HTC M7 Hits Stores Next Month, Apple Files for ‘Human ATM’ Patent

In today’s mobile news roundup: HTC M7 available on March 8; Apple files for ‘human ATM’ patent; Motorola job posting confirms X-phone; and Nokia gets $1.35B grant to develop Graphene.

HTC M7 available on March 7

Rumors about the HTC M7 spread like wildfire when Pocket Lint reported that the company has confirmed a launch event on February 19, 2013 in London.

It was rumored that the M7 would make an appearance at CES 2013 but the event came and went and M7 was a no show.  Now, as Mobile World Congress draws near, rumors regarding the launch of the devices gets hyped with sources reporting that the M7 would go on sale on March 8.

The M7’s rumored features are a 4.7-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution display, 32GB of internal storage, 2GB of RAM, 13MP rear camera, and a 2MP front-facing camera for video calling.

In other HTC news, the HTC Butterfly, a phablet that features a 5-inch full-HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) display, 1.5GHz quad-core processor and water-resistant capabilities, will come with small accompanying phone.  The HTC Mini communicates with the Butterfly via NFC technology, so you can keep the phablet in your pocket or bag, but still be able to use it through using the Mini.  The Mini can also serve as your TV remote, and if you often misplace your phone, you can use it to ring your Butterfly and locate it.

Apple files for ‘human ATM’ patent

Unwired View discovered a patent application filed by Apple that aims to turn humans into an “Ad-hoc cash dispensing network.”  From what I understand, the technology works like this: iOS and Mac users will be aggregated in a network that pools everyone’s iTunes account where their credit card is tied in.  So when a person finds himself in a situation wherein he realized he forgot his wallet at home or there’s no ATM, he can just launch the Cash app and ask for the amount he needs.  The app will then search for people near you who will be willing to fork up some cash.  If he agrees, the location of the sender will be sent to you, then you can go to the lender and I’m guessing via NFC, the credit will be transferred to your phone, which you can then use to pay.  The amount you borrowed will be reflected in your iTunes account, which Apple will then transfer to the lender.   Apple will of course take a service fee for every transaction.  It’s a bit complicated, but very interesting if it comes to fruition.

In other Apple news, the company acquired 18 user interface patents from Maya-Systems. The patents appear to be related to axis-based interfaces, in which documents and other files can be automatically grouped into timelines based on tags or other attributes, and made accessible via the cloud.

Motorola job posting confirms X-phone

An opening for a position at Motorola was posted on LinkedIn looking for a Sr. Director Product Management – for the X-phone.  Yep, the mythical beast seems to be true, but unfortunately, the job posting was already taken down.  Still, the remnant of the posting points to the obvious, the X-phone is real and there’s a huge chance that we’ll be seeing it this year or maybe early next year.

The X-phone is said to be Google and Motorola’s latest project, with sources claiming that it could be the next Nexus phone.

Nokia gets $1.35B grant to develop Graphene

Nokia received a $1.35 billion grant from the European Union for the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) to research and develop graphene for practical applications.

Nokia is leading the electronic firms within the Graphene Flagship Consortium, constituted of 73 other companies and academic institutions from a number of mediums.

Graphene is composed of pure carbon, with atoms arranged in a regular hexagonal pattern similar to graphite, but in a one-atom thick sheet, and believed to be the strongest, lightest and thinnest material on earth.

“Nokia is proud to be involved with this project, and we have deep roots in the field — we first started working with graphene already in 2006,” Nokia’s CTO Henry Tirri said in a statement. “Since then, we have come to identify multiple areas where this material can be applied in modern computing environments. We’ve done some very promising work so far, but I believe the greatest innovations have yet to be discovered.”