Technology News Headlines for July 27 2012 ( Friday )

OUYA Finds A Gaming Buddy In OnLive
The Android-based gaming console OUYA has found a gaming parter in OnLive. OnLive delivers games to a multitude of devices through its cloud-based system and is opening up its library to OUYA's platform. OUYA has proved itself quite the Kickstarter hit (funding so far has piled up to a little over $5.57 million) even as a preproduction concept--in fact it only just released images of what its console will actually look like when it becomes available in 2013 for $99. With its controller and console, OUYA looked poised to take advantage of a whole slew of apps and games made for the Android smartphones and tablets. Access to OnLive's library of on-demand games (from 80 publishers) adds a nice extra selection to that buffet.

Apple Buys Fingerprint Sensor Maker AuthenTec, Which Perfected Tech In Hospitals And Prisons
Apple plans to acquire biometric hardware maker AuthenTec for $356 million, Reuters reports.The Florida company makes semiconductor-based fingerprint scanners that use radio waves to ID living tissue behind whorls of dry, worn, or scabbed skin. (It can also differentiate between a dead digit and alive one.)

Dale Setlack, co-founder and then-CTO of AuthenTec was on our Fast 50 list in 2004. He toldFast Company that it was only through extensive testing of existing fingerprint scanning technology at emergency rooms and prisons that he achieved the breakthrough in his product design:

In August 2011, AuthenTec's fingerprint readers were part of a fingerprint-enabled NFC payment transaction, which the company claims was a first for the U.S.

While Apple may be interested in AuthenTec for its fingerprint scanners and its payment applications, it could also have uses in mind for another piece of AuthenTec hardware called TrueNav. TrueNav, which AuthenTec describes as a "next generation solution for fluid on screen graphic and menu navigation" is a low-power tech that tracks finger movements on a touch screen.

Authentec's clients have included Motorola, Nokia, Lenovo, LG, and others. In mid-July, the company signed a deal with Samsung to provide VPN security for Android smartphones and tablets.

Pebble Inspires Another Smartwatch Kickstarter
Pebble has company. A new smartwatch called Strata has been hoisted onto Kickstarter by its maker, MetaWatch. Strata is compatible with Android and iOS 6 and will launch in September this year if all goes well. (That was Pebble's shipping deadline too, but the company announced this week that it is pushing that back.) It's the latest of MetaWatch's experiments in wrist accessories--earlier models were made while MetaWatch was a part of Fossil. The main reason Strata is getting rolling then is that iOS 6 allows an iPhone to beam text messages over bluetooth to other devices (and potentially the Strata), watchmaker Bill Geiser told The Verge. Pebble's incredible success on Kickstarter influenced MetaWatch's decision to ask the Internet to contribute to Strata's development, Geiser admitted. But while it's true that Pebble's success has served as a model for other smartwatch makers, it was earlier trials by people like Geiser and MetaWatch that got Pebble rolling in the first place.

Motorola Android Phones Banned In Germany For Violating Microsoft IP
Yet another patent battle has ended badly for one side in Germany: A Mannheim court has just banned Motorola's Android phones because they use file protocols that are protected under Microsoft's patents on FAT file storage systems. Microsoft has released a statement praising the decision and noting it has precedent...and that Microsoft will continue to pursue Motorola where it can. Microsoft has been pressing many makers of Android devices to license its technology, instead of going directly after Google itself, which designed the Android OS. As of this year's successful buy-out, Motorola Mobility is now part of Google--with a core value of technology and patents worth over $5 billion.
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