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Pornhub produces rude-named wearable to charge devices with the power of one

Posted by Tom February - 26 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

What would you call a wearable that is powered by self-love?

Popular video website Pornhub has gone for…

The Wankband. Not the classiest name but then, it’s probably not the classiest product, which comes hard on the heels of the Geeksphone sex tracker.

Regardless, Pornhub is treating it seriously on its safe for work website that explains the idea behind the Wankband.

The band harnesses the energy created by the up-and-down motion of masturbation and then turns that into power with which you can boost the juice of your smartphone or tablet.

The Wankband’s not out yet but in the meantime Pornhub is looking for beta (spelled ‘be(a)ta’ by them- hardy ha) testers for the first run.

If you fancy signing up, head over to their website and put that energy to good use. That is, if this isn’t the super-early April Fool’s joke that it feels like.

Via gizmodo

LG Watch Urbane gets LTE, NFC, and battery variant

Posted by wicked February - 26 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

It isn’t uncommon for companies to try and squeeze all they can from a winning product, but LG might again be going overboard just a wee bit. Just a week after it unveiled the classy LG Watch Urbane, which has still to make a public appearance at MWC 2015, it is announcing a new variant that might make you think twice about reaching for that new smartwatch. As the name suggests, the LG Watch Urbane LTE adds 4G connectivity, but it is also adding a lot more than that.

You won’t be browsing web pages on it, that’s for sure. The wireless connection here is geared more towards voice functions, particularly VoLTE. But more than that, the Watch Urbane also has some special walkie-talkie function, also known as Push to Talk these days. Aside from LTE, this variant also adds an NFC chip inside, making it one of the very few, if not the only, smartwatch to do so. The purpose of this added hardware is for mobile payments, according to LG, though it hasn’t exactly detailed where those can be used. Lastly, the Watch Urbane LTE also has one of the biggest wishes of most smartwatch owners: a larger battery. In fact, it almost doubles the conventional battery size to 700 mAh. That said, given the added functionality, the battery life might not be boosted too much.

These are just the internal, invisible changes. Buyers might notice more readily a slight difference in design as well. The LG Watch Urbane LTE sports three buttons on the side. The top one is used as a shortcut for quick settings. The middle is your home button that switches between clock face and app list. The bottom one is used for going Back to previous pages. Other than that, you get pretty much the same LG Watch Urbane, with it’s 1.3-inch plastic OLED display, 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 chip, 1 GB of RAM, and 4 GB of storage.

Now for the bad news. Given the features above, particularly the hardware buttons and the NFC, there is a good chance that this smartwatch doesn’t run Android Wear. In fact, it looks suspiciously similar to the custom-made LG smartwatch that Audi was flaunting at CES 2015. If so, then this could very well be LG’s first WebOS smartwatch in the wild. At least the LG Watch Urbane LTE will be compatible with Android 4.4 or later smartphones. Expect to hear more about this surprise wearable at MWC 2015.

SOURCE: LG

AVG reveals the worst storage, battery and data hogging apps

Posted by wicked February - 25 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

tips-tricks-increasing-battery-life-android-0152

AVG, an antivirus and app cleaning software prodiver, has put together its latest quarterly study to help identify the worst battery, data, storage and performance consuming apps on Android smartphones and tablets. The list contains a number of familiar faces from the last report, as well as a few new entries.

It seems that Samsung’s “bloatware” still can’t seem to shake its resource cravings, particularly in the battery draining category. Although, there aren’t as many Samsung’s apps in the top 10 this time around. In the battery cateogories, Samsung’s Beaming and Security Updates services appear as the two worst run-at-startup apps, while Samsung’s WatchOn remote app was the most energy consuming app run by users.

AVG performance report Q4 2014

Again, we see some familiar faces when it comes to hampering a handset’s performance and eating up message space. Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and Google’s Chrome Browser are now regular contenders in the “storage eaters” category. Interestingly, the NY Times app previously held the number 1 spot for storage consumption, but is now completely out of the top 10. Facebook, Spotify and Instagram are also the three worst apps if you want to keep your Android devices running smoothly, all of which also featured in the top 5 last quarter. The Amazon AppStore has also leapt into the top 5 this year.

As you may expect, social media and video platforms are the worst for your data usage, with Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, Nextflix and Tumblr all ranking highly, although the Daily Mail app is the worst offender. As they consistently rank highly in almost every category, these social apps populate AVG’s top 10 overall performance sapping apps of Q4 2014.

