Correction: Switzerland Now Has An Incredible Competitor

TechCrunch

So here we are, in the hours after the official launch of the Apple Watch, and we need to address just what the watch means for Switzerland.

When I first saw the watch I literally thought that Jony Ive was right in regards to how – ahem – ruined the Swiss watch industry was. However, as I thought about what the Apple Watch was (and wasn’t) I’ve come to a more nuanced conclusion.

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In short, the Apple Watch replaces the regular watch. This doesn’t mean it will actively replace the TAG Hauers and Rolexen out there. Instead, it will fill the blank space that is currently on most of our wrists. This space has, of late, been home to Fitbits and Pebbles and the like but, for most people, a watch hasn’t been a must-have accessory. And now it is.

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Apple made watches cool again and new buyers of…

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Apple Patents A Way To Make Sapphire Screens Even Stronger

TechCrunch

Apple has a new patent (via AppleInsider) that could help explain leaked videos showing a front screen material that is incredibly durable, and resistant to bending, scratching and shattering. The screen is thought to be based on manufactured sapphire, a material that has a toughness rating above glass, but a new patent reveals how Apple might be stacking the odds in its favor with a process to make it even stronger.

The patent describes a way to mimic the same kind of strengthening effects used on glass (through chemical coatings, mostly, as exemplified by Corning’s Gorilla Glass), but with an alternate « ion implanting » method that works on material like sapphire, with which the existing methods aren’t necessarily going to work.

The process uses a similar technique to the one Apple currently employs to color its black bezels on iPhones, which works via implanted ions put directly into the display…

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Apple Explores Augmented Reality Navigation For iPhones

TechCrunch

Apple has two new patent applications out today (via AppleInsider) that show it’s been working on boosting the iPhone’s navigation abilities with augmented reality features. The patent describes a way that the iPhone could use its camera in combination with on-device software to generate virtual maps of your surroundings, which are overlaid on a real feed, and which can do things like provide a look inside surrounding buildings.

The patents describe a way to use GPS, Wi-Fi and sensor information to pinpoint a user’s position and then download a 3D model of their surroundings, including points of interest. To compensate for the fact that using sensor data alone would likely result in an imperfect matching of virtual and real environment (as has been the case in other similar AR mapping apps), Apple uses live video feed from the iPhone’s camera, and lets a user actively match up virtual elements…

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