Getting a phone call from a friend these days can be a strange experience. Texting has become the norm, and speaking from experience, I’ve tried to do nearly everything while sending a message. Cooking, watching TV, between YouTube videos, during YouTube videos, working out, and of course while walking. We have all seen the videos; people walking into walls, fountains, and into canals. Most incidents aren’t serious, some are even comical. But many people have gotten hurt. Apple is trying to reduce this phenomenon, or at least own the rights to the technology that could reduce it.
On March 27th, Apple Inc. applied for a patent that would give them the ownership to the rights of an electronic device’s ability to stream any rear facing video camera imagery onto the background of SMS messages. A brilliantly simple idea that will surely prevent many people from falling into fountains.
Now keep in mind, I’m a tech guy. I speak some “legalese” but I am by no means a lawyer. That being said, I took a look over the claims set forth in the patent application. This may affect more than keeping you from becoming a viral video. It seems the wording implies that any device that uses a camera, a CPU to render video, and can send text messages won’t be able to use this technology without infringing on this patent. With the rise of wearable technology, I could see situations where having a SMS message with a simulated transparent background could be beneficial, if not necessary.
Again, not being a lawyer, I can’t say for certain that this would affect Google Glass. It’s no mystery that Apple is out for blood when it comes to Google. And getting a patent that could have a direct effect on Google’s newest piece of technology is an aggressive move. Google Glass’ imagery is being reflected onto an already transparent display which may keep them out of the realm of copyright infringement. But whether the patent is even granted is yet to be seen.
Battery consumption and patent issues aside, I think that this is still a great idea. One I am looking forward to seeing where they can take it. Be sure to comment below and let us know your opinion on this tech, where it can go, and the advantages Apple would have in owning the rights to this.