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iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending March 22

Ballpoint pen UI, 3D/interactive/AR/Whizbang, The Killer Feature, wings

By , Network World
March 22, 2013 03:36 PM ET
iPhone 6

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But we can dream, and Mark Chubb at PhonesReview is definitely a dreamer. "This idea would mean that users could write on the screen of the iPhone 6 with an ordinary pen for notes, emails and texts for example, with no need for a special stylus," he gushes. "Previously we had heard rumors of a stylus for the iPhone 5S or 6 but it seems this would be taking that a step further forward."

Exactly: It's more advanced because you get to use that plain ole unsophisticated non-advanced ballpoint pen!

"Although it's not confirmed that the iPhone 6 will definitely use this technology, it's certainly a possibility for the phone that has been rumored for a release sometime in Q1, 2014," according to Chubb.

Well, we've waited this long to be able to scribble on the iPhone with a pen, what's another 12-21 months?

Finally, some considered the ballpoint pen UI ... farfetched. "Isn't the mere idea of bringing a 99-cent Bic into contact with the surface of a priceless iPhone obscene enough to have Steve Jobs clawing his way out of his grave?" asked one industry source [specifically, the Rollup's editor].

iPhone 6 will have a FaceTime 3D interactive augmented reality video collaboration ... or something

International Business Times alerts us to the rumor that Apple "seemed to be working on further improving its FaceTime and takes it to another level of 3D video calls and video conferencing."

This sounds exciting, doesn't it? "The technology is also known as Synchronized, Interactive Augmented Reality (AR) Displays for iDevices," according to IBT's Kristin Dian Mariano. "It is basically a linking technology to rope together a number of devices for live video calls and information sharing."

Mariano doesn't go into much detail. One suspects, basically, that it's because she doesn't really understand what this means. But whatever it is, she understands that it's important. "This technology will be most likely an important feature for future Apple devices," she predicts confidently. "This will attract more consumers from various fields because of the diversity of its function and usage."

How could it not, right?

Mariano references a "report" from Patently Apple. But this report simply announces that Apple has been granted a patent for "synchronized, interactive augmented reality."

That patent application actually was filed in early 2010, and Patently Apple posted an analysis of it in July 2011, after it was published by the U.S. Patent Office.

Which ought to give some indication of the real world of technology development for big companies like Apple, as opposed to the technofantasies of the iOSphere. For one thing, we can't even say that "Apple has been working on this for three years" because we don't know anything more than that Apple applied for a patent, which was eventually granted. For all anyone knows, the project has been moldering in a file cabinet or hard drive somewhere in Apple's headquarters ever since.

From Patently Apple's original 2011 post about this, Apple seems to be combining video, and possibly 3D, with augmented reality "information layering" -- using sensor and location feedback to add information to the video clip. "Apple's invention could provide all levels of management, sales and/or service personnel with the ability to collaborate or share information about production, manufacturing processes, sales or marketing problems or promotions - live," according to Patently Apple.

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