Tag - Technology
Two weeks to get a handle on a technology isn't that long, if you think about it. It's been two weeks and two days since I started putting on the Apple Watch for every waking hour of every day. While I can't say that I've completely mastered the device, I can say that I have a much better feel for it -- and its somewhat-limited role in my life going forward.
Apple has hired two former uBeam engineers in the past four months, and over a dozen engineers over the past two years, all of whom specialize in wireless charging. The hires align with a report from Bloomberg earlier this year that Apple is working towards an introduction of the technology for the 2017 iPhone. Currently, the only product that supports a form of wireless charging is the Apple Watch, which uses a standard method of inductive charging to keep the device powered up. The rumored technology that Apple is working on for a future iPhone would allow wireless charging from a distance.
A wide array of technology companies, led by Intel, have started capitalizing on a new technology that promises to offer solid-state storage that is up to 1,000 times faster than conventional flash storage and with 50 percent lower latency. The new SSD standard, originally called NVMe for Non-Volatile Memory Express, along with a Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface Specification (NVMHCI), has been re-branded "Optane" by Intel, and essentially re-writes previous AHCI controller technology to optimize systems for solid-state drives, which use non-volatile memory solid-state drives.
We've entered the second quarter of the year, and this is the tenth weekly slice of Apple history: we're taking the company's four decades, and seeing the growth and the similarities in the same weeks from 1976 to 2016. So far, it's been an eventful ride, and also a startling one -- as we've seen both Apple's hits and its misses repeatedly occurring in very similar ways. This week, it's as if the company and the technology industry got together to plan: with the start of Spring, people's minds turn to new ventures and new companies.
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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.