These wirelessly-powered AA batteries pull energy from thin air

January 12, 2018 by  
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Did you know that more than 3 billion batteries are thrown away every year in the United States ? The Cota Forever Battery is the world’s first wirelessly-powered AA battery – and it offers a more sustainable, convenient alternative to traditional disposable batteries. Designed by Ossia the battery enables any device that requires AA batteries to be recharged from a distance through the air. Ossia’s Cota products are based on a wireless technology that broadcasts a precise, powerful RF signal to any device which contains a Cota RF antenna. The RF receivers then convert that signal into effective power. The Forever Battery takes this a step further, inserting the RF receivers into a AA battery – a familiar household item that could ease the transition towards wirelessly-powered devices. Related: New ‘thermal battery’ soaks up heat energy like a sponge As exciting as the technology sounds, it will likely be years before homes are outfitted with smart AA batteries. The first adopters of Cota’s technology are likely to be large commercial operations, like factories and stores. Even before wide release, Ossia’s Cota products are already making news. Cota was awarded a 2016 CES Innovation Award in the “Tech for a Better World” product category, and Cota Tile, a wireless transmitter designed to mimic a ceiling tile, was the winner of the 2017 CES Best of Innovation Award. Via Gizmodo and PR Newswire Images via Ossia

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These wirelessly-powered AA batteries pull energy from thin air

Tetra is a brilliant see-through dishwasher that fits in even the tiniest apartments

January 11, 2018 by  
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Most people living in tiny apartments are resigned to the fact that their kitchens will never have space for a dishwasher – but that’s no longer the case. Heatworks just unveiled Tetra – a new compact, tankless dishwasher that’s sure to make apartment dwellers jump for joy. According to the Heatworks team, if a two-person household were to switch from handwashing to the Tetra, they could save a whopping 1500 gallons of water every year. The Tetra, which will cost under $300, is the size of a small microwave, and it not only reduces water waste , but in fact, requires no plumbing connection at all. Since there are no faucet connections, water is loaded by hand. This simple design is a big asset, because it lets users know exactly how much water is being used. A typical Tetra load lasts just a few minutes and it uses about half a gallon of water. Detergent use is also reduced with small loads – the internal detergent reservoir will last dozens of cycles. Another cool feature is the machine’s transparency, which lets you keep track of the wash cycle. Related: Hand-powered Circo dishwasher saves time, space, money and water Standard dishwashers are designed to fit up to 13 place settings, which is great for large families. By contrast, the Tetra is designed for small households of two or three people who lack space for a full-size dishwasher and are looking to conserve water . Although compact, the Tetra can fit up to 2 place settings or 10 plates or 10 pint glass. Jerry Callahan, CEO and founder of Heatworks, revealed that the Tetra was inspired by the need to provide more efficient options to smaller households: “Our research indicates that although the average household is comprised of 2.58 people, the modern dishwasher holds place settings for 13 or more. This makes people believe that they either need to handwash their few dirty dishes — which wastes 10 times more water than using a dishwasher — or wait for a fill load to run a cycle. With Tetra, we hope to change people’s mindset.” + Heatworks Images via Heatworks

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Tetra is a brilliant see-through dishwasher that fits in even the tiniest apartments

Hyundai unveils new Nexo fuel cell SUV with an impressive 370-mile range

January 9, 2018 by  
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Hyundai plans to introduce at least 18 new eco-friendly car models by 2025, starting with the Hyundai Nexo fuel cell vehicle that made its debut at CES in Las Vegas. The Nexo is Hyundai’s second fuel cell SUV following the Tucson FCEV , which has received a long list of upgrades that will make it more appealing and easier to live with. The Hyundai Nexo is based on an entirely new platform that’s not only lighter, but also allows for better packaging of the fuel cell components and the large battery pack . Compared to the old Tucson FCEV, the Nexo is larger in every dimension, with more interior space, but the new lighter platform and more powerful hydrogen fuel cell powertrain gives the Nexo better all around performance. Related: Hyundai’s first long-range EV arrives next year For starters, the Nexo is powered by a more powerful 120 kW electric motor and a larger 40 kW battery pack. The Nexo can reach 60 mph three seconds faster than the Tucson FCEV, but the best part is the driving range. The Nexo can travel up to 370 miles, compared to the Tucson with its 265-mile range, and can be fully refueled in five minutes – try that with an electric car . When the Nexo arrives in early 2018, it will also debut several new driver assist technologies that are new to the Hyundai brand. A new Blind-spot View Monitor takes the conventional blind spot monitor a step further with cameras that display the views on either side of the vehicle on the center mounted screen. The system uses wide angle surround view monitors on each side of the vehicle giving drivers a better view of what cannot be seen with a traditional rearview mirror. The new Lane Following Assist with Highway Driving Assist automatically adjusts the steering to keep the Nexo centered in its lane. The system works at speeds between 0-90 mph and on both highways and city streets. The Highway Driving Assist system uses sensors and map data to automatically adjust the vehicle’s speed. Lastly, the Nexo will arrive with a new Remote Smart Parking Assist system that will enable the vehicle to autonomously park or retrieve itself from a parking space with or without a driver in the car. + Hyundai All images ©Hyundai

