Apple invents texture-sensing stylus for future iPads

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Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 14.35.16
This stylus would add new meaning to the word touchscreen.
Photo: USPTO/Apple

Steve Jobs was famously opposed to including a stylus with the iPad, but even he might have changed his mind had he caught a glimpse of the futuristic texture-sensing input device Apple just patented.

According to a pair of patent applications published today, Apple is working on stylus with in-built camera which would allow it to detect the surface over which it is passed and reproduce these textures for the user — even down to replicating the feel of different fabrics.

Leica invented autofocus, then abandoned it

Leica invented the autofocus camera system with the Correfot in 1976.
Leica invented the autofocus camera system with the Correfot in 1976.
Photo: WestLicht Camera Auction

Legendary German camera maker Leica spent nearly 20 years patenting technology that would take focusing out of the hands of photographers. As with the 35 mm still camera the company created in 1925, Leica stood ready to once again revolutionize photography, this time with an autofocus system.

But after spending the last part of the 1970s working on prototypes, Leica dropped plans to bring autofocus to consumers. Leica figured its customers already knew how to focus their cameras.

“There’s an element of truth in that,” said Heinz Richter, who was a member of the Leica Historical Society of America when he held one of the first autofocus cameras at a meeting in Minneapolis in 1980. “Leica used to be an extremely conservative company. The autofocus mechanism as they were available then didn’t fit into the company’s ideal of precise focusing.”

Apple’s the No. 1 IoT company, despite not making any devices

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Sorry Tony Fadell. Better turn up the temperature if you want to win customers!
Apple's rivals better turn up the temperature to compete with Apple.
Photo: Nest

Google may have poured billions into buying smart thermostat maker Nest Labs, but according to a new piece of consumer research, Apple’s the company most people think of when it comes to Internet of Things devices.

Conducted by ThroughTek, a leading Machine-to-Machine (M2M) solutions provider, almost half of consumers (48 percent) aware of IoT devices on the market are said to be familiar with Apple’s devices in the category, while just 22 percent know Samsung’s, 15 percent know Amazon’s, and 13 percent know Google’s.

Despite, you know, the fact that Apple’s not really an Internet of Things company at all!

Hollywood badasses swap their weapons for selfie sticks

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban selfie stick
Harry Potter really loves magic, it seems.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

The Internet has gone crazy for selfie sticks ever since a couple of Twitter users posted modified images of Hollywood’s toughest characters with their guns swapped out for the hated tech accessories.

The Photoshop swap really has a way of removing all the menace from a person — especially if their new phone has a ladybug case on it. You can see some examples below (as well as some we put together because we just couldn’t help ourselves).

Apple will let visitors drop in for coffee at its ‘spaceship’ campus

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visitor-center-map
Come and hang out with Tim Cook and co.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s forthcoming $5 billion “spaceship” Apple campus may be designed to squeeze in a massive 13,000 employees, or the equivalent of 35 fully-filled Boeing 747s, but don’t worry: it’s got plenty of space for you, too.

According to Apple’s plans for the new headquarters, the Apple 2 campus will include a glass-walled structure for visitors, boasting a 2,386-square-foot cafe, 10,114-square-foot gift shop, and rooftop viewing space, where visitors can gaze out over Apple’s domain while Tim Cook tells you that everything the light touches is his kingdom.