Huawei Trademarks "Groufie", a Panoramic Selfie
May 12, 2014 10:25 AM
It is unknown if Huawei has patented technology
Chinese devicemaker Huawei Technology Comp., Ltd. (
) is one of the world's fastest growing Android smartphone makers.
Currently in fourth place
in global sales, it's hoping to boost its international presence outside its home market, with the recent introduction of its
Huawei Ascend P7
Following the launch Huawei didn't necessarily make friends with fellow phonemakers,
going on the record to blast quad HD (QHD) resolution displays
in 5-inch smartphones, a popular market direction which it argues was pointless.
While the Ascend P7 was mostly a story of modest hardware upgrades, one area where it shines brightly is in the photography department. Huawei is including an image processing chip, which it claims is D-SLR-class and will allow for advanced postprocessing without much battery drain. It also has potentially started a new picture trend with "the groufie", which the Ascend P7 has software to support.
The Huawei Ascend P7
Phonemakers have long been
so called "panorama" modes
, which allowing user to swing their phone side to side to take panoramas,
using postprocessing to stitch the images together
into a single wide shot. Huawei's idea with the "groufie" is to basically due the same thing with the front-facing camera which is commonly used to take "selfies" -- a term used to describe photographs taken with oneself with the front-facing camera. Rival phonemaker HTC Corp. (
) recently made the questionable claim that
90 percent of smartphone photos taken in some regions are selfies
Huawei says that selfies are great, but often lack scenery given the small frame, which ruins the context of the pictures. It thinks that by adding a panorama view around the selfie-taker and possibly their friends, it can offer a better selfie.
Apparently Huawei has taken the idea seriously enough that it's filed for trademarks on the term in most major jurisdictions, including China, France, Germany, Russia and the U.S.,
It is unknown whether Huawei has filed for patents on the idea. But it might be wise to, given that in today's era of smartphone litigation -- an era in which a gesture that
imitates a sliding lock
worth hundreds of millions of dollars
in damages -- even a seemingly silly and derivative feature is worth patenting if your competitors might patent it.
Wait, this isn't iOS 7? [Image Source: BGR]
Also, it might be a good idea as it seems like only a matter of time before Apple, Inc. (
) sues it. The Ascend P7 borrowed liberally from the design, art style, UI, and features of
iOS 7 and the iPhone
with its reskin of Android; as
Boy Genius Report
put it (in a praising way) "We’ll start by stating the obvious: The Ascend P7 has borrowed a great deal from Apple’s iPhone... [This is] the closest Android will ever get to having an iPhone."
If you're going to adopt that approach, it might be wise to build up some legal firepower.
"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home
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