A fully transparent solar cell that could make every window and screen a power source (updated)

Written by admin. Posted in Lifestyle, Mobile News

Transparent luminescent solar concentrator, Michigan State University

Back in August 2014, researchers at Michigan State University have created a fully transparent solar concentrator, which could turn any window or sheet of glass (like your smartphone’s screen) into a photovoltaic solar cell. Unlike other “transparent” solar cells that we’ve reported on in the past, this one really is transparent, as you can see in the photos throughout this story. According to Richard Lunt, who led the research at the time, the team is confident the transparent solar panels can be efficiently deployed in a wide range of settings, from “tall buildings with lots of windows or any kind of mobile device that demands high aesthetic quality like a phone or e-reader.”

Today, Ubiquitous Energy, an MIT startup we first reported on in 2013, is now getting closer to bringing its transparent solar panels to market. Lunt cofounded the company and remains assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science at Michigan State University. Essentially, what they’re doing is instead of shrinking the components, they’re changing the way the cell absorbs light. The cell selectively harvests the part of the solar spectrum we can’t see with our eye, while letting regular visible light pass through.

Scientifically, a transparent solar panel is something of an oxymoron. Solar cells, specifically the photovoltaic kind, make energy by absorbing photons (sunlight) and converting them into electrons (electricity). If a material is transparent, however, by definition it means that all of the light passes through the medium to strike the back of your eye. This is why previous transparent solar cells have actually only been partially transparent — and, to add insult to injury, they usually they cast a colorful shadow too.

TLSC, colorful background

Mozilla is bringing Firefox OS to flip-phones and sliders

Written by admin. Posted in Mobile News, Tech

Mozilla has always positioned Firefox OS as an alternative platform for entry-level smartphones, but now it’s targeting the feature phone market too. At Mobile World Congress, the company announced a new partnership with LG and carriers Verizon, Telefónica, KDDI and U+ to create a fresh range of flip-phones, sliders and touch screen “slate” handsets. Firefox OS will look a little different on these devices — Mozilla says the group is developing a “more intuitive and easy-to-use” software experience for their planned launch in 2016. It promises to balance the simplicity of feature phones with basic smartphone functionality, such as email, web browsing and music playback.

Samsung Pay Might Finally Let You Ditch Your Wallet

Written by admin. Posted in Mobile News

Samsung Pay Might Finally Let You Ditch Your Wallet

Mobile payments are here, the adoption of Apple Pay is evidence enough. But Samsung thinks it can do smartphone payments even better (of course), and that’s why they’ve created Samsung Pay, a tech team up that will make mobile payments more accessible than ever.

Samsung will be equipping the Galaxy S6 with two mobile payment options: NFC and Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST). NFC you’re familiar with—it’s what Android phones and the iPhone 6 have used for mobile payments— but MST is a completely different animal previously found in LoopPay, which Samsung recently acquired.

Basically, how it works is when you open the Samsung Pay app, you select a card, and authenticate with Samsung’s built-in fingerprint sensor. Then, in what I’m going to just describe as tech magic, the app generates a signal that even old card swipe terminals can recognize. This is awesome because now you can pay with your phone anywhere that isn’t some cash-only establishment.

How this will work with chip-and-PIN cards is uncertain, but the service won’t be ready until the summer so we have some time to learn even more. One thing is certain though, the S6 will be outfitted to take advantage.

LG’s Bringing Curved Screens To Its Cheaper Phones

Written by admin. Posted in Mobile News

LG's Bringing Curved Screens To Its Cheaper Phones, Because Why Not

That curve on LG Flex’s screen might seem like a total gimmick, even if it’s pretty rad. As far as LG’s concerned though, it’s the next big thing for all phones How so? They are bringing curved screen to their mid-range phones and they plan to keep doing so in the future.

We’ve tried the newest ones here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The new LG Spirit and Magna in particular are the most interesting, and the ones that aim to make curved screens a little more affordable.

