SunVolt is a portable solar power station able to harness the Sun's rays in order to charge low-power mobile electronic devices, such as digital cameras, e-book readers, cell-phones and tablets. While you'd be forgiven for feeling underwhelmed on hearing news of yet another
solar charger in the works, the crucial difference between SunVolt and existing solar chargers like the Solarmonkey
, is that SunVolt’s creator Don Cayelli claims his product can, on a clear day, charge multiple devices just as quickly as if they were plugged into the wall.
The open-source Arduino
micro-controller is a very useful piece of kit which has been implemented by hackers to power countless endeavors from Musical Umbrellas
to Angry Birds Slingshot Controllers
. For some projects however, the flexibility of the Arduino can be overkill and it's this issue which prompted Digispark to create a simpler, cheaper alternative - a tiny Arduino-compatible developmental circuit board that costs as little as US$12.
When installing micro-electronic devices in locations that are expensive or hard to reach, or just downright dangerous, you don't want to have to keep returning to swap out a battery cell. City Labs has announced the commercial launch of its NanoTritium betavoltaic power source, a thumb-sized battery that draws on the energy released from its radioactive element to provide continuous nanoWatt power for over 20 years.
Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a promising solid state, thin-film lithium-ion battery that claims the highest energy density ever achieved for a flexible battery. The new design, which showed for the first time that high-performance thin films can be used for flexible batteries, may be commercialized as early as next year.
As a child, there was something magically rewarding about dropping some small change into the slot of a gumball machine, turning the lever and being rewarded with some hard candy. The Razorfish Emerging Experiences team has now updated the mini-vending machine for the digital age with a prototype Digital Gum Machine that delivers a digital treat to a smartphone in exchange for a 50 cent coin.
The Goal Zero Switch 8 is a lightweight, pocket-sized charger that carries enough juice to just about fully charge a cell phone.The charger can also multitask, including serving as a flashlight and UV water purifier.
There are plenty of different 3D printers to choose from these days, from the popular Makerbot Thing-O-Matic
to the budget-priced Solidoodle
. These all have one drawback however in that they aren't exactly portable. Most need to be disassembled to be moved and even the fully-assembled Cubify
printer isn't really built for travel. But now, two MIT students have developed the PopFab, a machine that does 3D printing and more, all while fitting inside a small suitcase.
Based on a design originally created to keep workers' keys on their persons, T-Reign gear tethers keep your most essential outdoor gear handy while preventing you from losing or breaking it. Its latest product adds an extra layer of protection for electronics in the form of a protective case with retracting cable. It protects portable electronics from the dings, cracks, chips and outright loss that daily life can dole out.
Liquid crystal video projectors could be getting smaller, more energy-efficient, and less expensive. Currently, such devices require polarized light for the projection of images. Unfortunately, conventional LEDs only produce un
polarized light. While an optical filter is typically used to polarize it, the polarization process wastes over 50 percent of the original light, converting it into heat instead of allowing it to pass through. That heat, in turn, must be dissipated using a noisy, power-consuming fan. Now, however, researchers have created a new polarizing system that allows almost 90 percent of the LED light to be converted to usable, polarized light.
Muti-touch functionality was added to Wacom's Intuos5 graphics tablets earlier this year and, after winning much praise from users, it's no surprise to see it arrive on the company's Cintiq range of interactive pen displays. The Cintiq range was first introduced in 2005
and the addition of the Cintiq 24HD touch now allows users to use their fingers to pan, zoom and rotate the canvas at the same time as using the pressure and tilt sensitive pen.