Smartphones with battery life upto a week are actually comming soon, says fule-cell maker


Despite all the amazing advancements we’ve seen with smartphone technology in recent years, we’re still left asking, “So what about battery life?” If it’s ever been a serious issue for you, chances are you’ve settled on a solution by now, whether it’s carrying around a portable charger, housing your phone in a bulky battery case, or occasionally diving into Starbucks to use a one of its wireless charging stations.

These options, while certainly useful, of course aren’t ideal. While plenty of tech firms are trying their hardest to develop more powerful battery technology, UK-based Intelligent Energy claims it’s taken some big strides, creating a breakthrough fuel cell small enough to fit inside a smartphone yet powerful enough to keep it running for a full week. And it could be rolled out within two years.

One unnamed “emerging” smartphone maker is so convinced by Intelligent Energy’s technology that it’s backing its continued development to the tune of $7.6 million, Bloomberg reported Monday.

Related: Apple’s first official battery case gives your iPhone a rectangular tumor

Commenting on its work, Intelligent Energy’s Julian Hughes said, “We believe embedding fuel cell technology into portable devices provides a solution to the current dilemma of battery life and with consumers demanding more and more from their phones, battery innovation has not kept up.”

Hughes said his firm offers “a solution that is clean and efficient and means consumers could be truly mobile and free from the constraints of the grid.”

The environmentally friendly fuel cell technology creates power by combining hydrogen and oxygen. Curiously, a number of reports over the last two years suggested Intelligent Energy was working closely with Apple on a similar technology, though any partnership has never been confirmed.

The British technology company is also known to have developed a prototype fuel cell solution based on an iPhone. Speaking to the Telegraph last year, Intelligent Energy CEO Henri Winand said his engineers “managed to make a fuel cell so thin we can fit it to the existing chassis without alterations and retaining the original battery.”

The only design change required was the addition of some tiny vents on the back of the phone to allow waste water vapor and heat to escape.

Pulling all the reports together, it seems Intelligent Energy has pretty much nailed the technology, and appears to now be in the process of refining it prior to commercialization.

“With consumer power demands increasing and the advent of the ‘Internet of Things’ making the world more connected than ever, now is the time to address the biggest limitation we have in achieving true connectivity – battery life,” Julian Hughes said. Let’s hope Intelligent Energy can soon deliver on what it seems to have been promising for a while now. We’ll certainly all thank it if it does.

Apple got into VR field and launches the $30 View-Master headset



Last year, Mattel rebooted the classic View-Master toy as an affordable virtual reality headset, with support for Google Cardboard apps and compatibility with a wide range of different smartphones. Now, while Apple is allegedly hard at work on its own Virtual Reality ideas, the Cupertino company is selling the revamped View-Master headset on its website.
First spotted by Reddit user dbx001, the “View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack” is not only available to ship to your home address, but those interested can also pick it up at the store. When I personally tried to pick one up at a nearby Apple Store location, each store listed the item as “Available in about a week.” That means the View-Master may be making its way to Apple’s retail locations too, in addition to just the website.
Related: With profits down, Nintendo shows renewed interest in VR
Within the past few weeks, Apple has certainly demonstrated its interest in VR, albeit secretly, by bringing together a “large team of experts” to contrive both virtual and augmented reality projects from the privacy of its own offices. In fact, during a recent earnings call, Apple CEO Time Cook expressed his thoughts on Virtual Reality, declaring the technology “cool” and that it has some “interesting applications.”

While it might take some time before we see an iVR (Apple VR?) headset in the flesh, in the meantime you can enjoy a retro throwback, emended for the future for only $30 from Apple’s website.
To be clear, though, Mattel and its View-Master share no partnership affiliation with Apple. The View-Master works with a variety of smartphones aside from the iPhone. This is just a way for the company to make a few bucks off someone else’s product in order to appear competent against the likes of Google’s Cardboard or Samsung’s Gear VR. Nonetheless, it’s probably working, because I’ll be ordering mine just as soon as I finish writing this sentence.

Pagare introduces pebble wrist watches through which you can make payments too


Paying with your smartphone via services like Apple Pay and Android Pay is still a relatively new feature, but what about paying with your watch — without even needing your phone?
Launching on Kickstarter, and fully backed by Pebble, Pagaré is a strap for the Pebble smartwatch embedded with NFC, so all you have to do is place the side of your wrist to a payment terminal to make a payment. Since it uses NFC, there are more than nine million terminals in the world where you can use the Pagaré to make a payment.
Once you get the strap, download the Pagaré app on the Pebble Appstore and add your credit cards. You can switch between cards with the up and down buttons on the watch, and you can set a default card in the app. What’s especially neat is that once you set up your cards, you won’t need your phone to make contactless payments with your watch.

Pagaré also recognizes if your watch is on your wrist, and if it isn’t it disables the payment system. Once you put your watch on, the watch will ask for a pin that you’ll need to input in order to start making payments again. Reassuringly, the service doesn’t store your credit card information, because like Apple Pay it uses a token system as a surrogate.
The design, color, and materials for the straps match Pebble’s own straps, making them nearly indistinguishable. And they’re pretty easy to install, as all you have to do is use the quick-release pins to remove an existing strap, and then reconnect the pins for the new one.
NFC payments aren’t going to be the only use case for Pagaré — the company behind the strap wants to make major transit system services compatible with the strap, and also enable them to substitute for access cards you’d use to go to the gym, and tickets you’d scan for a concert or show.
Related: With firmware 3.8, Pebble finally introduces its timeline interface to the Pebble and Pebble Steel
And if you thought that’s all of the tricks the strap could contain, think again. Pagaré also has a buckle that folds up, revealing a USB plug that you can plug into any USB port to charge your watch. Now you don’t have to carry your charger cable with you — at least not for this device.
As of publication, the Kickstarter has raised $70,232 out of $120,000 and the campaign still has 29 days to go. At retail, Pagaré will cost $89, but you can find Kickstarter specials for as low as $49 for the strap.