AVG worst performers Q4 2014

If you are suffering from performance issues, AVG also has some top tips for you:

  1. Turn off unnecessary notifications and notification apps
  2. Turn off app specific features that you don’t use, such as location tracking
  3. Regularly delete cache data for larger apps to save space
  4. Where possible, limit the amount of data consumed by adjusting refresh intervals and/or WiFi only settings
  5. Lower your display brightness and turn off wireless features (WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, etc) when you’re not using them

The report also contains lots of information on AVG user habits, commonly installed apps and statistics for games, although obviously 3D content is more performance draining than most other applications. You can read the full details right here.

This tiny charger will give extra juice within 60 seconds

Posted by wicked February - 24 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

What do people want in their smartphones? Longer battery life. You don’t need surveys to know that people who always carry their phones  wish for an improved battery that can last at least the whole day on a single charge. Sure, people want a more vivid display, more responsive touchscreen, larger display, clearer camera, a slimmer and more robust form but the ultimate need according to a recent survey is longer battery life.

This used to be not a problem obviously because phones of yesterday can’t do much except for taking and making make phone calls and text messages. Now that smartphones are becoming smarter than ever, batteries always get overworked what with all the connectivities, features, and functions being used. To connect with the Internet, there’s WiFi, 3G, or 4G/LTE. Either one drains the battery faster. There’s also Bluetooth, speakers, and the display screen that is always turned on. If you play games, it would drain the battery even faster. So if you’re always glued to your smartphone, checking Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, and then playing games in between or reading on e-reader apps, expect your phone to last only a few hours.

We’ve seen several solutions already. The most popular and widely used today are power banks. (I still don’t have one.) If no power banks, people bring their chargers with them every time they go out. But thanks to StoreDot for coming up with a faster solution—a battery that can be charged within one minutes. All it takes is 60 seconds.

Doron Myersdorf of the Israeli company explains that because of the fast charger, you won’t have to worry about your gadget’s battery going dead. That dead-phone dread will be no more because within a minute or so, your batt can have some extra juice. Maybe not fully charged but at least a few minutes or hours to get you through the day. The effect is almost unlimited battery. Of course, you still have to charge the phone but only for a short time.

The StoreDot battery system came from the Tel Aviv University. The nanotechnology department discovered something interesting in peptide molecules the researches were working on. Apparently, those properties cause Alzheimer’s and affects some neutrons in the brain. The said molecules were found out to have the ability hold electrical charge because of high capacitance. When two molecules are combined, the result is a crystal which is now called a nanodot. Nanodots together then form the basis of StoreDot’s fast charging technology.

The StoreDot charger is actually a whole system which includes the battery inside the phone, a special charger, and the system within the phone. The new battery can be charged in a minute but don’t expect its lifespan to be longer—only one-third less of the average time in most phones.

The product is not yet available in the market but StoreDot is working hard on the technology. The battery might outlast current batteries by year 2018. That’s not really surprising because a lot of more advanced technologies will be introduced within three years.

The Israeli company is believed to be in discussion with about 15 smartphone manufacturers already. Before the year ends, StoreDot hopes to have signed official launch agreements with one or two tech giants and the battery system being available in the market before Christmas the following year.

No mention on pricing but it’s expected to be more expensive than the current solutions available in the market. However, three years is far from now so anything can happen and prices can go down. StoreDot is also looking to bring the technology to electric cars but the company would need a lot of money for that.

SOURCE: The Guardian

Kyocera to unveil a smartphone that charges itself on solar energy at the MWC

Posted by wicked February - 24 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

kyocerasolarphone

While all the buzz and hype at the MWC will be about the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9, Kyocera promises to grab our attention with its new smartphone. Unlike other flagships which are all about the specs sheet, the Kyocera offering will reportedly be able to charge itself using solar energy.

The Japanese manufacturer has been in the smartphone business for quite some time now, but without much success. However, a niche device like this might strike a chord with the public. The Japanese manufacturer is reportedly using technology from Wysips Crystal to bring this feature to the smartphone.

It is worth noting that technology of this calibre is usually found in devices like e-Book readers which are not as power hungry as LCD panels. So this will be a hurdle that Kyocera will have to overcome in order to make this feasible.

The makers of Wysips Crystal mention that this combines “optical and photovoltaic technologies” while keeping the form transparent and relatively slim. Watch the video below to learn how this feature works.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Will you be interested in a smartphone which can charge itself using sunlight? Let us know below.

Source: Sun Partner Technologies
Via: G For Games

Come comment on this article: Kyocera to unveil a smartphone that charges itself on solar energy at the MWC

Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 kicks into action

Posted by Tom February - 20 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Announced in 2013, Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 has been sitting dormant but this year it’ll come into its own.

The technology is all about boosting power transfer and slashing charge times for smartphones and tablets.

Qualcomm’s fast charging technology has been tested in 30-minute trials and left the regular charger in the shade when it pumped the battery up to 60%, while the standard charger managed just 12%.

