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Mobile Phones

Good Thinking

Mobile phones in developing nations could charge up using dirt

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

Computers

Google faces Android location-tracking lawsuit

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

Mobile Technology

Slow Photography offers mobile phone snappers a touch of camera realism

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

Telecommunications

Your mobile phone is watching you ... closely

While most of us know it is theoretically possible for our movements to be tracked by detecting which tower our mobile phone is connected too, it might come as a shock to see just how much of a digital footprint we leave as we go about our daily lives. German Green Party politician Malte Spitz and German newspaper Die Zeit have provided a frightening insight into just how much information can be gleaned from the digital breadcrumbs we drop every day by creating an interactive map showing Spitz's movements and activities over a five month period based on mobile phone data and information freely available on the internet.Read More

Mobile Technology

Aston Martin teams with Mobiado for transparent touchscreen concept phone

British car maker Aston Martin is looking to leverage its luxury brand into the world of consumer electronics by teaming up with Canadian mobile phone manufacturer Mobiado to produce a line of high-end handsets to be launched in May of this year. Until then, the company has provided a tantalizing peek at possible future designs with the CPT002 Aston Martin Concept Phone that takes the 'slab of glass' design of many current smartphones to the next level. With a solid sapphire crystal capacitive touchscreen, the CPT002 is completely transparent.Read More

Digital Cameras

The Smoothee - a Steadicam for your mobile phone or pocket camcorder

It’s humbling, and in fact almost a little scary, when you realize just how far the video quality of mobile phones and pocket camcorders has progressed over the past few years. While features such as their resolution are truly something to behold, they do however have one distinct disadvantage when compared to their larger, heavier predecessors – they shake like crazy. It’s a shortcoming that’s addressed by the Steadicam Smoothee.Read More

Mobile Technology

SuperTooth HD Bluetooth speakerphone lets you tweet and drive

Portable Bluetooth speakerphones that provide a hands-free way for drivers to stay in touch while on the road are nothing new. Nor are voice-controlled Bluetooth speakerphones with text-to-speech capabilities to read out the name of a caller. But the new SuperTooth HD adds a something new for social networking tragics on the go in the form of a SuperTooth Handsfree Assistant feature that allows drivers to compose and send Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and SMS messages, all without taking their hands off the wheel. Read More
Mobile Technology

+YvesBéhar phone keeps things simple

Yves Béhar, the industrial designer behind such diverse products as the WattStation EV charging station, the Jawbone Bluetooth headset and Mission One electric sports motorbike has turned his talents to that most essential of modern day devices – the mobile phone. The result is a stylish handset that comes in either stainless steel or gold versions priced at 7,250 euro (approx. US$10,140) and 42,000 euro ($58,740) respectively. But anyone expecting a phone at those prices to do everything short of fixing you a fine meal and cleaning up afterwards will be sorely disappointed as the +YvesBéhar phone has been designed firmly with simplicity in mind.Read More
Robotics

Elfoid: creepy mini-robot meets smartphone

We can’t say we weren’t warned. Last August, Japan’s Eager Co. Ltd. announced that it was planning to begin sales of the Telenoid R1 telepresence robot in October. The toddler-sized ghostly-looking robot is intended to be a physical stand-in for a remote user during internet communications, mirroring that person’s movements via real-time face tracking software on their computer – their voice also comes out of the device. Well, Telenoid now has a little sibling. The Elfoid P1, as it’s called, was unveiled at a press conference yesterday in Japan, and is intended to serve as a combination mobile phone and mini telepresence robot. Read More

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