Items tagged with Energy

Last month HotHardware reported on how Ohio-based Nikola Labs wowed the crowd at the Disrupt conference — and the Internet — by presenting a smartphone case. Of course, it didn't trot out one of your typical keep-the-dings-off smartphone cases, though, but one that can capture the 90 percent of waste energy pumped out by a typical smartphone in the form of radio frequencies (RF), and convert that energy into DC power that can be channeled back into the encased device to provide it with a 30% energy boost.  Science or science-fiction? Too good to be true?... Read more...
Mobile phones charged with energy taken out of thin air. What sounds like a modern take on a very old magic trick is actually the Unique Selling Proposition of a smartphone case developed by Nikola Labs and presented for the first time on Monday at the TechCrunch Disrupt event taking place this week in New York City (the Ohio-based company was selected to pitch to the crowd "after being selected by the TechCrunch editorial team and the audience").  According to its developers, the Nikola Labs case is able to use its proprietary energy harvesting circuit to capture the 90 percent of waste... Read more...
In terms of overall capabilities, both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are a good improvement over the previous generation. But, one thing that's not been talked about too much is that with these increased capabilities have come higher power requirements - and the differences are somewhat staggering. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, both of the "next-gen" consoles can draw up to 2 or 3x the power of the previous generation. That's a massive leap, given it's generally expected that future consoles will be faster, but more power-efficient. So, what's responsible? The biggest reason... Read more...
It's still pretty impressive to think that Nest makes only a thermostat, yet the design and engineering has garnered praise from all over. Soon, however, it looks as if Nest will move to the next level as a company. Today, it acquired MyEnergy, a company that will reportedly help Nest "help people understand and address home-energy consumption." The acquisition also accelerates Nest's services for energy providers, giving them a cost-effective way to share data with their customers. MyEnergy has users in all 50 U.S. states and spans more than 1,500 utility territories, allowing people to track... Read more...
In the midst of Google's Android growth, Chrome explosion, Chromebook entries and Fiber roll-outs, it's actually easy to forget that Google does other things as well. There's search, Glass, and energy. Yes, energy. Google has been dabbling in energy for some time now, which makes sense given the tremendous amount of power that it uses worldwide. This week, the company announced an expansion of options for companies to buy renewable energy. To date, Google has committed more than $1 billion to renewable energy project investments, signed agreements to procure wind power near our data centers, and... Read more...
In the world of consumer technology, innovation is moving ahead at a breakneck pace. But there's one area in particular that's struggling mightily: batteries. We just can't seem to keep up with power demands, and as newer and faster gizmos come out, it's requiring an awful lot of energy to keep them lit and online through all hours of the day. So, if we can't make batteries any better, stronger or longer-lasting in the short term, how about making them recharge 1000 times faster? That's the idea put forth by a new project out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. These new microbatteries... Read more...
In the race for "smaller, faster, better," memory chip makers probably have it the toughest. They're already dealing with immensely small objects, but as software evolves, we're sure in need of lots more of the stuff to keep our app addiction on course. One of the troubles, however, is power consumption. Most consumers probably don't realize just how much energy is sucked out of their laptop, tablet and phone by nature of RAM being in there, and that's one of the things that Toshiba is looking to address with its latest introduction. The company this week announced the development of an innovative... Read more...
Wireless power feels like one of those technologies that really should have taken off by now, but it just hasn't. And it's really tough to pin down exactly why that's the case. Every year about this time, usually during the CES before-and-after period, we start to hear rumblings all over again. Now, Texas Instruments is announcing that it has joined the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP). TI will continue to develop new bqTESLA wireless power receiver and transmitter integrated circuits that comply with existing and future versions of the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) Qi standard, and also create... Read more...
Now that Facebook's a properly official public company, it'll be doing things it never had to do before. Things like "being transparent." With the world watching, the company is a much different place, but even before the IPO, it looks as if Facebook was tracking something that'll be highly important in the years ahead. Following in the footsteps of countless other technology mainstays, Facebook has just announced its 2011 carbon footprint, energy mix and energy use. Why? According to the company, it's making the move because it "believes in the power of openness, and because it hopes that adding... Read more...
Around here, we're always looking for more juice. More battery life. Another AC outlet. Wireless charging, for the masses. We aren't quite living in "the future," but Sanho has been providing portable power for a long, long while. Now, the company's introducing a new product, the HyperJuice Plug. It's a colorful battery pack that claims to be the world's first 15,600mAh portable pack that can charge two iPads at the same time. It also includes a retractable wall plug, two USB sockets and a realistic price point. It'll distribute 15W of energy over two USB ports, always delivering the maximum required... Read more...
Outside of wireless power, having a display that can actually recycle energy might be the other holy grail of consumer electronics energy. Now, researchers from UCLA have created a new technology that may bring this dream into reality. The new technology uses photovoltaic polarizers in order to turn ordinary LCDs into ones that could be powered by sunlight and their own backlight. This technology allows the displays to convert ambient light, sunlight and their own backlight into electricity. The energy-harvesting polarizer for LCDs (something called a polarizing organic photovoltaic) can potentially... Read more...
The massive earthquake, and resulting tsunami, that struck Japan in March is still fresh in the minds of those who populate the island nation, and the after-effects will be felt for months and months to come. But one of the most beautiful things about technology is how it enables one to lend a hand to another. Maybe it's a comforting e-mail. Maybe it's bailing someone out by phoning in an answer. Or maybe it's the re-purposing of a robot to help with the clean-up efforts in Japan. The U.S. Department of Energy has been working around the clock to modify a TALON robot, a remotely-controlled device... Read more...
Have you ever left for vacation and forgot to change the thermostat? Although it may not be worth flying home for, setting the thermostat a few degrees higher while you're away from home can save on cooling costs (especially if you'll be gone for a few days). Thanks to a new offering from TXU Energy, Texans can now use a smartphone to manage and adjust their home's temperature.  The new service is available for users of the TXU Energy iThermostat. With the thermostat and new TXU Energy iThermostat mobile website (txu.com/control), you can manage your home's heating and air conditioning. The... Read more...
Oh, batteries. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. It sounds like a power ballad, but it's the story of our lives around here. We've been dealing with lofty promises and batteries that kick the bucket far too early, for years now.  And the fact that we're still dealing with lead-acid batteries is sort of a baffling thing to wrap one's mind around. But all of that just might be changing. We won't get our hopes too high until fuel cells become the viable alternative that we have been told that they are, but we strangely have more faith in a vegetable than a science lab to revolutionize... Read more...
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