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Communications

Mobile Technology Review

Review: Parrot MINIKIT Neo 2 HD hands-free phone system for your car

Like many people who try (not) to use a mobile phone while mobile in an auto, I have sound- and device-management issues. That's why I welcomed the chance to try out the Parrot MINIKIT Neo 2 HD, a sleek hands-free calling and speaker system that uses either Bluetooth or NFC to connect up to two mobile devices at a time. Useable with or without its app and either iOS or Android devices, it's a good choice for those who can't afford a complicated stereo overhaul for their car and need to support multiple phone operating systems.Read More

Mobile Technology

Wi-Fi Aware protocol stakes out your surroundings

Wi-Fi technology has helped bring a world of information to our fingertips via mobile devices, but a new certification program from the Wi-Fi Alliance aims to make the technology a bit more local. The Wi-Fi Aware protocol is designed to extend Wi-Fi's capabilities to improve on current proximity-based functions without the need for cellular, Wi-Fi hotspot or GPS connections.

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Telecommunications

LED lightbulbs create wireless networks wherever they are installed

Various researchers have created ways to transmit wireless information from LED light fittings, to act as a form of enhancement to Wi-Fi based networks known as "Li-Fi." But now engineers at the University of Virginia (U.Va) have come up with a new twist on this theme – they claim to have created an algorithm that makes almost any device fitted with standard visible- light LEDs able to communicate with other equipment with similar LEDs. So, for example, the LED headlights in your car could communicate to the car in front of you through its LED taillights, or the LED display in your clock radio could tell the coffee maker to turn on via its indicator light.Read More

Space

Scientists look at communicating with hypersonic vehicles using plasma resonance

Returning spacecraft hit the atmosphere at over five times the speed of sound, generating a sheath of superheated ionized plasma that blocks radio communications during the critical minutes of reentry. It's a problem that's vexed space agencies for decades, but researchers at China's Harbin Institute of Technology are developing a new method of piercing the plasma and maintaining communications.Read More

Google Tone sings to share with nearby devices

Tools like email and instant messaging have made it easy for us to share information with people around the world. It can still be overly complicated to share something with people in the same room as us though. Google Tone allows users to share URLs with computers that are within earshot.Read More

Space

NASA to test atomic clock to keep space missions on time

If you thought the Apple watch was something to write home about, take a look at NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC). This miniaturized, ultra-precise mercury-ion atomic clock is described by the space agency as "orders of magnitude more stable than today's best navigational clocks," and is smaller and more accurate than any that's been previously sent into space. In 2016, it will fly on a test mission to demonstrate a technology that NASA sees as key to a number of high-priority Earth-orbit and deep space missions.Read More

Wearables

Wearable AWIRE radio delivers quick, accessible two-way communications

Mobile phones are great, but they're not ideal for every communications needs. When you're skiing down a mountain, the last thing you want to do is carve to a stop, dig around your triple-layer winterwear for your phone, and answer just to hear your buddy tell you he's waiting in the lodge – which is where you were skiing down to to meet him. The AWIRE wearable two-way radio promises to deliver that type of conversation in mere seconds so you can get on with your life. It also pairs with your smartphone to route calls and music directly to your ears. Read More

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