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The Panasonic solar lantern can also charge small electronic devices

We live in an age where people in the developed world are so dependent on electricity that if it wasn't available a whole civilization would collapse in a week. It’s therefore ironic that 1.32 billion people around the world are still without what most people have come to see as a basic necessity. To mark its 100th anniversary, the Panasonic Corporation plans to distribute 100,000 solar lanterns that the company has developed that can not only provide light, but also charge mobile phones and other small devices.  Read More

Some of the shape-shifting Morphee prototypes that boast different 'shape resolution'

There may soon be another technical specification to consider when buying a mobile device. Researchers from the University of Bristol and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI Saarbrücken) have coined the term “shape resolution” to indicate the self-actuated shape-shifting abilities they believe will be featured in the next generation of mobile devices. To demonstrate this new metric, the researchers have developed a number of prototype shape-shifting devices they have dubbed “Morphees,” which have the potential to change their shape on demand, depending on the desired use.  Read More

Built for the budget-conscious consumer, the Nokia 105 mobile phone will retail for €15 (a...

The 2013 Mobile World Congress (MWC) is in full swing right now with all the big players showing off their latest smartphones and mobile technology. But while companies like LG and HP are rolling out smart devices with a wide range of features, Nokia arrived with a stripped-down cell phone aimed at the budget-conscious consumer. The recently announced Nokia 105 mobile phone will retail for €15 (about US$20) and feature a battery that only needs charging once a month.  Read More

The Accel VOYAGER smartphone

Cars and mobile phones haven’t had a very happy relationship. For most people, a car/phone interface means a bracket suction-cupped to the windscreen. At best, it means a Bluetooth connection between the phone and the car’s infotainment system, that leaves much to be desired. Trying to rectify this situation, Israeli telecom company Accel Telecom describes its new VOYAGER smartphone as the “first standalone connected car smartphone,” designed with the car specifically in mind.  Read More

Using a Welly as a phone on a day when you would wear a Welly may not be a well considered...

In an effort to draw attention to their O2 Recycle program, British cellular service provider O2 is upcycling old, unwanted cell phones to give them a new lease on life. The first project sees recycled handsets and vintage footwear combined to create fully functional shoe phones that are also works of art.  Read More

40 years ago the first cellular phone was invented by Martin Cooper of Motorola ... and it...

This year marks 40 years since the first public cellular phone call was made by Martin Cooper of Motorola. This mobile phone was a massive device by today's standards – weighing two and a half pounds (1.15 kg) and all of 10 inches long it could only be used for 20 minutes before the battery died.  Read More

The ShareKey app uses NFC to lock and unlock doors (Photo: Fraunhofer SIT)

Mobile phones have already swallowed up the average Joe's diary, compact camera, watch and Walkman. They're working on replacing the wallet as well – so the next logical step is to go hunting for the last remaining pocket-dwelling device they can gobble up in their mad fury of convergence – your keyring. Smart and secure door access apps and hardware have already sprung up using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi – now there's ShareKey, which uses NFC (near field communication) and aims to be the most secure of all systems.  Read More

Yota's first mobile phone will feature a second E-Ink display on the rear of the device

Yota, a Russian company best known for its router and modem hardware, has announced plans to produce an Android smartphone with two screens, one a standard 720 x 1280 LCD and the second an E-Ink display providing users with constant access to social network notifications and other important information. The dual-screen YotaPhone would be the company's first mobile phone with both displays on the 4G Android device measuring 4.3 inches (10.9 cm) and featuring Gorilla Glass.  Read More

The U.S. FTC is offering a US$50K prize for a solution to the problem of blocking robocall...

In the United States, about 30 billion robocalls (pre-recorded automatically dialed solicitations) are placed each year, and similar conditions hold across much of the world. In the U.S. and many other countries, most commercial robocalls are illegal. As part of an ongoing campaign against these illegal robocalls, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is launching its Robocall Challenge, seeking a solution that blocks illegal robocalls on cell phones and on landlines. It is offering a US$50,000 cash prize for the best practical solution.  Read More

Mini-, micro-, and nano-SIM cards

The SIM cards that fit into those tiny slots in your cell phone and tell your cellular network to whom your calls are to be charged come in four different sizes. With the only real difference between them the amount of excess plastic on which the circuitry is housed, MicroSIMcutter's new SIM card cutter can cut either mini- or micro-SIM cards into the nano-SIM form factor, allowing a user switching phones to recycle their existing card.  Read More

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