Battery life is usually number one on the list of concerns that users have when choosing a new mobile device. Battery technology has been slow to keep up with the devices that are with us all day long, and so manufacturers have had to take other routes larger devices for larger batteries, or faster charging. But, a new breakthrough with sound waves could let you leave your charger behind for good.
Researchers with Queen Mary University of London have teamed up with Nokia to build the first prototype smartphone that can be charged using only sound waves. QMUL's Dr. Joe Briscoe and Dr. Steve Dunn first came upon the idea last year when they noticed that playing music improved the performance of solar cells. From there, the team developed a nanogenerator capable of collecting energy from ambient sound. The key to the nanogenerator was zinc oxide, which can create voltage when it expands and contracts. Zinc oxide was formed into nanorods which could generate five volts of electricity, enough to charge a phone.
The team has already been able to cut costs of production for the nanogenerators, but the technology still needs time to mature and be built to scale. Ultimately though, it could mean that mobile devices of the future will be charged with the everyday sounds around you, like traffic, music, or even just talking. As the technology matures, it could extend battery life, or mean that you'll never have to plug in your phone again.
Smart TVs is the new TV, they are available in HD, UHD and 4K resolutions with endless features on them. Samsung is controlling the Smart TV market with the highest units sales in 2013-2014. Well, 2015 is coming and the speculations about what's New in the upcoming next generation Smart TVs is going around the web.
Samsung is said to focus more on fitness applications and Mobile Integration on its 2015 Smart TVs line-up. Fitness Apps are getting high-demand from users on mobile platforms and wearable devices, using these feature will you to take a Yoga class remotely from home but on a bigger screen and more space to move with a wide-angle camera.
These new Smart TVs is expected to be announced on the CES 2015 next year, we don't have any info about the design or the price of these new TV sets but expect a High-one.
Wearable technology is still finding its niche in the accessory space, particularly when it comes to the stuff designed to be worn on the head. The latest out of Japan is from the latter.
The FUN'IKI Ambient Glasses are about subtle notifications with a bit of style. Equipped with multi-colored LEDs and Audio Speakers, the FUN'IKI glasses look like traditional eyewear. If you receive a Notification on your iPhone, color coded LEDs will provide an ambient alert along the lenses.
There are also speakers-embedded on the arms of the glasses. The dedicated iOS app for the FUN'IKI allows you to assign color and sounds to specific notifications. The glasses also have a text-to-speech feature as well, so if you get an extra important message, you can have it read to you. There is even a party mode for the LEDs.
The FUN'IKI Ambient Glasses are available through a Japanese crowd funding site. Expecting shipping will be in December. The lenses can be made to prescription. The team behind FUN'IKI have an SDK for developers at the ready too. The normal retail price for these glasses will be roughly $230. They can be secured through the crowd funding source for less than half that amount.
Wireless charging is the Holy Grail of mobiles. Currently it exists but requires a super close connection. A new discovery from start-up company uBeam will allow for wireless charging at along-range, meaning you can walk around the room with your phone while it charges over the air. uBeam uses ultrasound to transmit electricity. Power is turned into the sound waves to be transmitted and then converted back to power on reaching the device.
The uBeam concept was stumbled upon by 25-year-old astrobiology graduate Meredith Perry. She started the company that will make it possible to charge gadgets over the air using a 5mm thick plate. These transmitters can be attached to walls, or made into decorative art, to beam power to smartphones and laptops for example. The gadgets just need a thin receiver to be added in order to receive the charge.
uBeam will mean gadgets can be designed differently, with slimmer batteries and more room for the charging plate. It will also mean cables can be removed almost entirely from the home. Imagine the kitchen with kettle, toaster and radio all powered wirelessly.
uBeam creator, Meredith Perry, said: "This is the only wireless power system that allows you to be on your phone and moving around a room freely while your device is charging. It allows for a Wi-Fi-like experience of charging; with everything else you have to be in close range of a transmitter."
In a surprising move, both Apple and Samsung have decided to drop the lawsuits between themselves outside the US. The companies haven't signed any licensing agreement, though, and the lawsuits within the US shall continue.
The Apple vs. Samsung legal battles have been going on for the past few years now, with both companies trading blows. Apple have had the most luck so far, winning over $1 billion dollars in the first trial, a figure which was later reduced.
The decision affects lawsuits in countries such as Australia, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, Netherlands, South Korea, and the UK where Apple has occasionally been less lucky as it had in the US.