Young indian high school student devloped ‘OneRing’ a device designed to monitor Parkinson’s Disease tremors



In his freshman year at Cupertino High School, Utkarsh Tandon won the science fair with a machine learning model that collected and analyzed data on Parkinson’s disease. As a sophomore, Tandon went on to create a wearable device called OneRing that monitors Parkinson’s patients’ tremors and helps them manage their symptoms through an iOS app.

The UCLA Brain Research Institute had promised a grant award for the winner of the science fair, but they might not have seen this coming. Tandon used that grant money to turn his winning project into a functional product. OneRing is a 3D printed plastic ring that contains a Bluetooth microchip, specifically designed to help people suffering from Parkinson’s. Tandon’s proprietary algorithm allows the ring to detect tremors and classify them based on intensity. Every day, the program generates a report with time-stamped data points to detail movement patterns throughout different times of day.

High school student invents OneRing, wearable tech to help people with Parkinson’s Disease
The algorithm identifies three types of common movement patterns in Parkinson’s patients: dyskinesia, bradykinesia, and tremors. Tandon says that classifying the different types of movement can help physicians provide better care for patients by creating a dialogue around specific moments and incidents. By wearing the ring, Parkinson’s sufferers can focus on their lives without having to stop and record every tremor, and can still record that data in order to personalize their treatment and better communicate their needs.

When Tandon was 10 years old, he saw YouTube video of Muhammad Ali lighting the 1996 Olympic torch that got him curious about Parkinson’s disease. Tandon started learning about artificial intelligence and programming in the ninth grade, but prodigal skills aside, it takes a particular kind of person to decide so young that it’s up to him to make a difference. A computer science class introduced Tandon to machine learning, and led to him uncovering scientific studies on people with Parkinson’s disease. He ended up using that publicly available data to build his freshman year science fair project, and the rest is history. “I thought, well, why don’t I test this out? I’ve always wanted to build something for Parkinson’s disease patients”, said Tandon.

Tandon tested prototypes of his technology at the Parkinson’s Institute in Sunnyvale California before coming up with the final OneRing device, which was fully funded on Kickstarter earlier this month. His next steps include developing OneRing out of a flexible polymer material to allow for a one-size-fits all design, and working on the aesthetic design of the device to make it visually appealing for people suffering from Parkinson’s to wear all the time.

Live orchestra controlled by physically disabled Ex-violinist through this amazing mind reading tech


Back in 1988, when she was a rising star in the Welsh National Opera Orchestra, Rosemary Johnson was in a terrible car accident that left her in a coma for seven months, and a head injury caused brain damage that left her unable to speak or move. Her ability to make music was suddenly gone.

After 27 years with the belief she would never be able to do so again, violinist Rosemary Johnson has made music, thanks to an incredible piece of technology called a brain computer music interface, or BCMI, developed by a team of doctors and researchers at Plymouth University in the U.K.

The BCMI is an EEG headset that contains electrodes for monitoring brain activity, which knows where someone is looking on a screen. The screen shows patterns of different colored lights, which are actually musical notes or phrases, that the BCMI wearer focuses on to select. By concentrating harder, the speed and volume of the musical notes generated can be adjusted.

Except the music isn’t played by a computer or synthesizer. It’s played live, in real-time, by an orchestra. Using the BCMI, they’re remotely controlling an able-bodied musician to produce the notes selected using the power of their mind, all thanks to this astounding technology.

The affect it has on the patient, said Professor Eduardo Miranda, director of the program, is “Really very moving. The first time we tried with Rosemary we were in tears. We could feel the joy coming from her at being able to make music,” he told the Telegraph. He said that making it possible for people who cannot move to create music was, “the project’s greatest achievement.” Miranda produced a short documentary on the BCMI, and how the technology works (For How to questions),  which you can see above.

The musicians playing are known as the Paramusical Ensemble, and the first piece of music recorded and created by the quartet and BCMI wearers will be played at a music festival in Plymouth during February. It’s called Activating Memory, and a preview can be heard below.


Although Rosemary Johnson is the latest person to use the BCMI to great effect, the project has been running for more than a decade, and Professor Miranda recently explained to CNN how the technology works. The headset measures eight different frequencies, and is so sensitive it knows which pulsating panel on the display the wearer is looking at, even if the differences between them are just a few hertz.

It takes 10-seconds for the music selected to be played by the orchestra, and although no musical skill is needed to use the BCMI, musical knowledge and talent is essential to producing something people will want to hear. Unfortunately, the technology is very expensive, with each station costing at least $15,000, so it’s unlikely to be in wide use very soon. However, the team wants to set up booths where the public can try it out, then upload the resulting composition to the Internet.

As for Rosemary Johnson, her 80-year-old mother Mary, who in the past helped Rosemary tap nothing more than a few chords on the piano, said the BCMI project has given her daughter new hope.