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Google Receives Patent for Facial Recognition To Unlock Phone

Let’s keep this short because all this is is another in the long line of patent announcements that are making people wonder if patents are simply a way to hinder progress rather than promote innovation.

Google has been awarded the patent for a face-to-unlock feature on a smartphone. cnet reports

The search giant yesterday was awarded a patent, called “Login to a computing device based on facial recognition,” that describes a technology for identifying a person’s face and delivering to that person full access to personal information on a device.

In order for the technology to work, Google’s patent requires a camera that can identify a person’s face. If that face matches a “predetermined identity,” then the person is logged into the respective device.

Almost Half of All Smartphone Users Have Purchased Digital Entertainment Products

American’s have a bad case of Johnny-Five syndrome. So named for the robot in the movie “Short Circuit,” the disorder’s one and only symptom is the intense craving for more digital input. Movies, TV shows, podcasts, webseries, music, ebooks — they can’t get enough.

According to the new Mobile Intel Series report from Millennial Media, 47% of smartphone users have purchased digital entertainment in order to halt the cravings, but sadly, the fix is only temporary. One season of “The Vampire Diaries” isn’t enough. The entire catalog of films starring George Clooney won’t do it. Even the massive collection of free ebooks on Amazon can’t fill that empty feeling a Johnny-Fiver gets once the data has been consumed.

This is good news for all you entertainment content sellers out there.

Smartphone Adoption Happening 10 Times Faster than PC’s in the 80′s

Let’s take a brief walk down memory lane.

We went from arcade games to Pong, to Nintendo 64, to Kinect and now games you can download and play instantly on your phone while on the go.

On the go phones, used to mean a phone booth then people with money had car phones with a mobile operator and from there we had mobile phones the size of a brick. Phones gradually got smaller, then they got smarter and look where they are now.

Computers? They used to take up an entire room and you needed thousands of punch cards and a degree in order to run one. Then home computers hit the market, we DOSed until Microsoft opened a Window and now you can carry a computer in your pants pocket, no wires, no punchcards.

Mobile Clickthrough Rates Stay Strong

As quickly as the age of mobile has cemented itself in our midst (after years of false starts and claims that ‘this is finally the year of mobile!’) people want to knock it down a size already.

The findings around clickthrough rates in the mobile space say that they are are quite good. A recent study by MediaMind confirms that (as reported by eMarketer) idea. Take a look.

While the numbers tell a story of greater performance for these ads there are those that are not buying.

Facebook Mobile Has the Need for Speed

Awesome and wow aren’t words you usually see associated with a Facebook update, but mobile users are rejoicing over the new and improved iOS app.

Visually, the iPhone update is pretty much the same, but the iPad app looks spectacular. I’m not a big fan of Facebook, but when I saw my Timeline presented on the iPad I actually felt compelled to flip through and see what people were posting.

Unlike the online experience, the mobile app is clean and free of annoying sidebars full of junk. It’s just you and your peeps, sharing and caring.

Photos play a big part in the experience. Tap one and it opens up to the full screen with options to like, read comments or leave your own. Facebook also included its own Camera App in the navigation bar so you can take photos and upload them without having to leave the page. Nice.

Website Traffic From Smartphones Up 100 Percent in One Year

If you still haven’t optimized your ecommerce site for mobile, get a load of this slice from a new infographic from Monetate.

The numbers represent only a small portion of web traffic, true, but look at the growth. Smartphone traffic related to ecommerce has doubled in only a few months. And according to “The Battle for Smartphone Supremacy” traffic from mobile has increased 103% over last year.

Android still has the biggest market share with the most accessible products at a lower price point, but iPhone users are the ones using their phones to shop more often. Monetate estimates the average order value for iPhone users to be $97.49 which is right in line with the numbers from Apple desktop shoppers.

Video and Entertainment Top the Smartphone Paid Content Chart

107 million people own smartphones and it’s estimated that over 50% of the population will own one by Q2 of 2013. That’s not just a lot of phones, that’s a lot of content in the form of apps, videos, music, and ebooks.

According to the new report,  “A Portrait of Today’s Smartphone User,” from The Online Publishers Association, over half of all smartphone owners are using their phones to access content on a daily basis. The majority said they use it to check the weather, 31% use it to watch video, news, sports, and entertainment content follow after that.

Unfortunately for content creators, only 24% of users paid for the content on their phone. Here’s a look at what people are willing to pay for: