Latest industry insights

Microsoft fined £484m

£484m, sounds like a lot of money to you?  Either way this is what Joaquin Almunia, vice-president of the European Commission and the commissioner responsible for competition, announced the fine being imposed upon Microsoft for failing to promote a range of web browsers, rather than just its Internet Explorer program, to users in the European Union. It introduced a browser choice screen pop-up in March 2010 as part of a settlement following an earlier EU competition investigation, however this feature was later dropped in a Windows 7 update, in turn giving rise to the fine now being levied on Microsoft. More information on this: Microsoft fined over web browsers

Galaxy eye-tracked navigation

Last month, Samsung filed for a trademark in the United States called "Samsung Eye Scroll". Eye scroll has been described as a "Computer application software having a feature of sensing eye movements and scrolling displays of mobile devices, namely, mobile phones, smartphones and tablet computers according to eye movements; digital cameras; mobile telephones; smartphones; tablet computers." Samsung’s current offering, the Galaxy S III already incorporates a "Smart Stay"  feature, enabling users to keep their device's screen display lit up as long as that person is looking into its front-facing camera. Samsung claim this will negate the need for touch movements to help navigate around the interface, but, personally this sounds a little good to be true. At least we won’t have too long to wait for further details, as Samsung are looking to make the grand unveiling within the next week, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on March 14, 2013. The event is one of the most promoted and highly anticipated show in Samsung history since the Galaxy S III.

The £1 phone

A phone for less than a cup of tea at a greasy spoon. How can that be? Well, the Alcatel One Touch 232 is designed just to do that, allowing you to make calls and send texts. The phone also sports an alarm clock, radio, calculator and a and 3.8cm (1.5in) colour screen. Anyone who wants to shun smartphones can buy the pay-as-you-go Alcatel from on the O2 network. ‘It’s a fairly simple phone and does all of the basics, it’s perfect for people that aren’t worried about having the best phone out there.’ The new device comes after Nokia released two budget handsets – the 105 and the old-school style 301 – last month, with the cheapest costing just £13.

3D print vending machine

Heard about the latest 3D printing craze, but can’t afford the £2-3k needed to get one? Well, don’t fear, Dreambox might be solution your looking for. Created by a bunch of ex University of California students, Dreambox is a 3D printing vending machine. Dreambox is a vending machine that aims to fuel the 3D-printing revolution from the bottom up. Frustrated by their lack of accessible, on-campus 3D printing options and the long lead times associated with making 3D print request, the trio of ex. Cali students, came up with the idea for a more ubiquitous option. “Having an item 3D printed with a Dreambox is as simple as uploading or choosing a design online, clicking the ‘Print’ button and retrieving the item once it’s read.,” Users can also upload designs via a USB stick at the machine. The vending machine will also offer an online catalogue, allowing customers to peruse a selection of designs. They can also select from a range of apps to help them customise a model further. Once an item is selected for printing, it’s sent to the nearest Dreambox and added to the queue. Upon completion, the object is automatically removed from the build surface and dispensed into a private locker within the machine. The customer is then alerted via text that their creation is ready for pick-up. The text also includes a unique code to open the locker. Sounds great, question is how long before it comes or something of a similar ilk starts appearing at the local branch of Prontaprint?