Microsoft is being sued for patent infringement over motion-sensing technology used in its blockbuster gaming accessory, the Microsoft Kinect. Ohio-based Impulse Technology has filed a complaint alleging that Microsoft’s Kinect controller infringes on seven of its technology patents. One patent referenced in the lawsuit covers “wide variety of games where the movement of a player is tracked in three dimensions…and certain exercise games where the motion of the player is tracked to effect movement of a virtual avatar, and the exertion of the user is monitored, including where the tracking of the player is done by the use of a camera.” A separate patent describes an “education system challenging a subject’s physiologic and kinesthetic systems to synergistically enhance cognitive function.” Impulse Technology is seeking a permanent injunction to block the import and sale of Microsoft’s Kinect, and it is also suing Electronic Arts, Konami and Sega for developing Xbox 360 games that utilize Kinect and infringe on its patents. Impulse is seeking damages, treble damages, interest, and attorney fees from Microsoft as well. The Kinect motion-based video game controller has been a smash hit for Microsoft, having set numerous sales records since its launch. This past March, Microsoft announced that it had sold 10 million Kinect controllers since the device’s launch just before the holidays last year. More →
That’s right folks, it’s finally time to sit back and watch as Nintendo unveils the console we’ve all been waiting to see: the next-generation Wii. Nintendo’s Wii has been an absolute blockbuster for the storied Japanese gaming giant. The company has sold nearly 90 million Wii consoles to date, but sales have slowed significantly over the past few years as the Wii began to show its age. With features like full HD gaming and controllers with built-in touchscreen displays, Nintendo’s next-gen Wii 2 will be an effort to recapture the early success of the Wii… but can Nintendo manage to appeal to casual gamers and hardcore gamers with a single console? Hit the break for our live coverage of Nintendo’s E3 keynote to find out!
There is quite a bit of Internet showmanship that takes place every year on April 1st. Tech companies and blogs — present company excluded — try and swindle users and readers into believing, if only for a moment, that a new, slightly outlandish product or feature is on the way. Google is a frequent offender on April Fool’s Day, and last week the company’s homepage was waxing poetic about its Google Motion service. The faux feature was said to allow users to control Gmail using their computer’s built-in camera and body movements. One week later, University of Southern California scientists, aided by a Microsoft Kinect, have turned the prank into a reality. Leveraging movement tracking software already in the works, the school’s Institute for Creative Technologies demonstrates in a video exactly how Google Motion could work. It’s humorous, interesting, and funny, all at the same time. The video is awaiting your scrutiny after the break. More →
The milestones just keep on toppling… Microsoft on Wednesday announced that its popular Kinect motion controller for the Xbox 360 has sold 10 million units since its launch ahead of the 2010 holiday season. On top of accessory sales, Microsoft has also sold 10 million stand-alone Kinect games. The company announced its first Kinect sales milestone — 2.5 million units — just after Black Friday, and it sold over 8 million Kinect units in its first 60 days of availability. And now… the 10 million-unit milestone has been achieved. The numbers are beyond impressive, of course, but they’re also world records as it turns out. Guinness World Records has decreed that the Kinect now holds the title of “Fastest Selling Consumer Electronics Device.” Hit the break for the full press release. More →
During Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show this evening, Microsoft confirmed some pretty outstanding sales figures for the Kinect sensor. The company’s initial projections at launch time set Kinect sales goals at 5 million units by the end of 2010. Today, Ballmer confirmed that Microsoft not only exceeded that projection — the company crushed it. Over the Kinect sensor’s first 60 days of availability, over 8 million units were sold. Xbox 360 users have spoken… Kinect is a smash hit.
Although it has been available in a beta version for the past several weeks, BlackBerry Desktop Manager 2.0 for Mac had yet to be given an official release date by maker Research In Motion… that is, until today. RIM has made version 2.0 of its desktop suite for Mac official. The update brings with it Wi-Fi music syncing, a new device switch wizard, and the ability to import and sync both photos and videos with iPhoto and iTunes. Desktop Manager 2.0 clocks in at just north of 40MB and is available as we type. Hit the read link to download the new goodies. More →
Today, Research In Motion announced that it has “opened the BlackBerry App World vendor portal to begin accepting BlackBerry PlayBook apps from developers.” The company has yet to communicate a release date for the highly-anticipated tablet.
“Interest and momentum behind the BlackBerry PlayBook continues to build and we are thrilled with the positive response from both the developer community and our customers,” said Tyler Lessard, RIM’s VP of Global Alliances & Developer Relations. “We are very pleased to be working with developers in advance of the product launch and the opening of BlackBerry App World to accept BlackBerry PlayBook apps is an important next step.”
The press release also noted that developers who “submit a qualifying BlackBerry PlayBook app that is accepted into BlackBerry App World prior to the initial product launch in North America” will receive a free PlayBook for their efforts.
