Patent day for Apple

Apple received approval for two patents last week.

Logo Antenna

The Apple logo antenna may seem a bit peculiar.  I am uncertain which devices will use this invention. The range of possibilities mentioned in the PatentlyApple article, see below, included MacBooks, iPhones, wristwatches and pendants. Yes, “pendant” in the traditional meaning of the word, as in “type of jewelry worn suspended from a chain worn around the neck”.

Apple Inc

Apple Inc by Phil Bradley

What sort of pendant would need an antenna? I’ve heard mention of an Apple logo watch. It may have been a limited release item, intended for promotional purposes only.

Location sharing by PUSH

The location-sharing update patent at the end of the article is possibly of greater significance. It is PUSH-based. There is an excellent diagram which I couldn’t easily capture without a finesse-less frame.

I wanted to mention an aspect that was of particular interest, although my thoughts are merely conjecture. Recall that geo-locating is accomplished by maintaining a continuous background process running on the user’s device, even if not in active use. Apple’s PUSH based service renders this unnecessary. That’s obviously beneficial for conservation of battery life and power consumption, as touted by the patent.

Might another benefit be health-related? I refer to the possibly reduced exposure to RFD emissions for the user of a PUSH based geolocation technology. I wonder if it can be used for any wireless device, whether Apple or otherwise, be it smart phone or stupid phone?

via Noteworthy Patent Published Today:

Apple states that a location-sharing mobile device has to maintain an active background process regardless of whether other devices request such up-to-date information from the location information server. Apple’s patent details their very complicated solution to this problem.  Patent application 20100325194.

Published in: on 26 December 2010 at 8:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Thoughts about Emotional Data in Wiredset Blog

Foursquare User Numbers Soar

The title of the article Data Driven Experiences: Emotional Data, by Mark Ghuneim is fascinating, however, I’m concerned about address-level sharing of geo-spatial information as part of social networks.

FourSquare is a phone application that has seen soaring popularity since the 2010 SXSW event in Austin,Texas in March. Details of how the application works can be found at the site. I was dismissive initially. It seemed little more than a way of telling others where you are at the moment, maybe make a restaurant recommendation, and earn very cute badges based on level of activity.

Activity is measured by the user’s “check-in” to a location, which is received and time stamped via mobile device by FourSquare and further validated by GIS-type service. Of course there is the element of competition by earning badges and becoming “Mayor” of a location. FourSquare also offers users a less blatant way of informing friends, and possibly everyone else, that you shopped at a great new clothing boutique, or went dancing at an upscale club over the weekend. Better yet, if you made an appearance at not merely one nightclub but three, in a single evening! FourSquare would be very effective for that. Why? Well, the app is new and not yet hacked or gamed by savvy users, it is far more credible than heresay and not subject to human error.

Foursquare activity in TX

Foursquare activity @ SXSW 2010, Austin TX

At first glance, FourSquare and similar didn’t seem terribly compelling. Merely more of the popularity contest and conspicuous consumption effect? Well, I didn’t foresee much potential for widespread appeal for another social networking phenomena, different but novel in its own way: the Facebook game, Farmville… and I was so very wrong.

Foursquare Logo

Businesses will certainly find value from subscriptions to FourSquare user data feeds. Geo-spatial data based social network applications, described by the more general term of LBS, location-based services, are attracting attention in unexpected ways.

For example, FourSquare advocates introduce the alluring idea that it actually enriches the lives of users with a collectively magnified knowledge base of the world to draw on, leading to a higher level of engagement with everything.

However, I believe that most possible benefits are far outweighed by the risks of over sharing. The most obvious negative consequence is increased vulnerability, impacting personal, family and property security. Note that FourSquare does have a posted privacy policy , about which I am not informed enough to comment.

Published in: on 2 April 2010 at 11:21 am  Comments (2)  
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