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Apple Developing A Method To Charge Your iPhone Over Wi-Fi 0

     "Apple is investigating ways to charge iPhones and iPads wirelessly and without contact using the signal emitted by radio frequencies such as Wi-Fi, a patent filing has revealed.

     The indication the company is working on the system will raise hopes that the end of having to physically plug a cable into a mobile device in order to charge it could be around the corner.

     The filing reveals Apple is looking at ways to re-power its devices using mobile, Wi-Fi and millimetre wave signals. It proposes directing the electromagnetic frequencies, normally used for data transmission, towards device as a "beam" of energy.

     Long-range wireless charging isn't a new concept and Apple has been working on different ways to achieve it for a number of years. It first filed a patent for a way to wirelessly recharge an iMac at a distance of one metre back in 2010.

     Rumours suggest that Apple is planning to introduce wireless charging to the iPhone for the first time this year in time for its 10-year anniversary. Adding weight to reports, the company joined an industry group called the Wireless Power Consortium in February.

     However, the method of wireless charging that Apple could use is still unclear.

     It had been claimed that the iPhone would not feature the short-range "inductive" wireless charging used on the Watch and rival phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S8.

     Instead, Apple was said to be waiting to introduce wireless charging on the handsets only when it had developed a long-range system.

     Apple patented a separate "inductive charging station" concept for the iPhone last Autumn, paving the way for short-range wireless charging on the iPhone 8. The upcoming handset is rumoured to come with a glass case that could support the feature. "


Source: Cara McGoogan,

  • Joseph Flaherty

Nissan Build Phone Signal Blocker Into Cars To Halt Phone Distractions 0

     "Nissan doesn't want you texting while driving its Juke.

     There are apps available that attempt to make your phone less of a distraction while you drive, but now, Nissan has taken the concept a step further with its own compartment that blocks mobile phone signals. Even though people can put on a Bluetooth headset or set up automatic replies to texts, drivers still love to play with their phones rather than keep their eyes fixed ahead of them on the road.

     Nissan knows this, obviously, as it has developed a Faraday cage. Nissan said the prototype, called Signal Shield, comes built into the arm rest of its Juke crossover vehicle, and it promises to eliminate distractions caused by calls, texts, and other notifications. Keep in mind the product is not entirely new, as Michael Faraday discovered in the 19th century that conductive materials block electromagnetic fields.

     Nissan's spin is essentially a place where you can rest your phone while you drive - and all cellular, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi signals will be blocked. If you want to access tunes on your device, you can always connect it to the Juke via USB or aux cable. You can see a demo of the Signal Shield in the promo video below.

     Signal Shield is certainly an interesting way for Nissan to tackle distractions, but unfortunately, at the end of the day, we think people who use their phone while driving will continue do so, even if they have a fancy Faraday cage sitting inches away. "



Source: Elyse Betters,

  • Joseph Flaherty

Jelly - The World's Smallest 4G Android Smartphone 0

     "Unihertz, a start-up based in China, has introduced Jelly on Kickstarter, the world’s smallest 4G capable Android smartphone. In fact, the Jelly smartphone is so small that it can easily fit in your coin pocket. Smartphones might have gotten bigger in the last couple of years with the 5.5-inch display becoming standard, but looks like this company wants to change all of this.

     Jelly isn’t just a small Android phone, it runs Android Nougat 7.0 and will cost over $100. There's also a Jelly Pro version. The project has already managed to raise $133,934, much more than the original pledge of $30,000 goal. However, actual shipping for the Jelly will start only in August of 2017. So what does Jelly offer to users? And why are people signing up for this device?

     Well, the unique selling point clearly has to be the size. The idea of a smartphone fitting into your coin pocket has people intrigued. Plus, it helps that this a 4G-enabled device, and according to Jelly it will work with most major GSM networks.

     Now the display on this phone is only 2.45-inches, with 240×432 pixels resolution. Dimensions of the Jelly smartphone are 3.6-inches x 1.7-inches x 0.5-inches (LxWxH), so yeah this is pretty tiny. Interestingly this can support dual-Nano SIM cards, and has a fully replaceable battery with the company promising three days working time (for average usage) or up to seven days on standby. The battery size is 950 mAh.

