With Li-Polymer batteries become more mainstream as of 2011-2012, we've seen a change in our how smartphones are being manufactured. Companies can now further edit the structure of the battery, making them thinner than before to please today's consumers. Imagine, then, an even more flexible type of battery; one that can bend up to 300%.
Yonggang Huang, an engineer from Northwestern University, has created just that with the help of John Rogers from the University of Illinois. These stretchable batteries would initially be used in the medical field to help keep track of patients - for example, a heart monitor could be embedded into cardiac tissue.
The researchers were able to create this by placing several individual battery storage components next to each other. These are all connected with wavy wires to ensure that the material can still move around, while the rigidity of the small battery parts themselves help ensures that they don't break.
If this type of technology ever hits the marketplace en masse, we may see it spill over into other electronics, primarily phones, where a varying size of battery would help determine the size of the machine itself.
February 22, 2013 16:33 by Dustin
With the last-generation consoles having coming out in 2005-2006, gamers around the world have been itching for a new system. Nintendo has already released the Wii U as of late 2012, but what players have really been craving is a system from the top two contenders: Microsoft and Sony.
The latter has decided to hit the news first with their PlayStation 4 announcement yesterday. The new console has a pending release date for the 2013 Holidays. Gamers can expect not only a slew of new games (with much backing from the developer community, which Sony all but bragged about), but also a new PlayStation Dual-Shock controller with an embedded “Light Bar” that will track your movements.
The PlayStation 4 seems to have an extra emphasis on cloud-based entertainment. Due to the internal power of the system, players can immediately begin playing a game they found through the PlayStation Store while it finishes downloading the rest of the game in the background. On top of that, Sony will be fully integrating today’s concepts of social networks into the PS4. “Friends Lists” will now consist of real names on top of the common username, with profile pictures accompanying achievements and trophies. Friends can even jump into your game, taking control (if you let them) for you whilst you watch.
Unfortunately, no actual PS4 was shown during yesterday’s announcement, despite the Holiday 2013 target; a price point hasn’t been set either. Besides those two tidbits of information, all that remains now is to see how Microsoft will respond to the challenge.
Sources: Wired, Forbes
February 15, 2013 00:29 by Dustin
If you own a Windows 8 Ultrabook or laptop, then beware: according to Michael Prospero of LAPTOP Magazine, the average battery life of each category has gone down ever since the arrival of Windows 8 products.
Using a variety of products for testing (such as the Dell XPS 12, Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga, Sony VAIO Duo 11, and Toshiba U925t), Prospero concluded that the average battery life for ultraportables sat at 5 hours and 9 minutes. Meanwhile, the Thin & Lights category fell to 5 hours and 7 minutes on average.
There could potentially be several different issues causing the low battery life, from the touch-screens, the operating system, or the various software that comes pre-installed. Nonetheless, considering that ultrabooks are supposedly known for their long battery life (thus the reason behind the drastic change from removable batteries to internal batteries), this definitely proposes an issue in today's electronics.
This isn't to say that the problem will remain: even with smartphones, many OTA (over-the-air) hotfixes and updates have been applied in order to increase battery life. It remains to be seen whether Windows 8 will fall in line with this trend though, or if the drop in battery life can be pinpointed to other reasons.
January 23, 2013 02:18 by Jeremy
Although CES officially ended more than a week ago, many of us remain in the grips of its luster. In the next few months, crowds will finally be able to get their own versions of the new gadgets that were only just recently unveiled.
Cell phones took a bit more of a back seat this year around in comparison to last year, but the tradeshow didn't leave us completely empty-handed. Sony and Huawei are two champions of the smartphone category; their flagship phones, the Xperia Z and Ascend W1, are currently two of the most highly anticipated phones.
The Xperia-series is no small name amongst phone enthusiasts. Sony has so far produced a long list of Xperia-branded phones, from entry-level to high-end. The latest model, the Z (along with their other flagship phone, the Xperia ZL) boasts a 5-inch screen, 1.5-Ghz processor, 16GB of space (more available due to a microSD slot), and a non-removable Li-Ion 2330mAh battery. What really makes this phone shine, though, is its ability to survive underwater by a little over 3 feet. Your phone can take the occasional tumble through a washing machine or accidentally drop into a sink, and you won't have to worry about it suffering major damages.
Huawei, while not new to the cell phone industry, hasn't been a popular name under high-end smartphones. It's certainly aiming to change that with the Ascend W1. Already available in China, the Ascend W1 is Huawei's first attempt at a Windows 8 phone. It boasts a 4-inch screen, 1.2 Ghz processor, and a Li-Polymer 1950mAh battery. With the rising popularity of Windows 8, this smartphone brings about a new appeal to those looking for a little change in the current meta.
January 17, 2013 23:24 by Jeremy
Recently, a consumer sent in a picture of one of our very own Powerpack 600 products being used. As you can see for yourself, he is making use of all three AC outlets at the same time! And while not currently being used, the jumper cables are definitely present in the photo as well.
Many customers have been asking: how long does the powerpack last? The answer varies, depending on the amount of accessories you're using and how much power they consume. For example, if one were to plug in a television that takes 100 watts to run, the portable power supply would likely last shorter than if you were only charging your cell phone or laptop. Also factor in that this powerpack battery can be drained from its own devices as well, such as the built-in flashlight and radio.
For more information on how long this backup power supply will last, consult your accessories' user manuals to calculate the wattage consumed, and compare it to the power ratings of the Powerpack 600.
And if you, just like our consumer pictured above, are in need of a powerpack battery and charger, then be sure to view our wide range of portable power accessories to handle your emergency power needs. You can also view our video tutorial on the Powerpack 600 below.