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Entries in Apple (17)


How Much Would You Pay for an Apple 1?

Credit: Christie'sThis week, Christie's is auctioning vintage Apple products, including one of the first 25 Apple 1's hand built by Steve Wozniak in 1976. It is inscribed with the serial number 01-0025 in black ink, and signed “Woz.”

To own a piece of history, the current bid for the original Apple computer is $300,000. In July 1976, the price of the Apple 1 was $666.66. Approximately 200 units were produced. The bidding ends July 9. 


Will the iPhone 6 Feature a Biometric Fingerprint Lock?

This week, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the great iPhone soothsayer, announced his guesses for Apple's iPhone 6, slated to be released sometime this year. We're most intrigued by whispers of a biometric fingerprint lock function. Mind you, it's not the same as the swipe-to-unlock feature. With biometrics built in, the iPhone would recognize your unique fingerprint and unlock itself with just the touch of your index finger.

The writing's on the wall: As many readeras remember, Apple aquired AuthenTec in July 2012. The company develops mobile device security technology that uses fingerprint sensors and identity management. And let's face it: Apple is overdue to release a game-changing update. By late summer, we should know if they stepped up to the task.


T(ether) Augmented Reality Glove Recreates the iPad

Ready to go all Minority Report on your iPad? Now, you can use the device without ever touching the screen, using T(ether), an augmented reality glove. T(ether) enables Apple fans to control their tablets with simple hand gestures and even create virtual environments on their iPad.

The glove lets users manipulate objects on the screen: picking them up, dropping them, pushing them aside or creating a new object by tracing the shape’s outline.

T(ether) can also be used by several people to collaborate on the same virtual environment. Vicon motion capture cameras track and spatially annotate the position and orientation of the tables, user’s heads and hands in real-time.

T(ether) was developed at the MIT media lab. Its creators explain their vision:

T(ether) is a novel spatially aware display that supports intuitive interaction with volumetric data. The display acts as a window affording users a perspective view of 3-dimensional data through tracking of head position and orientation. T(ether) creates a 1:1 mapping between real and virtual coordinate space allowing immersive exploration of the joint domain.

Our system creates a shared workspace in which co-located or remote users can collaborate in both the real and virtual worlds. The system allows input through capacitive touch on the display and a motion-tracked glove. When placed behind the display, the user’s hand extends into the virtual world, enabling the user to interact with objects directly.


CES 2012: The Smart TV Race 

CES, the world's largest consumer technology conference and tradeshow, is in full swing, and tech companies from across the globe are vying for the chance to showcase their latest and greatest gadgets for business and personal use. You can bet there's a whole host of devices, software and toys that are hoping to stand out this year, and so far, many are following the trend of getting 'smart,' as reported by Wired and Financial Times.

 Samsung, the popular manufacturer, just announced a number of new devices, among them a line of smart TVs that boast built-in voice and hand gesture controls, personalization based on facial recognition, and cloud-based sharing among other Samsung devices. Sony and LG are also pushing new TV models with similar features during CES. Imagine the possibilities these smart TVs will bring to a living room near you: a simple hand gesture lets you flip through channels, or a quick scan of your face tunes the TV to your favorite channel or show. 

The Wall Street Journal reports that Samsung, as well as several other TV manufacturers, will also be incorporating Google TV's web connected services in the next year, making this a larger race for platform dominance between, as usual, Google and Apple, with its Apple TV.

See below for a demo of Samsung's smart TV.


On the Horizon: iPads and iPhones That Personalize Via Facial Recognition

Apple wants to build a world in which the iPad and iPhone are for the whole family. Literally.

The company applied for a patent last week that would enable its devices to recognize a user through its camera and then personalize its desktop, applications, contacts, favorites and more. Personalization facial recognition software isn't just a simple security device. This type of "visual log-on" would enable multiple people to share a single device, while still enjoying a personalized user experience.

The patent filing describes a "low-computation solution for reasonably effective (low threshold) face recognition that can be implemented on camera-equipped consumer portable appliances." That means that the facial recognition software will focus on each user's "high information portions," including eyes, mouth and nose. Since the software won't require a lot of time or battery power to identify these easily distinguishable features, battery life should be a non-issue.

So all you'd have to do is pick up your iPad and look into the camera. Even if another user was just logged in, the new software should automatically call up your settings. Maybe this feature won't be popular for iPhones, but I see a lot of people getting into this for the iPad. After all, who wants someone else's apps cluttering up their device?