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Hyundai unveils new Nexo fuel cell SUV with an impressive 370-mile range

The Droplet is a light-filled teardrop trailer inspired by Scandinavian design

January 9, 2018 by  
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The world of tiny campers just got a lot cuter thanks to the Droplet . The Scandinavian-inspired teardrop trailer fits a queen size mattress and a fully equipped kitchen within a modern insulated shell. Its light size of just 950 lbs can be towed by most medium-sized cars, making the camping pod ideal for traveling the world. The Droplet is the brainchild of Diane and Pascal from Vancouver B.C. After years of hauling their camping gear from their homes to the car, the outdoor lovers came up with the idea for a ready-to-go camping solution . Related: Darling Tinycamper from Lithuania starts at just 7K Although compact, the Droplet trailer is equipped with all of the basics needed to live on the road. Its envelope is insulated with strong laminated foam, which makes it an all-season camper. The interior is built around a comfortable 6″ queen-size mattress. Storage at the bed’s foot provides room for essentials. At the sides of the bed are two large felt pockets for nighttime items like phones and books, and two LED reading lamps. What makes the Droplet especially comfortable are two features normally not found in tiny trailers: large doors and windows. The pod has two large doors on either side of the bed for easy entry. Large windows and a pop-up star-gazing skylight flood the interior with natural light . The camping pod’s backend hides a a fully-equipped kitchen, again with all the basics for living life on the road. The back hatch swings open to reveal the countertop and backsplash. There is a slide-out fridge and a 2 burner propane cooking stove, along with a recessed sink equipped with a hand-pumped closed-loop water system. + Droplet Images via Droplet

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The Droplet is a light-filled teardrop trailer inspired by Scandinavian design

Toyota’s ultra customizable self-driving vehicle can transport people, goods, or services

January 8, 2018 by  
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Toyota is unveiling its vision of future mobility with the introduction of the innovative e-Palette concept. The e-Palette is a fully autonomous electric bus that can be customized for different uses within urban environments. To help bring the idea to life, Toyota is working along with innovative companies like Amazon, Mazda and Uber. The auto industry continues to change, especially in urban environments that are seeking new, more efficient ways to keep people moving. Toyota’s e-Palette concept is essentially an autonomous, electric bus that can be customized for different needs besides just moving passengers from one destination to the next. By teaming up with Amazon, DiDi, Mazda , Pizza Hut and Uber, Toyota is looking at ways that a single vehicle design can be adapted for many different uses. Related: All of Toyota’s cars will be either hybrid or fully electric by 2025 The e-Palette concept is designed to be scalable and customizable for a range of mobility options. Its open interior design layout can easily be outfitted with purpose-built interiors to serve different needs, like parcel delivery, ride sharing, or on-the-road e-commerce. Toyota envisions that the e-Palette Concept will be made available in three sizes, allowing not just need-specific applications, but also right-sized and right-place mobile solutions. Businesses will also be able to incorporate their own technology in the concept with an open control interface and a set of software tools to allow partner companies to mount their own automated driving system. Toyota hasn’t announced when the e-Palette concept will become a reality, but it plans to start testing it in the early 2020s. They revealed the concept at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas + Toyota All images © Toyota

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Toyota’s ultra customizable self-driving vehicle can transport people, goods, or services

Nanoleaf’s new dodecahedron Remote controls your smart home with a turn of the wrist

January 8, 2018 by  
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Nanoleaf is known for its brilliant lighting products – and now they’re launching an innovative dodecahedron-shaped remote that makes it easy to control any smart device in your house. The new Bluetooth -enabled Nanoleaf Remote just debuted at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – and it promises to let you “fully customize your entire home with a quick turn of the wrist.” Nanoleaf ‘s new Remote allows users to easily control the company’s Light Panels and other HomeKit products. The device aims to take the frustration out of controlling multiple smart home products with numerous apps by simplifying tasks into the single controller. Users can program each one of the device’s 12 sides with commands to accomplish tasks like turning off lights, raising window blinds or your home’s temperature, or activating different pre-set scenes for events like parties or quiet nights in. Related: Nanoleaf’s new Rhythm module turns any Aurora array into a dazzling music visualizer Users rotate to the top the side they want to trigger, with the Remote glowing as it moves to offer feedback. On Nanoleaf’s website, prototype tester Pin-Yu from Singapore described the device as a “glowing ball of awesome from outer space.” Nanoleaf CEO Gimmy Chu said in a statement, “ Smart technology should cater to how people are using their products, making life easier and more enjoyable without being intrusive. The Nanoleaf Remote is designed to make the smart home smart again. We want to give people the option of controlling their smart home without always relying on their devices. Everyone is so glued to their phones these days, the Nanoleaf Remote offers the possibility to just sit back and enjoy living smarter.” The controller is incredibly light, weighing 0.13 kilograms, or around 0.28 pounds. The Remote is slated for release in February. + Nanoleaf Images courtesy of Nanoleaf