Quick Charge 2.0 will arrive in two classes. Class A delivers 5V, 9V and 12V, while Class B goes up to 20V.

The technology is already out there: Google’s Nexus 6 has Quick Charge 2.0 and with the fast charger its 3220mAh battery gives six hours of use from a 15-minute charge.

Other devices that use Quick Charge 2.0 include Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4, HTC One (M8) and the Japanese Sony Xperia Z3 and Z2 models.

To make use of this a dedicated compatible charger is required. These cost around $30 depending on the manufacturer.

via pocket-lint

Solving the battery life conundrum

Posted by wicked February - 12 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off
Oppo Find 7 Battery -1190601

For all the incredible improvements in mobile technology there’s a persistent complaint that tops the consumer survey charts – battery life.

According to IDC’s survey, Top 10 Smartphone Purchase Drivers, battery life is the top consideration by a distance, way ahead of ease of use, operating system, and camera resolution. Battery life topped the list in a similar UK survey by GMI which found that 89 percent of respondents felt long lasting batteries were important, compared to 68 percent for brand in second place, and 67 percent for a fast processor in third.

If battery life is so important to us then why aren’t the manufacturers focusing on it? Why do the majority of us still have to charge our smartphones every single day?

Moving the goalposts

The lithium-ion batteries that power our smartphones have been improving, but the processors and screens that they’re powering have been improving much faster. As we jump to QHD displays and octa-core processors we need more power just to maintain the same level of usage.

As we pack in more and better features, and our expectations for performance grow, battery life suffers.

“The inconvenient truth is that we can probably build more on silicon than we can turn on in one go,” Ed Plowman explained to us in ARM’s mission to improve gaming on mobile, “Working out how we can make the techniques employed on high-end gaming platforms accessible on mobile hardware without blowing power budgets is a real challenge.”

As we pack in more and better features, and our expectations for performance grow, battery life suffers. Our smartphones also get more prone to overheating, which has a knock-on negative impact on our batteries.

Why aren’t they improving faster?

It is becoming increasingly difficult for engineers to squeeze more power out of the existing technology. New breakthroughs require expensive and time-consuming testing on a large scale. Safety concerns are paramount with batteries because they can literally explode if the manufacturer gets it wrong. There’s no substitute for long term testing.

Exciting findings in the lab can’t always be scaled up for mass production. How do you balance output, capacity, longevity, and charging speed? Even if something has been extensively tested and it can be scaled, it’s going to be prohibitively expensive compared to older technology which is already being manufactured for the mass market.

That’s not to say that research and development departments around the world aren’t working on new battery technology, because they are, but there’s a big gap between a lab breakthrough and a mass roll-out. In the short term we’re likely to get more mileage out of workarounds that extend or boost our existing li-ion technology.

Working around the problem

Best portable batteries chargers feature-1

Some people are already working around the problem by using extended battery cases, external chargers, and extra batteries, but there are obvious downsides. There’s no getting away from the extra expense and the added bulk of a battery case or an external charger.

Many manufacturers are also embedding batteries now and making it hard to replace them, ostensibly because that enables slimmer, unibody designs. It can also help with water resistance and potentially tougher phones. Of course, it doesn’t hurt from the OEM perspective if you decide to switch your phone every year or two because the battery is dying.

There are lots of different ways that the battery life problem may be rendered moot.

Improving charging

best-wireless-charger-ravpower-4

We’ve taken a look at what’s holding back wireless charging before. The technology is far from flawless, there’s little agreement on industry standards, and no one has really given it a big marketing push. It also still relies on contact. It may not solve the problem in its current form, but don’t count it out just yet.

Something like WattUp from Energous, which uses RF and Bluetooth to charge a device within 15 feet of a transmitter could be a game changer. If truly wireless solutions like that are proven safe and they hit the market with the right level of support, then perhaps wireless charging can still be the answer.

Speed is another line of attack. We’re already seeing smartphones and chargers that speed up the process of charging. Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 technology offers 75 percent faster charging, so you’re looking at around half an hour to get to 60 percent on your battery. StoreDot wants to take it much further with the promise of a 30 second recharge, but the technology is yet to be perfected and it can’t be retrofitted.

Battery top-ups

Ampy kinetic charging

How about unobtrusive solutions that enable us to top up the battery throughout the day? We’ve seen ideas like Ampy which transforms your kinetic energy from walking and other activities into a standard external battery pack that could be used to top up your smartphone.

Wearables could play a big part here. As we develop batteries in different shapes they could be built in to clothing. Beyond transforming kinetic energy, there’s some possibility that body heat could be used. We could also see solar panels woven into our clothing, though early examples like this Hilfiger jacket aren’t terribly inspiring.

