Apple loses on patent, files another patent and considers big design change
Apple executives think they have an answer to the metaverse’s most anticipated pain in the neck. And although they tend to act as if their every decision is right and inevitable, a Watch feature has gotten Apple in hot water and one of the company’s 10 commandments might get chiseled off the tablet.
First off, Apple has applied for a United States patent related to its anticipated mixed reality headset that would use software to keep metaversians heads in healthier positions. It would do this by shifting the scene being viewed in their display, prompting users to shift their heads and necks in response.
This application, number 20230008291 AI, has a pedigree. It follows two previous applications for “application placement based on head position” going back to 2018.
A user’s head, wearing computer displays with sensors, would become the new hand on a new mouse.
Apple’s application states that biometric data related to posture and poses would not be recorded and could be turned off altogether.
Patents are not hopeful, forward-looking documents in the second piece of Apple news.
The company has been found guilty of infringing on the patent of a medical device maker named Masimo by importing and selling Watches with pulse oximeters.
Both firms have wrist devices that measure oxygen carried by blood racing around the body. But Masimo says it patented a light-based pulse oximeter in a wristwatch format before Apple.
In fact, executives at Masimo claim that Apple lured away their employees as well as using their patented technology illegally, according to trade publication MacRumors.
Apple told the Reuters news service that the judge has made a mistake.
Executives “look forward to a full review by the (U.S. International Trade) Commission,” according to Reuters.
It is not clear if commission members will meet to decide on a possible ban on U.S. import of Watches with pulse oximeters.
The third item is a shocker for fans of Apple design.
Based on anonymous sources, business publication Bloomberg has reported that executives at the ur-computer design company are considering touch screens on all Mac OS hardware. Right now, they are on all Apple computing devices except Macs.
Steve Jobs condemned touch screens on ergonomic grounds. But 12 years after his death, it is hard to find a user-focused reason to continue the ban. Strategically, such a move probably would make iPads less attractive.
Major design reversals by Apple have been rare, indeed.
The stylus was one. Jobs vociferously bashed other computer makers for putting out a stylus for some computer models. Even though Jobs is worshipped at Apple, iPads got a stylus in 2015.
The Mac clone was another. Apple has always charged was some feel is a user-abuser premium for everything, but under non-Jobs leadership, the board of directors decided they would rather see millions of Macs sold cheaply than far fewer pieces of hardware sold for a big markup.
That meant licensing the manufacturing of desktops that could be sold cheaply only if their designs did not meet Apple’s demanding standards. Apple got the license fee, but the market was confused, and revenue fell.
Jobs returned and removed the strategy by the roots.
He is not around to kick designs back in place, and touch screens are more accepted universally, and, as a bonus, provide biometric security possibilities.