Photokina 2014 highlights

Mobile Phones

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

The ecoATM lets people get some extra cash for their old phone or MP3 player

As the old adage says, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” And in an age when technology is changing at an unprecedented rate, that old saying is truer than ever. Looking to give consumers an easy way to recycle their unwanted mobile phones and MP3 players while also providing a cash incentive, ecoATM has developed an automated kiosk that can differentiate between various devices and provide monetary compensation on the spot.  Read More

A system developed by Indian researchers blocks mobile phone signals while driving (Photo:...

By now, everyone should know that using your mobile phone while driving is dangerous. Yet, when hitting the road the chances are you’ll still see someone holding a phone to their ear while behind the wheel. Researchers in India are aiming to take away the ability for drivers to chat on the phone altogether by developing a system that blocks the a driver's mobile phone signal, while not affecting the phones of other passengers in the vehicle.  Read More

Ubuntu for Android aims to provide a full desktop experience

Smartphones and the technology that powers them continue to evolve at an incredible rate. Year after year, phones have continued to close the power gap that separates them with their traditional PC counterparts. Taking advantage of the latest in mobile processors, Canonical is set to release Ubuntu for Android. The OS effectively turns your phone into a full Ubuntu desktop computer when docked and connected to a monitor, meaning the day your smartphone could act as your primary computer is drawing nearer.  Read More

MIT PhD student David Mellis has designed and built a fully operational mobile phone, name...

MIT PhD student David Mellis has designed and built a fully operational mobile phone, named the DIY Cellphone, using about US$150-worth of parts.  Read More

The Style Coupe Concept is a sporty executive four-door coupé with a 211 bhp two-liter, tu...

Mercedes Benz is making quite a name for itself in the Chinese market at present. Last week it won its first Formula One race for half a century, and it did so in Shanghai. Next week it shows the Style Coupé Concept at Auto China in Beijing. China has 1.3 billion inhabitants, many of whom are getting wealthy quickly. Though the penetration of cars into the Chinese population is only at the same percentage as America was at during the first World War (about 1917 at this point), China's car market is already the world's largest. Mercedes Benz is clearly targeting the growing middle class wealth with this production-ready executive coupé.  Read More

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