     But that’s not all. Jelly comes with 1GB RAM and 8GB storage (expandable to 32GB via a microSD), while there’s a Jelly Pro version as well with 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM. The phone sports a 1.1 GHz quad-core processor and has a 2MP camera on the front and an 8MP rear camera.

     Jelly will come in three colours: Pearl White, Space Black and Sky Blue. Jelly also has support for WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0. Sensors on the phone are: G-Sensor, Gyroscope, and Compass. Unihertz has also created an armband and you can just mount the Jelly phone onto it, and then use it as a fitness device. "



  • Joseph Flaherty

The Proposed "OnePlus 5" Could Come Sooner Rather Than Later 0

    "Chinese phonemaker OnePlus is officially working on its next phone. Word came out after CEO and cofounder Pete Lau posted a teaser image from the OnePlus Weibo account (via BGR).

     The image shows employees working on the gears of a phone (while one bystander laughingly looks on), and is accompanied by the words "indulge in labor without a break, just to make a big surprise", followed by OnePlus' hashtag "#NeverSettle".

     The message? That the next phone, rumoured to be called the OnePlus 5 (yes, that skips four since the number regarded as unlucky in China, one that corresponds to death), should come out sooner rather than later.

     OnePlus was relatively unknown a few years ago, but the company has since earned a modest global following due to midrange hardware that undercuts typical midrange prices. The company seems to be ramping up its phone releases, perhaps to squeeze other mid-tier rivals. Although the OnePlus 3 came out last June, the follow-up OnePlus 3T appeared in November.

     As for hardware, Lau's post doesn't share too many specifics, but we expect it to be a more substantial upgrade. A report from Chinese site PCPop claims that the OnePlus 5 will get the following:

  • Dual rear cameras
  • Slim bezels with no physical home button
  • 8GB of RAM (that's a lot!)
  • 5.5-inch display with 2K resolution
  • 3,000mAh battery
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (same as the Galaxy S8)

The specs are unconfirmed, but keep a lookout for more rumours to come.

OnePlus did not respond to a request for comment. "


Source: Gordon Gottsegen,

  • Joseph Flaherty

Is Your Phone Constantly Dying? This Self-Charging Battery Could Help 0

    "It is one of modern life’s great frustrations: for all of technology’s achievements, smartphones still have batteries that often last less than a day between charges.

     The unreliable battery life on many handsets means owners are often left with the choice of waiting at home for their device to charge, or going out and running the risk of a flat battery.

     But charging your phone could become a thing of the past after scientists took steps towards developing a phone battery that runs off solar power.

     The researchers believe in the future it could mean phones that recharge themselves, or at least have their lifespan dramatically increased.

     While solar-powered external chargers that plug into a phone already exist, the scientists at McGill University in Montreal and Hydro-Quebec, the Canadian province’s utility, have found a way to incorporate light-harvesting materials into the in-built battery.

     By adding molecules with a photosensitive dye to the cathode - the battery terminal through which a phone is powered from the mains - they were able to simulate the charging process using solar power.

     Tests showed it was possible to generate a small amount of power from the photo-sensitive molecules, according to the findings outlined in Nature Communications.

     The scientists said they must now develop an appropriate anode, the terminal that stores and releases energy when powering a device. They said if they are successful, they will have created the first self-charging lithium-ion battery, although it is likely to take years.

     “Theoretically speaking, our goal is to develop a new hybrid solar-battery system, but depending on the power it can generate when we miniaturise it, we can imagine applications for portable devices such as phones,” said Hydro-Quebec’s Andrea Paolella, who led the study.

     Prototypes of a solar-powered phone have been created, but they rely on separate solar panels, which take up valuable space in the device. The self-charging battery would itself be solar-sensitive, although phones would have to be redesigned to let light into the battery.

     Despite advances in processors, displays and other smartphone components in recent years, the technology in batteries has hardly changed. Advances have largely been brought about by phones getting bigger, meaning they can fit higher-capacity batteries within them."


Source: James Titcomb,

  • Joseph Flaherty