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— Science

New process discovered for chemically storing solar energy

While solar panels are very useful at converting the sun’s rays into electricity for immediate use, the storage of that energy for later use is ... well, it’s still being figured out. The energy can be used to charge batteries, for instance, but that charge will wear off over time. Instead, scientists have been looking at thermo-chemical storage of solar energy. Last year, researchers from MIT discovered that the chemical fulvalene diruthenium was quite an effective storage medium. Unfortunately, the ruthenium element that it contains is rare and expensive. Now, however, one of those same scientists has created a new storage material that is cheaper, and is able to store much more energy. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Mophie pulse promises haptic feedback and audio boost for the iPod touch

While the iPod touch 4G is known for its gaming capabilities, it doesn't support haptic feedback, which could enhance the mobile gaming experience. Unveiled at CES 2011, the mophie pulse is aimed at changing that. It's an iPod touch case that utilizes ViviTouch technology, in order to generate tactile feedback in the form of various touchscreen vibrations synchronized with in-game sound effects. Read More
— Electronics

Soft, submersible memory device created

Usually, the last things that most people want to do with a digital memory device are to drop it on a hard surface, bend it, or put it underwater. A new prototype developed by researchers at North Carolina State University, however, is made to stand up to all of those things and more. Instead of the brittle, unyielding materials that are at the heart of most electronics, the NCSU memory device is soft and squishy, and is not affected by wet environments ... “similar to the human brain,” according to one of its designers. Read More
— Automotive

Blink EV charging stations coming to IKEA

As project leaders for the public/private EV Project (which has also received a funding injection from the U.S. Department of Energy), it is the responsibility of clean electric transportation and storage technologies experts ECOtality to oversee the installation of thousands of commercial and residential electric vehicle charging stations in various locations throughout the U.S. EV owners visiting select IKEA stores in the Western United States will soon be able to top up while they shop, thanks to a partnership formed between the home furnishing retailer and ECOtality. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

Wireless power for heart implants could reduce infections, increase mobility

While implantable heart pumps may buy some time for people waiting to undergo heart transplants, such implants have at least one serious drawback – because they receive their power from an external source, a power cord must protrude through the skin of the patient’s belly. About 40 percent of patients experience infections of that opening, which often require rehospitalization, and in extreme cases can even cause death. The presence of that cord also makes it impossible for patients to swim or take baths. Researchers from the University of Washington and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are attempting to put an end to the troublesome cords, however, by developing a system that wirelessly transmits power to heart pumps. Read More
— Around The Home

Philips to develop LED-illuminated wallpapers

The future of ambient lighting might lay in glowing walls, according to Philips. The company has announced its plans to develop wallpapers containing integrated LEDs. The luminous sound-absorbing textiles would glow in variety of colors accordingly to the user's requirements. To develop the luminous wallpaper panels, Philips is collaborating with customizable acoustic panels manufacturer Kvadrat Soft Cells, based in Denmark. Read More
— Computers

USRobotics introduces USB 3.0 Card Reader with dual SD slots

USRobotics has added to its line of USB 3.0 products that currently includes a 4-port USB 3.0 Hub, 2-Port ExpressCard Adapter and 2-Port PCI Express Card Adapter, with the introduction of its USR8420 All-in-One USB 3.0 Card Reader/Writer. The company claims the device is the first USB 3.0 card reader that allows data to be read from each of its five card slots simultaneously and is also the first to offer dual SD, MMC and Memory Stick slots. Read More
— Environment

Wind turbine placement to optimize wind power generation for a given area

Although wind power energy production in 2010 was estimated to be only about 2.5 percent of worldwide electricity usage, wind turbines are considered a mature technology with many experts suggesting that we’re approaching the theoretical limit of individual wind turbine efficiency. For this reason, researchers are now looking at new approaches to wind farm design to increase the power output of wind farms. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have been conducting a field study and claim the power output of wind farms can be increased at least tenfold by optimizing the placement of turbines on a given plot of land. Read More
— Electronics

LG outs DX2000 glasses-free 3D display with webcam-based eye-tracking

Glasses-free 3D displays are getting larger with the 20-inch LG Cinema 3D DX2000 computer display being the latest addition to the glasses-free 3D line of devices. The newest LG Cinema 3D display utilizes similar webcam-based eye-tracking technology as the latest glasses-free 3D gaming laptop Toshiba Qosmio F750, aimed at dealing with the common "sweet spot" 3D technology issue. Read More
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