We look back at the biggest patents filed and acquisitions made this month including Apple, Razer and Microsoft.
Innovation is one of the most important facets of the technology industry. In terms of the day-to-day news that we at TrustedReviews cover, that innovation tends to manifest itself in two main ways: patents and acquisitions.
Whether they’re coming up with a bright idea themselves, or purchasing smaller companies that have had those bright ideas, all the big guns are active in these two key areas. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung – they’re all at it.
With that in mind, we’ll be taking a look back at the most interesting patents and acquisitions launched each month, and how they might impact the services, products, and apps we use each day.
Earlier in the week, it was confirmed that PC peripheral maker Razer had purchased Ouya, the troubled crowd-funded Android console startup.
It should be noted that neither Razer nor Ouya have confirmed this news. Instead, it comes via investment bank Mesa Global, which advised Ouya on the deal.
That hesitancy to spill the beans suggests that Razer might want to absorb Ouya quietly, probably sending the Ouya brand and console itself quietly into the night without too much fuss.
Android TV console, the Razer Forge TV, hardly setting the world alight,
it could use all the expertise it can get in this field.
Right at the beginning of June it was announced that Microsoft had purchased the company behind the productivity app Wunderlist for between $100 and $200 million.
Wunderlist is a popular cross-platform to-do list app with more than 13 million users.
According to 6Wunderkinder CEO Christian Reber, those 13 million users needn’t worry about their precious app being swallowed up by Outlook or OneNote – at least not any time soon.
However, we will see a host of new features over the coming months, with the Berlin-based company using Microsoft’s billions to “continue growing the ecosystem of partner integrations and progress in delivering Wunderlist to billions of people.”
In other words, prepare for even more ways to create and tick off those lists – probably with extended OneDrive support.
This one happened more than a month ago now, but it’s big enough to warrant a mention here towards the end of June.
Apple recently received the patent approval for its Apple Watch a couple of weeks after the product was released, and a full eight months after it was first unveiled.
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Talk about closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.
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This just shows how long the patent process takes, as Apple applied for the patent back in August. Still, that was only a month before its smartwatch was announced to the public, so Apple only has itself to blame.
Apple will doubtless be hoping that this granted patent slows the spread of the many Chinese Apple Watch knock-offs out there. Good luck with that one.
While we’re on the subject of Apple, it was confirmed around a month ago that Tim Cook’s cash-rich mob had purchased yet another mapping company.
Coherent Navigation is the name of the company in question, and it appears to be an apt one. It specialises in highly accurate GPS positioning technology.
The company’s High Integrity GPS system uses standard GPS satellites in combination with lower-orbit voice and data satellites for an extremely accurate fix – we’re talking centimetres rather than the usual metres.
As we’ve since seen from WWDC, Apple is really pushing forward with Apple Maps, with the belated introduction of transit directions. This acquisition is just one in a long line of Mapping-related Apple deals dating back six years.
Essentially, Apple has had long enough and thrown more than enough money at this issue of maps now. It really is about time Apple Maps offered a viable Google Maps alternative, and we might finally start to see one from iOS 9.
It might not bother people here in the UK too much, but this final acquisition news is a pretty big deal. It sees the largest mobile network provider in the US purchasing a former internet giant.
The deal for Verizon to purchase AOL is worth $4.4 billion (£2.8bn). But what would an upwardly mobile network want with a washed-up old internet company?
According to reports, AOL has developed some nifty technology concerned with selling and delivering video ads online – and everyone wants a slice of that particular pie right now.
With the US network recently announcing plans to launch a mobile-focused video service, it seems like a timely (if costly) purchase.
Of course, AOL also continues to run a dial-up subscription service, and it also runs a number of prominent websites, such as Engadget, Huffington Post and TechCrunch. What Verizon plans to do with these properties is uncertain.