Apple has won approval for a patent on wearable camera technology, and the news is wearing on investors’ confidence in other wearable camera companies, according to a Globe and Mail article by Lehar Maan and Abhirup Boy. The most direct competitor, GoPro Inc., saw its shares go down 11 percent in the wake of the news.
Apple applied for the patent in 2012, and cited some apparently significant flaws in the wearable camera technology used by GoPro, whose cameras are designed to be mounted to bike helmets, surf boards, and the like. The article’s authors speculate that the patent might also threaten Polaroid, given its Cube cameras, but a Securities analyst cited in the story warns that it might be too soon to speculate about where Apple is going with this.
Still, when it’s Apple, it is interesting to speculate. The company has been an early adopter of biometric technology, given its embrace of fingerprint-scanning on its mobile devices; and with interest – and concern – growing over the possible uses of facial recognition technology in body-mounted cameras – and its use already in other smartphones – it’s tempting to wonder how Apple might put its patented knowledge base together in future wearable devices.