Tag - Technology
This is it, surely. Week Four of our slicing through four decades of Apple history brings us to the moment when Steve Jobs launched the device he said was his most important one. It's also the week that Apple made a dent in the universe, and it's the week when new Apple technology was proclaimed as being the next killer product. These are three different things, though, and maybe none of them are what you'd expect.
There were intelligent assistants on iPhone before Siri, and there are now many of them on every phone, but Siri is the Hoover or Coca-Cola of them. It is the one you're talking about when you refer to speaking to your phone and getting sarky comments back. It's the one that has gone the further to making this Star Trek-like technology mainstream.
Apple's in-car technology that integrates the iPhone with a built-in infotainment system, CarPlay, has been named as "best individual technology feature in a vehicle" during the North American International Auto Show, held in Detroit. CarPlay won out ahead of Google's Android Auto, Ford's Sync 3, and a variety of competing systems. The technology has -- two years after its debut -- picked up a lot of support recently from slow-moving automakers, and is appearing in many model-year 2016 and 2017 vehicles.
Last month, Apple registered three car-related domain names -- apple.car, apple.cars, and apple.auto -- using the MarkMonitor registrar and fueling further speculation on the plans and timetable for a rumored foray into either advanced car augmentation or outright car manufacturing. While there is little firm evidence that Apple actually plans to make a car -- numerous regulatory and federal filings would be required, which the company doesn't appear to have done -- it seems likely that it is researching, and possibly working with a secret partner, on more advanced car technology beyond the existing CarPlay option.
A new report claims that Apple has bought an artificial intelligence company called Emotient, which works on technology used to read emotion through a user's facial expressions, such as for testing reactions to advertising. Apple has not confirmed the deal, but told the Wall Street Journal that the company "buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." The alleged acquisition comes not long after the iPhone maker bought Perceptio and Faceshift, two firms also concerned with AI and facial expression recognition.
On Monday, Ford took itself off the list of car manufacturers that had not formalized their plans for Apple's CarPlay technology (and to a lesser extent Google's Android Auto) by announcing that all 2017 Ford models that include the company's Sync 3 platform will have them as standard. Later this year, 2016 model owners with the Sync 3 system, which is powered by BlackBerry's QNX, will be able to add CarPlay compatibility. In related news, rival Toyota will adopt Ford's SmartDeviceLink API so that app developers can write software for the company's vehicles.
If you are old enough to remember the start of Apple, it's unlikely that you do. Apple began in a garage like so many other companies and you needed to be deeply into technology or practically living in Cupertino, California to have any chance of having noticed. It would take a little while before Apple would emerge from the crowd of other startup computer firms but not only was Apple a survivor, it is the only survivor. No other computer company from 1976 is still making computers. All this year, starting today, we're going to examine this history, and how (or how not) that choices the company made then, apply today.
The technology industry is like every other business, but telescoped down: what took decades in the car trade took hours for computers. Consumer electronics are also a lot like show business, in how products must be launched and images must be produced. When things are going wrong, CEOs have to have great scripts to read from. With a bit of a holiday slow-down coming up, let us recommend some very good reading -- the best books about Apple, and the best about the technology world.
We've been checking our lists twice, chiefly because of syncing issues, and you know how it is. Christmas expands to fill the space you have and nature abhors a news vacuum so in what continues to be a quiet week, One More Thing decks some halls. Wait, is that Christmas or Thanksgiving? It's some holiday or other and we're after celebrating all of them because it's a Grade A excuse to discuss some of the finest technology around.
Apple has been granted a further patent on Femtocell technology which is typically used in network base stations that use low-power cellular connections and are designed to be operated in homes and smaller businesses. This new patent, number 9,191,839, has been issued regarding methods of configuring Femtocells and it follows an August patent regarding access to wireless signals using the technology.