O'Grady's PowerPage » Hardware

List of Apple employees tasked to electric car project begins to emerge, key players surface

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Date: Friday, February 20th, 2015, 04:00
Category: Hardware, News

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Over the past couple of weeks, there’s been word of an employee poaching war between Apple and Tesla, Apple hiring from the auto industry and speculation as to exactly what Applee might be working on.

It’s apparently clear that Apple is looking to go beyond an iOS-based CarPlay in-dash system and the majority of the new hires seem to be reporting to one Steve Zadesky, who hails from an automative background.

The Wall Street Journal and 9to5Mac are reporting that Apple has put together a team of hundreds for the electric vehicle product, including former president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development Johann Jungwirth, but here are some of the other key team members picked from within the company and hired from outside to join the team.

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Rumor: Apple to bring Touch ID to upcoming 12-inch MacBook Air, other input devices

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, February 18th, 2015, 06:51
Category: Hardware, MacBook Air, Rumor

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Apple may be expanding its Touch ID technology to other devices.

Current rumors have it that the forthcoming 12-inch MacBook Air — which is widely believed to include a high-resolution Retina display and vastly-reduced I/O — could also sport a Touch ID sensor positioned above its trackpad, according to Taiwanese blog AppleCorner, which has cited supply chain sources. In addition, the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad may be updated to include the biometric functionality.

That could be a prelude to making Apple Pay available for payments on the web. Currently, Apple Pay can only be used for in-store transactions via NFC or as part of the checkout process for iOS apps.

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Apple patent shows potential use of shifting mirrors to help camera/optical stability

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Date: Thursday, February 12th, 2015, 08:16
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, Patents, Pictures

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When in doubt, use mirrors.

A recently published patent application posted on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office web site shows that Apple has revealed a new concept that would offer improved optical image stabilization using mirrors.

The patent, entitled “Mirror Tilt Actuation,” describes an image sensor for small, multifunction devices like an iPhone that would compensate for the user’s hand movement to improve picture quality.

Apple introduced optical image stabilization in its products last year with the debut of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The smaller iPhone 6 accomplishes this through software, while the larger iPhone 6 Plus also uses hardware OIS for superior image taking capabilities.

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Smartphone theft drops dramatically in London, two U.S. cities following kill switch implementation

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Date: Thursday, February 12th, 2015, 04:34
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Legal, News, Software

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This may be better news, but keep an eye on your iPhone when you’re in crowds.

Thefts involving smartphones have declined dramatically in three major cities since manufacturers began implementing “kill switches” that allow the phones to be turned off remotely if they are stolen, authorities said on Tuesday.

The number of stolen iPhones dropped by 40 percent in San Francisco and 25 percent in New York in the 12 months after Apple Inc added a kill switch to its devices in September 2013. In London, smartphone theft dropped by half, according to an announcement by officials in the three cities.

“We have made real progress in tackling the smartphone theft epidemic that was affecting many major cities just two years ago,” said London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Johnson, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman were among numerous officials arguing for new laws mandating the kill switches.

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Updated Touch ID hardware to provide more secure, reliable Apple Pay experience

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 10th, 2015, 13:14
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

touchid

The Touch ID hardware is about to get better.

A report from well-connected insider Ming-Chi Kuo released on Tuesday stated that Apple’s new Touch ID model will improve the Apple Pay experience with fewer reading errors.

Kuo, an analyst with KGI Securities, projects that Touch ID module shipments will grow 12.4 percent this year to 262 million. His forecast was revealed in a research note to investors.

According to Kuo, the upgraded Touch ID module will “offer a better and safer Apple Pay user experience by reducing reading errors.” He expects companies in Apple’s supply chain to begin ramping up for the new Touch ID module in the second quarter of calendar 2015.

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DexCom device, app to work with Apple Watch upon launch, continuously monitor glucose levels for diabetics

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Date: Monday, February 9th, 2015, 08:46
Category: Hardware, News, Software, Wearables

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This is interesting.

Medical company DexCom says that a glucose monitor made by the company that monitors blood sugar levels will be supported by the Apple Watch. The company is currently working on an app for the wearable that will be able to show blood sugar levels at a glance and can monitor them continuously.

The app has apparently been under construction for some time and while the Food and Drug Administration is generally required to approve new medical hardware, a hands-off approach to the companion app has allowed developers to sink their teeth into its creation for the time being.

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Rumor: Apple to quietly launch updated non-Retina MacBook Air on February 24th

Posted by:
Date: Monday, February 9th, 2015, 07:35
Category: Hardware, MacBook Air, Rumor

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If you’re hankering for an updated MacBook Air, there may be some good news on the horizon.

According to a new rumor, Apple may be refreshing the current MacBook Air as early as February 24th. Swedish web site Leterm svetem Applem, citing sources from the Czech reseller network, states the update will come with no fanfare or keynote presentation, unsurprising considering a lack of major changes for the lineup. Apple also won’t discuss the long-rumored ultra-slim MacBook Air around the launch of the new refresh, hoping the “quiet” update tides users over until later in the year.

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Swatch looking to release smartwatch to compete in wearables market

Posted by:
Date: Friday, February 6th, 2015, 04:38
Category: Hardware, News, Wearables

swatch

It’s been a while since Swatch was considered hip and/or cutting edge, but the company might be seeing something in the wearables market.

Swatch Group AG announced plans to start selling a smartwatch within the next three months, potentially pitting the Swiss maker of colorful plastic timepieces against the debut of the Apple Watch.

The device will communicate via Near Field Communications and won’t have to be charged, Chief Executive Officer Nick Hayek said in an interview. The Swatch smartwatch will also let consumers make mobile payments and work with Windows and Android software, he said.

Analysts stated that the market for such timepieces, which enable phone or data communication, will probably reach about US$10 billion in 2018, Citigroup Inc. analysts forecast last year, with half of the market coming from traditional watch wearers switching to the devices.

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Apple may be deploying its own mapping vans into the Bay Area

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 5th, 2015, 06:36
Category: Hardware, News, Pictures

applevan

If Google’s mapping vehicles seemed a bit strange, Apple may have their own making the rounds.

A number of minivans with what appears to be camera equipment and a LiDAR sensor mounted to the roof that have appeared around California in recent weeks could be part of a new Apple project, as at least one of the vehicles is registered to the company.

The minivans sport an X-shaped frame mounted to their luggage racks, with dark recesses that likely house cameras at each corner. The California Department of Motor Vehicles confirmed to San Francisco CBS affiliate KPIX that a blue Dodge Caravan spotted with the equipment was leased to Apple.

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Judge orders Typo to pay $860,000 fine to BlackBerry for injunction regarding keyboard case

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, February 4th, 2015, 18:25
Category: Accessory, Hardware, iPhone, News

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This is a win for BlackBerry, which is kind of rare these days.

Also, if a federal judge orders an injunction against you, you should probably obey the injunction.

On Wednesday, a federal judge on Tuesday ruled that Typo Products owes BlackBerry more than US$860,000 for violating an injunction barring sales of its original iPhone keyboard case.

The contempt finding has to do with BlackBerry’s allegations that Typo continued to sell and market the original Typo case despite a court injunction issued in March of last year. Typo has since released a second product, Typo 2, that it says is designed to avoid intellectual property conflicts with BlackBerry.

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