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Mobile Phones

We know how it is ... you would use public transportation more often, but it’s such a hassle trying to figure out which bus, train or tram to take, where to transfer, and what to do if your plans are altered. In the future, however, that might not be a problem. Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems is working on SMART-WAY, a mobile phone app that would make using public transit as simple as following the directions on a vehicle navigation system – you would just indicate your destination, and it would show you how to get there using public services, updating its information in real time. Read More
Since their invention, watches have been gaining more and more functions. The time of day has been joined by such things as the day, date, month, year, alarms, stopwatches, moonphase, calculator, and even mobile phone capabilities. The latest feature-packed device wrapped up in a wrist-friendly form factor comes from France-based company VEA, which is set to introduce its Sportive training watch that includes such features as a pulse rate monitor, MP3 player and basic mobile phone – oh, and it also tells the time. Read More
Smartphones, tablets and media players have helped to make our mobile existence so much more tolerable - but they all suffer from varying degrees of the same problem. Battery life is always a nagging concern for regular travelers, leading many to carry some form of external portable power source like the Juice Pack Powerstation we reviewed recently. Even though Mophie's external battery pack proved its worth in our tests, we may just have to trade it in for the New Trent iCruiser IMP1000 - which offers over three times the battery capacity in a similar-sized format and claims compatibility with almost every device in the market. Read More
Visitors to the UK's best-known music festival are almost guaranteed three things - mud, loud music and a dead mobile device battery. Happily, Orange has increased the number of Chill 'n' Charge tents to help make sure lines of communication stay open and - in what is now becoming as much of a tradition as Glastonbury itself - the company has announced the development of a new green charging technology. Previous projects have included a Power Pump and last year's Orange Power Wellies, and the latest prototype charger is no less impressive. As the name may indicate, the Sound Charge t-shirt turns sound waves into electric charge, allowing the wearer to top up a device battery while thrashing around in the mosh pit. Read More
Synchronizing data between a computer and a mobile phone has generally required connecting the two devices via a USB cable. Apple’s iCloud is designed to take the hassle out of this task by automatically syncing data between your various devices over Wi-Fi, but MIT graduate student Tsung-Hsiang Chang and Google employee Yang Li have developed a system called Deep Shot that makes it possible to transfer simple computing tasks between devices simply by taking a photo of the computer screen with a smartphone’s camera. Read More
Those lucky enough to be currently enjoying the Northern Hemisphere summer will no doubt be heading for the beach for a good bronzing as often as possible. These days, of course, the digital device is an important part of the sun worshiper's kit, and making sure they have enough battery power to go the distance can be a major concern. The Solar Bikini from New York designer Andrew Schneider is said to be capable of charging a smartphone or media player while the wearer lays back and soaks up the summer sun. Now available for custom order, each bikini sports 40 thin and flexible photovoltaic strips connected by conductive thread, which ends at a USB port. Read More
Here's a sign of the times for you - neither T-Mobile's press release announcing the release date for its upcoming flagship HTC Sensation 4G or its website bothered to mention how much it'll cost - that news came courtesy of the T-Mobile Twitter account. Read More
There's no doubt that residents of developing nations can benefit hugely from having mobile phones. This particularly applies to the field of medicine, as the phones allow people living in remote areas to contact health care practitioners, or to use health care apps. Given how unreliable the electrical grid can be in such countries, however, keeping those phones charged can be a challenge. That's why a team from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) is working on a microbial fuel cell-based charger – a mobile phone charging system that gets its power from microbes in the soil. Read More
While fans of Android mobile phones may be taking some satisfaction in the current location-tracking controversy surrounding Apple’s iPhone, they perhaps might not be aware that their own phones are also tracking their movements. Although users reportedly must opt into the Android feature, Detroit-area residents Julie Brown and Kayla Molaski believe that the average user wouldn’t grasp the implications of doing so. To that end, last Wednesday (April 27, 2011) the pair filed a US$50 million class action lawsuit against Android’s parent company, Google. Read More
Statistics show that smartphone users rank high amongst the uploaders to photo sharing sites like Flickr, but this point-and-shoot convenience can rob users of some basic photographic skills such as framing, composition and using different lenses. Scotland's David McCourt hopes that his Slow Photography camera will help mobile phone camera users get a feel for using a professional grade digital camera, without selling the family car to pay for one. Read More
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