Thursday, February 28, 2013
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Illustration of '677 patent with handset (left) sending gathered location data to accessory (right).
First filed for in 2009, Apple's U.S. Patent No. 8,386,677 for "Communicating location information between a portable device and an accessory" allows for any portable media device, including iPhones and iPads, to exchange GPS data with a separate accessory through wired or wireless protocols.
It should be noted that the property not only allows for iPhones or cellular enabled iPads to push location information to the accessory device, but can also provide for the accessory to feed iPad or iPod models not equipped with GPS receivers. Currently, Apple only builds in GPS capabilities to cellular iOS products.
Illustration of accessory as GPS receiver with external antenna.
There are two main embodiments for the '677 patent: one in which the handset containing a GPS module, data transport mechanism and controller sends location information to an accessory, and another that swaps device roles, with the accessory feeding the handset. In a third embodiment, both units have a GPS receiver, and are controlled by a system that defaults to whichever device has higher perceived accuracy.
In all cases, the unit receiving location data from its companion device can display the information in a number of ways, including parsing out points of interest or showing real-time GPS navigation assets.
While the implementation of a GPS-equipped accessory is straightforward — some of the first systems were simple receivers without built-in screens — the patent's language regarding the display of information on an accessory device is perhaps more intriguing given recent talk of a so-called "iWatch." There is no mention of wearable displays or bracelet-like gadgets in Tuesday's patent, but the technology described could find its way into such a peripheral.
Two patent embodiments with GPS receiver in PMD (left) and accessory device (right).
AppleInsider was first to report on an Apple patent application for what appears to be a multitouch capable watch, with the concept being very reliant on a smartphone or other computing device. Instead of running a full operating system, the described device would display information over wireless protocols, allowing users to interact with their iPhones while keeping the handset safely stowed in a pocket or purse.
The '677 patent credits Gregory T. Lydon, Ronald Keryuan Huang, Lawrence G. Bolton, Emily Clark Schubert and Jesse Lee Dorogusker as its inventors.
Posted by gkJr. at 12:49 PM
Monday, February 25, 2013
Transparent solar panels — think about it for a moment: Sheets of transparent glass or plastic film that also generate electricity. It’s almost the perfect solution for all our energy needs, generating free power from every available surface, window, and computer display.
The concept of transparent solar panels isn’t new, of course, but it now looks like they’re finally finding their way to market: Ubiquitous Energy, a startup that was spun off from MIT last year, is developing a technology and patent portfolio and hopes to bring affordable transparent solar panels to market soon.
At this point, you might be wondering how transparent solar cells actually work — after all, if it’s transparent, how can it absorb light energy? The simple answer is that light energy comes in many frequencies (colors), but as far as we humans are concerned, it is only the visible wavelengths — from blue, through green and yellow, to red — that really matter. The Sun, however, pumps out a huge amount of infrared light, and some ultraviolet light — both of which are invisible to the human eye, but which can also generate large amounts of electricity if captured by a solar cell.
The trick, then, is creating a solar cell that only absorbs IR and UV radiation, while letting visible light pass straight through. According to Technology Review, Ubiquitous Energy’s transparent solar cell is built up from a series of organic layers on glass or a flexible film. We don’t know the exact nature of the organic materials being used, but other organic solar cells generally use organic polymers that might’ve had their molecular makeup altered to absorb specific wavelengths of light. There are other ways of building transparent solar cells, though: As we reported last year, researchers at UCLA and UC Santa Barbara made a flexible, high-efficiency cell from a mesh of transparent, photovoltaic silver nanowires.
So far, as of a paper published in 2011 (linked below), it seems Ubiquitous Energy has created solar cells that are around 60% transparent, with an efficiency of 2%. The ultimate goal, as with all bleeding-edge solar tech, is to reach 10% efficiency, which is where really exciting applications tend to emerge. To get there, Ubiquitous Energy’s co-founder says his company will optimize its photovoltaic materials to capture more of the deeper infrared spectrum, and employ nanoscale engineering to create structures that capture more light. (See: Princeton’s nanomesh nearly triples solar cell efficiency.)
The applications for transparent solar cells, as you’ve probably imagined by now, are rather extensive. For a start, you could cover every car, home, and office window in solar cells — it wouldn’t replace the power grid, but it would provide enough free electricity to power the lights, or a few computers. The most interesting use, though, is on smartphone, tablet, and e-reader displays: If Ubiquitous Energy can reach transparency levels upwards of 80 or 90%, your smartphone could gather power from the Sun — and also harvest power from the device’s own backlight. Because Ubiquitous Energy’s solar panels absorb UV light, they would also make the perfect material for sunglasses — and powering yourwearable computer, perhaps.
Posted by gkJr. at 8:37 PM
The lightning charging cable for the iPhone 5 is brilliant and does charge the smartphone in lightning speeds, but we all know that the phone drops in charge rapidly as well. When users are out and about it is hard to charge your phone using the cable so a charger case is well worth owning, and today we can announce that the new iPhone 5 Juice Pack Air 1700 mAh case will be shipping in March.
Mophie announced its new juice pack air for iPhone 5 and this is really quick considering it was only a few weeks ago the juice pack helium was released. The new mophie juice pack air for the iPhone 5 comes with 1700 mAh and provides edge-to-edge protection as well as a 10-percent thinner design than the previous model.
Many iPhone 5 users loves the sleek thin design, so to have a case that provides extra battery life in a case that is also thin and keeps the shape of the Apple smartphone is a step in the right direction.
The iPhone 5 1700 mAh juice pack air is now available to buy for S99.95 in three different colours such as glossy white, soft touch black and metallic red (Product RED), and will ship on March 22. This new charger case will offer users up to 10 more hours 3G talk time, up to 8 more hours internet use on 3G and 11 hours using Wi-Fi, it also offers up to 40 hours additional audio playback and up to 10 hours video playback.
The new juice pack design is fantastic because it doubles up as a speaker as well, like a virtual speaker box because it redirecting sound from the bottom of the iPhone 5 to the front. The is a switch on the Mophie case that offers charge on demand, basically standby and charging mode, it also features a LED battery indicator, and charging output has been upgraded from .5A to 1A.
Please watch the video provided below and see what you think of the new iPhone 5 Juice Pack Air 1700 mAh case. Buy via Mophie
Posted by gkJr. at 6:11 PM