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Nanoleaf’s new dodecahedron Remote controls your smart home with a turn of the wrist

Affordable new all-electric SUV from Byton boasts a 323-mile range

January 8, 2018 by  
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New electric car brand Byton doesn’t want you to think of their product as a car, but as a smart device. They recently unveiled their first concept , an SUV, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this weekend, and while outside it may not look all that different from a regular SUV, inside a sprawling display screen replacing the center console and controlled with hand gestures is the first hint Byton aims to make the car of the future. “The future of design is digital,” Byton says on their website. Their electric SUV reflects that idea: it’s equipped with multiple screens allowing a driver to interact with the car. There’s an eight-inch tablet in the steering wheel and a 49 by 9.8 inch Shared Experience Display allowing for navigation, communication with others, or entertainment. Related: Renault’s Trezor is the electric car of the future Voice recognition, biometric identification, and touch control also allow a driver to interact with the car. Byton’s Life Cloud Platform connects devices, apps, and data so drivers can work or be entertained during a trip. It’s a key-less vehicle – a facial recognition camera allows or denies access. Rotating front seats can turn inward 12 degrees. That’s not to mention the car won’t be powered by polluting fuels. Instead, it can be equipped with a 95 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack that will allow drivers to travel 323 miles on one charge. The base version beginning at $45,000 will have a 71 kWh battery pack offering a range of 248.5 miles. The company says users can charge a battery pack up to 80 percent in 30 minutes. Byton, which is the international brand of China-based Future Mobility Corporation, plans to bring the car to China in 2019 and the United States and Europe in 2020. Executives from Tesla , BMW, and Nissan started the company. Time will tell if the company will be able to bring their futuristic concept to production. + Byton Via Electrek and The Verge Images via Byton Facebook and website

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Affordable new all-electric SUV from Byton boasts a 323-mile range

Why automotive technology is going from 0 to 60 in 2017

January 17, 2017 by  
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Gear up: This year’s CES technology conference in Las Vegas was overrun with self-driving cars and EVs.

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Why automotive technology is going from 0 to 60 in 2017

Why the U.S. Air Force wants to fly on renewable energy

January 17, 2017 by  
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Mobilized by the impact of Hurricane Sandy, the Air Force joined a startup accelerator to investigate resilient renewable energy solutions.

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New Toyota concept takes the wheel when drivers get sleepy

January 5, 2017 by  
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The 2017 Consumer Electronics Show kicks off this week in Las Vegas, with an increasing number of automakers using the show to showcase their latest technological innovations. This year, Toyota is giving the world a look at the future with its Concept-i vehicle which can not only drive itself, but also uses Artificial Intelligence to build a relationship with the driver. According to Toyota, the Concept-i is designed from the inside out to give the vehicle a warm and friendly user experience. While its interior looks spacious and inviting, the more significant part of the Concept-i is its advanced artificial intelligence system that builds a relationship with the driver that is stronger than learning driving patterns and schedules. The Concept-i is designed to use multiple technologies to measure emotion, mapped against when and where the driver travels around the world. Related: Chrysler unveils all-electric self-driving Portal car In addition, the AI system uses advanced automated vehicle technologies to enhance driving safety. Under certain conditions, drivers will have the choice of automated or manual driving based on their personal preference, but the Concept-i also has the ability to fully take over if the driver’s engagement declines. The system monitors driver attention and road conditions, with the goal of increasing self-driving support as necessary. The warm and friendly part of the Concept-i starts with a next-generation user interface that serves as a platform for the vehicle’s AI Agent, nicknamed “Yui”. Instead of displaying important information on a digital screen, Yui uses lights, sounds and even touch to communicate critical information. Colored lights in the foot wells indicate whether the vehicle is in automated or manual drive, projectors in the rear deck project views onto the seat pillar to help warn about blind spots and a next-generation head up helps keep the driver’s eyes on the road. The Concept-i’s exterior also displays information, like “Hello” to greet the driver and passengers as they approach the vehicle. The rear of the concept communicates to other drivers about upcoming turns or warn about a potential hazard, while the front communicates whether the Concept-i is in automated or manual drive. Toyota hasn’t announced any production plans for the Concept-i, but Toyota does expect to start on-road evaluation within the next few years in Japan. + Toyota All images @Toyota

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New Toyota concept takes the wheel when drivers get sleepy

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