Archive for the Hardware News Category

Sound-powered smartphone battery invented

August 14, 2014 by Tom in Hardware News, Other, Phone with No Comments.

UK researchers have made a phone that charges using ambient sound in the atmosphere. It might not be much use in remote areas but for any city dwellers, the constant sound of cars, construction and chatter could finally - finally - have an upside. The technology utilises the piezoelectric effect, which uses nanogenerators created by the research team to harvest noise and transfer it into current. Zinc oxide forms the basis of the device coating - it transforms into tiny nanorods so sensitive they bend from sound wave pressure and it's this energy that produces the charge. Via pocket-lint  

Polaroid Cube – rugged 1080p mini video camera

August 12, 2014 by Tom in Hardware News, Other with No Comments.

Polaroid's diversification from instant cameras continues as the brand name gets attached to a rugged mini video camera, capable of 1080p capture. The 2-inch square features a 124-degree wide-angle lens and is shock-proof and water-resistant, allowing more daring videos without fear of breakage. The camera is also magnetic, to allow for easy mounting on metal surfaces. If magnets aren't your thing, there are three custom-made mounts available for the Polaroid Cube: the Tripod Mount, the Bike Mount for handlebar action, and a Waterproof Case for extended aqua action. It also features a 6MP camera sensor for stills and the battery records for up to 90 minutes, directly to the 32GB capacity microSD port. The camera costs $100 and the mounts are $10-40. Via pocket-lint

NIVIDIA Tegra K1 processor – more to come with Project Denver

August 12, 2014 by Tom in Hardware News, NVIDIA with No Comments.

The NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor has been wowing within the likes of the NVIDIA shield tablet, but its sister chip is also on the way. The current K1 has a 32-bit ARM Cortox-A15 quad-core processor with 192-core NVIDIA Kepler graphics. Coming up is a 64-bit version that shares the graphics tech but also features the company's "Project Denver" processor based on ARMv8 architecture. The K1 Denver model's processor is dual-core and clocked at up to 2.5GHz. The cores feature 7-way superscalar microarchitecture, 128KB four-way L1 instruction cache, 64K four-way data cache and 2MB 16-way L2 cache. It also has Dynamic Code Optimization, which uses a dedicated 128MB cache to improve the performance of frequently used operations. This optimization, NVIDIA says, will see the Denver out

uBeam wireless charging has range

August 8, 2014 by Tom in Accessories, Hardware News, Other with No Comments.

Most wireless charging options require a device to be placed onto a charging mat or similar to work, so while you're putting it down, you may as well be plugging in cable in. However, wireless charging from uBeam promises the kind of ranged charging that makes the technology worthwhile. uBeam uses ultrasound to transmit electricity - at 5mm-thick transmission plates, power is turned into soundwaves to reach the device and is then converted back when it hits the device. 25-year-old astrobiology graduate Meredith Perry is behind the new useful tech. She envisions wireless charging around the home for everything, including kettles and radios, to make wires a thing of the past. Expect to see uBeam power plates in coffee shops, restaurants and hotels soon. Via pocket-lint

Want more distractions while you drive? Navdy’s dashboard display projects app data onto windscreens

August 6, 2014 by Tom in Accessories, Android, App News, Hardware News, Other with No Comments.

The next step of in-car tech will be windscreen projection, hopes Navdy's makers. The Navdy mounts on the dashboard and projects smartphone app data onto the windscreen. It'll have an IR camera for gesture control, WiFi and Bluetooth support, a dual-core processor running Android 4.4, and will voice commands for composing tweets, texts, calling, etc. It's available for pre-order for $299 and it'll cost $499 when it's released in 2015. Via pocket-lint  

Cadillacs will offer wireless smartphone charging from 2015

July 30, 2014 by Tom in Accessories, Hardware News, Other, Phone with No Comments.

If you're thinking about buying a new car next year and hate your batteries running low, GM's Cadillac might be the car to consider. As of next year, some Cadillacs will offer wireless charging via Powermat (a company GM owns). The charging area will be positioned in the centre console of the Cadillac ATS sedan and coupe, the CTS sedan, and the 2015 Escalade SUV. While charging, the phones can take calls through the in-car Bluetooth system. So, for automotive charging, will you buy a new Cadillac or a Flux Capacitor lighter plug-in? Via geekygadgets

Super-cheap Allwinner quad-core processor now shipping

July 30, 2014 by Tom in Hardware News, Other with No Comments.

The next batch of budget Android tablets are most likely going to be powered by the Allwinner A33 ARM Cortex-A7 quad-core processor, which is available to device makers for a highly agreeable $4 (more for smaller orders, of course). The A33 has ARM Mali-400 MP2 graphics and supports resolutions up to 1280 x 800 pixels. It also offers SmartColor display tech, an integrated Hi-Fi audio codec, 1080p video playback support and capture, and low power use. It won't set the tech world on fire but it'll definately boost the quality of budget tablets, with some A33-powered devices going out at around $60. Via liliputing

Tablet-sized Android touchscreen pocket projector

July 30, 2014 by Tom in Hardware News with No Comments.

Remember when phones and tablets with built-in projectors were a thing? Touchjet are holding onto the dream with the Touchpico projector. It's an Android-powered WiFi device that half delivers on the promise. The projection part is sound - it creates an 80-inch display but the touch part is only available through the accompanying stylus. Price-wise, you're going to really want a projector - early Indiegogo buyers will get it for $350 and it will retail at $500. Via gizmodo

Allwinner to be in the 64-bit club by the end of the year

July 26, 2014 by Tom in Hardware News with No Comments.

Dependable Chinese chip maker Allwinner will launch its first range of 64-bit processors at the end of the year. The chips will be based on new ARMv8 architecture and will support 4K video, as well as offer backward compatibility with older 32-bit ARMv7 apps, further diversifying the new range of Android devices, including tablets and set top boxes. Companies with 64-bit processors currently on the market include Intel and NVIDIA. Via gizchina  

Tangled earphones explained! Extreme agitation in your pocket

June 15, 2014 by Tom in Audio, Earphones IEM, Hardware News, Other, Uncategorized with No Comments.

Tangled headphone cables are a cause of extreme agitation; they're also caused by the cord being agitated, which causes pocket tangling within seconds. A study at the University of California, titled Spontaneous Knotting of Agitated String, sheds light on the universal conundrum. Cable less than 18 inches in length is immune to spontaneous knotting. Who knew? Sadly that doesn't help, given the average earphone cable length is more than that. 59 inches produces the maximum possible probability of a swift tangle. Apple's standard earphones are 54.7 inches long - they're prime tanglers. But as far as a solution goes, little has been offered. If you've a clear pocket or a tidy bag, you're still not safe - it's just a natural reaction of "agitated" cable. If you've the patience, get

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