There you have it developers. Submit early, submit often, and stake your claim to a free PlayBook! More →
Today, Research In Motion announced that the cryptographic kernel of its BlackBerry 6 mobile operating system has earned the FIPS 140-2 security certification. FIPS, or Federal Information Processing Standard, is a classification used by the U.S. — and others — to validate the security of a computer system’s cryptographic services. The certification officially green-lights the OS for use by government employees handing “sensitive but unclassified” information. Just another security feather for RIM’s proverbial cap.
Following the biggest shopping weekend of the year, Microsoft announced Monday that it has sold over 2.5 million Kinect sensors in less than one month of availability. Shortly after launch, Microsoft announced that it had sold over 1 million units in under two weeks. Thanks to the Black Friday shopping weekend, Microsoft has increased its sales pace since then — the highly anticipated motion-based controller is now selling approximately 107,000 units per day, up from 90,900 per day during its first 11 days of availability. While the numbers are quite impressive so far, this does make us wonder if Microsoft’s goal of selling 5 million units by the end of the year is looking a bit lofty right now. With less than a month until Christmas and the biggest shopping weekend of the year behind us, Microsoft is only half way there. If the company can somehow manage to keep up its current sales pace, however, Microsoft will smash its projections along with even the most generous analyst estimates. More →
We have played with Microsoft’s Kinect before, but now that we have it hooked up in our own living room, we dove a little deeper. Kinect launched today as we all know, and it’s destined to become one of the hottest buys this holiday season. The hype, to put it mildly, was absolutely off the charts leading up to today, so exceptions are sky high. Will Kinect rise to the challenge and deliver the revolutionary gaming experience we all expect, or is Microsoft going to have a millions of disgruntled gamers on their hands this holiday season? Read on, and see what we think after a day of action with Kinect.
As you can clearly see, no, we didn’t snag the royal purple BlackBerry Style, but Sprint and RIM were nice enough to hook us up with a steel grey (also known as black) unit, and we’re up and running. After a quick Enterprise Activation, the emails are flowing like wine. But there are no beautiful women instinctively flocking like the salmon of Capistrano — yet. Here are some of our first impressions on the device we exclusively showed the world way back in April:
- It’s not as big as we figured it would be. The BlackBerry Style is a little thick, but not overly hefty, and definitely manageable.
- The keyboard is… not as great as we hoped, and expected, it to be. It’s good, more than usable, but it feels a bit like the Torch’s keyboard — not enough travel tactility. Maybe we’re spoiled by our Bold 9780, but even though the keyboard isn’t as good, it’s most probably better than your current phone’s QWERTY keyboard, so that’s a plus.
- The screen is just what you’d expect; you don’t really notice the fact it’s a lower-than-optimal resolution due to the fact that the screen size is much smaller than on the BlackBerry Torch. Also without a touch layer, the display looks a little thinner and sleeker. Colors look good, crisp, and clear.
- The external display by default when closed is a clock, and when you receive messages, you can simply page through them without having to open the handset, just like on the Pearl Flip. Definitely a nice feature.
- Here is what we’re not in love with in our limited time with the Style… talking on the phone. With the device flipped open, the ear speaker doesn’t fit right against your ear and face. It’s on a diagonal angle because the phone’s hinge sits under the body of the phone. For example, instead of the hinge forming a straight V-shape, the flip part sits under the main part of the phone, and this recessed hinge design doesn’t offer the most comfortable phone talking experience. We’ll let you know if we get used to talking on it more in our review.
- The camera is pretty decent, seems as if it’s the same sensor as the one in the BlackBerry Torch and the BlackBerry Bold 9780.
- There is a non-button in place of the left convenience key button and it’s kind of irritating. Not because there is anything wrong with it, but because it looks like a button would work there, and you’re left with only the right convenience key as a result. [Update: it’s the cover for the microSD slot]
All in all, for a $99 (with contract) BlackBerry smartphone rocking 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS, a 5 megapixel camera, BlackBerry OS 6, a QWERTY keyboard, and more, it does feel like an improvement over the Curve series in many ways. Especially for the younger, hipper demographic, the BlackBerry Style doesn’t feel too much out of place in that context. We just wish Sprint and RIM would have launched a slightly less expensive BlackBerry data plan (just email and BBM) with the Style — those high schoolers, and their parents, wouldn’t be able to resist the new 9670. It goes on sale October 31st on Sprint.
Back on the 14th of September, Verizon Wireless announced that the BlackBerry Curve 9330 would be available for purchase in the “coming weeks.” After almost a month, it looks like the time has finally come. Today, the Curve 9330 subtle appeared in the Verizon online store in a not-so-subtle fuchsia color. The device, which has 3G, Wi-Fi, and BlackBerry OS 5, will retail for $29.99 with a 2-year contract.
Thanks, Joe! More →
Hey, what do we have here? One of our Verizon sources was kind enough to send us this piece of intel regarding Verizon Wireless and BlackBerry 6. It looks like the company plans of having an “interactive launch” of the BlackBerry 6 operating system on Thursday, October 14. The word interactive makes us think that the actual software bits may not be available, however, at minimum, this indicates a BB6 launch is right around the corner. We’ll keep digging and report what we find.