Sticking with the solar theme, there’s a possibility that solar charging could be built into our phone’s screens. But these ideas all offer a limited return, and some depend a great deal on our activity level or location.

New battery technology

Barely a month passes without news of some possible breakthrough that will improve on our current technology, whether it’s Stanford University’s next-gen lithium batteries tripling smartphone battery life, the promise of silicon anodes, research into nanomaterials to lengthen li-ion battery life, or start-ups like MIT spin-off SolidEnergy looking to boost battery longevity.

There are possibilities everywhere, but no solid answers on the future of batteries.

We may see much vaunted wonder-material graphene transform battery tech in new Li-ion designs or as part of a supercapacitor. There are possibilities everywhere, but no solid answers on the future of batteries. For all the promise, we don’t seem to be on the verge. The next big breakthrough still looks to be years away rather than months.

What we can be sure of is that software optimization will continue to play an important part, and component manufacturers are still finding ways to reduce and optimize power consumption.

Where exactly is the sweet spot between performance and functionality? Would you be happy to ease off the cutting edge and dial back resolutions and specs if it meant week long battery life? Would you be happy with better charging technology? Or do you envisage another solution?

BLU Products intros new Studio Energy phone with a 45-day battery

Posted by wicked February - 12 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

BLU Products is not exactly famous worldwide but for us geeks, we know that it’s one of the best manufacturers of unlocked mobile devices. Thanks to BLU, there is no need to get a new phone subscription plan because you can simply use your prepaid card or you current plan. The latest smartphone from the company is the BLU Studio Energy which was first shown off at the CES earlier in January. The device impressed Las Vegas with its 5,000mAh battery that allows the phone to last up to 45 days on standby mode and four days on standard usage.

The BLU Studio Energy is available on Amazon exclusively for only $149.00. Its battery is not the only one that makes it a winner. Its 10mm design makes it one beautiful and sleek phone. The long lasting battery is great for those who can’t seem to last a day without having to plug the phone to charge.

Phone is perfect for those who love going outdoors or a long road trip during the weekend. BLU Studio energy is also ideal for those professionals who are always on the go, traveling to different countries because they can use two SIM cards on the Studio Energy with the Dual SIM slot.

BLU Studio Energy supports Reverse Charge. This means the smartphone can be used to charge other devices. It can work as a power bank with the USB OTG Cable also provided when you purchase the phone. Other specs of the device include a 5-inch HD Retina display, 294ppi with IPS and OGS technologies, Corning Gorilla Glass 3, 8MP main camera, 3MP front-facing camera, 8GB built-in storage, 1.3 GHz Quad-Core Mediatek 6582 processor, 1GB RAM, Micro SD card slot, and 4G connectivity. BLU Studio Energy will be out in different colors: Luxury Gold, Ceramic White, and Midnight Black.

Phone runs Android 4.4 Kit Kat out of the box but Lollipop software update should be out in June.

BLU Studio Energy
BLU Studio Energy
BLU Studio Energy
BLU Studio Energy

SOURCE: BLU Products

Xiaomi slims down with 5000mAh power pack portable charger

Posted by Tom February - 12 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

Xiaomi’s big and bulky 5200mAh power bank has been superseded by its slimmer younger brother, the 5000mAh power bank, which doesn’t lose much in power storage but shaves off the pounds in weight and heft.

The slim 5000mAh portable battery charger has launched in Malaysia for the equivalent of just under $10, which is a bargain if you can find it.

Also to follow is a huge 16000mAh model, which also goes slim without compromising on power.

Via gizchina

KaliPAK portable solar power generator charges tablets and more

Posted by wicked February - 9 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

If you are the outdoors type who likes to spend weekends away from the grid, but you still want to be able to stay in touch keeping devices charged can be a challenge. A new solar generator system called KaliPAK has debuted that will charge all your gadgets and can even power lights and other items outdoors on the go.

The KaliPAK is designed for more than outdoors types, it is also designed to help deliver power during emergencies and to developing nations where reliable power is unavailable. The charge pack works with anything that can be charged from a USB port or a car DC outlet.

kalipack-2

It ships with a LED light bulb that can be worked by the generator for up to 200 hours. Brighter floodlights and other offerings are available as well. KaliPAK has an internal battery that stores the power the large solar panel gathers. It comes in a 600Wh or 400Wh unit. There are apps for Android devices that show how long the battery inside the KaliPAK will last.

KaliPAK is on Kickstarter now seeking $150,000 and has raised over $78,000 so far with 54 days to go. A pledge of $289 or more will get a KaliPAK 201 if you hurry, there are 40 left at that price. That larger unit will cost $398 or more.

SOURCE: Kickstarter