prices.

They also (mistakenly?)quote analysts as saying that the tablet will be available with a subscription to a nationwide Wifi service?  Whether they meant Boingo, Mifi, WiMAX, 3G, some Apple/AT&T service or what isn’t certain.

Analysts currently believe an Apple tablet will be priced at about $1,000, possibly including a subscription to a nationwide Wi-Fi wireless service. The tablet is expected to be a multimedia device that will let people watch movies and television shows, play games, surf the Internet and read electronic books and newspapers. People briefed by Apple also say that the company believes it could redefine the way consumers interact with a variety of content. Textbooks and newspapers, for example, could be presented differently through color screens, a touch interface, and the integration of live up-to-the-minute information from multiple sources.

OK, Hearst's eReader is pretty cool

We know that with or without ?, 2010 is going to be the year of the Tablet.  This might be the most interesting one to hit before January 27th.  Hearst’s Skiff is a 1200×1600 monster of a flexible tablet (yet the screen measures only 11 inches diagonally) which yields a 174 ppi screen.  More pictures below.



Device Dimensions:

9 inches (228.6 mm) by
11 inches (279.4 mm) by
0.268 inches (6.8 mm)


17-9/16 oz (498 grams)

Magnesium housing


Display Size:

11.5 inches (292.1 mm)
measured diagonally

Display Resolution:

1200 x 1600 pixels

174 ppi

Display Technology:

Silicon thin-film-transistors (TFT) on flexible stainless-steel substrateRugged Metal-Foil e-Paper Display

Shatter-proof, crack-proof

Full Touchscreen:

Supports both finger and stylus operation


Battery Life (approx):

One week of average life (thousands of page turns with periodic wireless use)

Rechargeable high-capacity Lithium Ion battery

Recharging Time:

2-3 hrs


Long-range wireless:


Short-range wireless:


Wired (for sideloading content):

USB 2.0 over standard mini-USB port


Internal Memory:

4 GB (with 3+ GB available for content)

External (Add-On) Memory:

SDHC 2.0 standard compliant SD-card slot


Built-in speaker

3.5 mm standard audio jack


via Engadget

iPhone SDK 4, Tablet Simulator to be revealed at the January event?

Mac4ever (translated) is reporting that the January event isn’t just going to be a Tablet show and tell.  They indicate that Apple will unveil a beta SDK for the fourth generation of the iPhone.  This SDK will also conveniently have a tablet simulator for developers who want to build or port their apps to the tablet.

They also note that the next version of the iPhone will likely have more pixels to play with like recent Android and Windows Mobile phones have had. 

We also learned that in French “sont

Control/view a drone helicopter from accelerometer movement on your iPhone/iPod touch

OK, this is cool.   Imagine controlling a drone quadricopter with your iPhone.   It gets better.  The controls are linked to the accelerometer movements in your iPhone so you can control the device naturally by tipping your iPhone the way you want the copter to move.

It gets better.  The device has a camera which sends video back to the user right on the iPhone – live over wifi.   So, technically you can fly it like the military flys drones to the bad guys’ houses.  It gets better.  Using the two cameras, you can play augmented reality games with other players.  Santa?  You listening to this?

Watch more videos here.