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Darren Quick

Mobile Technology

Solar-powered Bluetooth headphones sound like a top idea

When it comes to wearable devices that harness the power of the sun, it would seem to make sense that the obvious place for solar panels would be the place that generally gets the most sunlight – namely the top of the head. That might not be desirable for items such as backpacks, jackets or sunglasses, but it’s such a perfect fit for headphones that you wonder why no one has thought of it before. Engineering student Shepeleff Stephen has hit on the obvious with his concept for Bluetooth-enabled headphones that incorporate solar panels into the headband.Read More

Electronics

Air-fueled battery boosts capacity tenfold

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are the preferred power storage technology for the vast majority of portable devices, such as cell phones, laptop computers and MP3 players. They have also made their way into electric cars, but even with recent developments making them more effective, storage capacity continues to remain a problem. Now researchers at the University of St Andrews, with associates at Strathclyde and Newcastle, have developed a new type of air-fueled battery that could provide up to 10 times the energy storage of existing designs, paving the way for a new generation of electric cars and portable devices.Read More

Environment

Plastic and fuel that grows on trees

Biofuels continue to steal the spotlight when it comes to the search for a renewable, environmentally friendly replacement for crude oil. While that’s understandable when considering the transport industry, but crude oil is also used in the production of conventional plastics and chemical products such as fertilizers and solvents. Now chemists have learned how to convert plant biomass directly into a chemical building block that can not only be used to produce fuel, but also plastics, polyester and industrial chemicals cheaply and efficiently.Read More
Environment

Biofuel versus bioelectricity, and the winner is…

Running vehicles on biofuels such as ethanol reduces CO2 emissions and offers a way to lessen the world's reliance on oil. While this sounds great from an environmental perspective, the energy required to produce the biofuel and the land clearing for crops that can result means biofuels aren’t necessarily the environmentally friendly solution they initially appear to be. Recognizing this, researchers have analyzed the best way to maximize the “miles per acre” from biomass and discovered that the far more efficient option is to convert the biomass to electricity, rather than ethanol. Another tick for the electric car.Read More

Laptops

Acer extends line of Aspire One netbooks

It seems too many netbooks are never enough, with Acer extending its line to include two new models - the 11.6-inch Acer Aspire One AO751h and the 10.1-inch Acer Aspire One AOD250. The 11.6-inch unit boasts an HD screen and full-sized keyboard, while the 10.1-inch model is thinner and lighter than its predecessor.Read More

Mobile Technology

KDDI mobile pico projector

If you’re looking to share some of the video or photos stored on your mobile phone with an audience, then the KDDI pico projector could be just the thing for you. Designed to work with the new KDDI iida G9 mobile phone and the upcoming iidda range, the Toshiba manufactured handset uses DLP display technology. It can project a 480x320 image of between six and 63 inches onto a flat surface or wall up to 8.2 feet (2.5m) away.Read More

Wearables

Concept bra to help Japanese women on the hubbie hunt

“Concept” and “bra” aren’t two words you’d typically expect to go together too often. After all, a bra is the epitome of simplicity. As Seinfeld's George Costanza once remarked, “Two cups in the front, two loops in the back. How do they do it?” Well, Japanese lingerie maker Triumph International has complicated the humble undergarment with its concept “Konkatsu bra” – a bra that is designed to help Japanese women search for husbands by proudly declaring they're on the hunt.Read More

Mobile Technology

Samsung customers get their own online movie store

Online movie stores aren’t exactly a dying breed, but now European owners of Samsung phones, laptops and PCs have a movie store to call their own with the launch of Samsung Movies. Powered by European digital movie retailer Acetrax, the new store will allow users to download the latest Hollywood releases and TV shows for viewing on compatible Samsung devices. Read More

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