Mix: Rovi deal, Polar Rose acquisition, Best Buy retreat, O2 data caps

Rovi Corp. has announced a multi-year licensing deal with Apple that allows it to use Rovi’s technology. The Wall Street Journal reports that Rovi declined to provide more details as to exactly what technologies Apple was interested in. According to Rovi’s website, the company “licenses leading interactive program guide (IPG) and digital content protection technologies to third parties to facilitate navigation of digital entertainment media and protect valuable assets. ”

Apple has reportedly acquired Polar Rose, a small Swedish company that specializes in facial recognition. Norwegian website Mac1.no reports (Translated Link) that the company offers several products based on its technology, including FaceCloud, a facial recognition service for websites, and FaceLib, which offers similar functionality on mobile phones. The company also makes a product called Recognizr that can store an image of a person and then recognize that user in a video stream, which could potentially allow products to recognize users using a forward facing camera and customize the user experience based on their preferences. [via AppleInsider]

Best Buy CEO has issued a statement backpedaling from a recent quote attributed to him that said the iPad had cannibalized sales of laptop PCs by as much as 50%. “The reports of the demise of these devices are grossly exaggerated,” Dunn said. “While they were fueled in part by a comment in the Wall Street Journal that was attributed to me, they are not an accurate depiction of what we’re currently seeing. In fact, we see some shifts in consumption patterns, with tablet sales being an incremental opportunity.  And as we said during our recent earnings call, we believe computers will remain a very popular gift this holiday because of the very distinct and desirable benefits they offer consumers. That’s why we intend to carry a broad selection of computing products and accessories to address the demand we anticipate this season.”

O2 in the UK has reduced the amount of data it is offering iPad users on its data plans. 3G.co.uk reports that the carrier’s £15 plan now offers only 2GB of data instead of the previous 3GB, and that the £2 daily plan now offers only 200MB, down from 500MB. O2 says the previous limits were based on a promotion which was scheduled to end on September 30, although the report claims that the company gave no mention of the expiration date in its promotional materials advertising the tariffs.

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