HTC One M9 Review

Written by admin. Posted in Mobile News

HTC One M9: Definitely Better But So Much the Same1

This is the new HTC One, the third in a line of phones that got Android devices to adopt metal finishes and really just up their design game in general. And the HTC One M9 continues the well-designed tradition. But when you get something so right the first time around, it can be more of a curse than a blessing.

Let me be clear: The M9 seems great. If you liked the look and feel of the M8, you’ll certainly dig the M9. But, it’s just not amazingly better in any real way. You have the same 5-inch, 1080p LCD screen and the wonderful dual front-facing BoomSound speakers (now with Dolby Digital 5.1 virtual surround). You have a slightly faster processor, a slightly bigger battery, and an extra 1GB of RAM. Really only the camera gets a huge overhaul.

The One M9 comes with a 20 megapixel sensor with a sapphire glass lens to protect against micro scratching, which it needs because the lens does protrude from the back a bit. The 4 UltraPixel sensor, which is HTC’s in house imaging hardware that was on the back of previous HTC Ones, is now on the front. The thinking is HTC’s UltraPixels will be better because of its improved ability in lowlight. Also at an arm’s length, you won’t be needing too many pixels anyways.

Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge Is Awesome

Written by admin. Posted in Mobile News

Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge Is Awesomely Weird But Weirdly Awesome

For years, a smartphone’s main selling points were faster processors and better screens. But we’re knee deep in diminishing returns these days, and some makers are using out-of-the-box thinking to draw our eye. None more so than Samsung—and the new S6 Edge is the evidence.

The Galaxy S6 Edge is basically just a Galaxy S6 with a special curved screen that cascades—like a waterfall, or a Salvador Dali painting—down both sides of the phone, giving you access to all sorts of little helpful widgets without taking up your entire screen. It’s the same idea as theGalaxy Note Edge, only with two edges instead of one.

And those two edges make for a really cool new look. I’ll admit that I like the normal S6 slightlymore, but a quick poll of my Gizmodo colleagues placed me squarely in the minority.

But there’s a difference between selling the future and just obfuscating it with cool-looking gimmicks. Is this a gimmick like the original Edge? I’m going to go out on a limb and say future phones might actually work like this.

Android 5.1 may have just made an unexpected debut

Written by Emran. Posted in Mobile, Mobile News

Android 5.1 has made its first official appearance, though somewhat out of the blue.

Android 5.1 Lollipop has officially popped up

The update to Android 5.0 Lollipop is now available on Android One devices, according to the Android One website. Although Google hasn’t officially confirmed 5.1’s availability, the site specifically touts the latest update with the tagline: “Introducing Android One. Fast and responsive smartphones running the latest version of Android, Lollipop 5.1.”

Microsoft tries to thwart Google by investing in Cyanogen

Written by admin. Posted in Mobile News

Death to Android

Windows Phone still hasn’t set the world on fire, so it seems Microsoft is investigating other ways to compete against Google and Apple in the mobile market. Reports are coming in that Microsoft will participate in a round of funding for Cyanogen, Inc. — the commercial enterprise that formed out of the CyanogenMod community. This will only give Microsoft a minority stake in the company, but this could hint at large changes for one of the largest tech companies in the world.

Over at the Wall Street Journal, a few nuggets of information have come to light regarding Microsoft’s decision to help fund this fork of Android. Details are slim, but sources claim that Microsoft will be a “minority investor” in Cyanogen’s latest round of funding (estimated at $70 million). At the very least, this is Microsoft hedging its bets. On the other hand, maybe there’s more to this story. Microsoft might just be laying the groundwork for a future without Windows Phone.

Cyanogen

This is Windows 10 for phones

Written by admin. Posted in Mobile, Mobile News

Microsoft showed off a number of new features for Windows 10 on phones today, but in afternoon sessions at the company’s press event, we got a closer look at what’s coming. Most of the demonstrations focused on improving the built-in apps and features of Windows Phone, and fixing a lot of the oddities. That includes mail, maps, photos, Skype, and messaging.
 Mail is one of the biggest improvements to the built-in apps. Microsoft is building a universal Outlook app across Windows 10 phones, tablets, and PCs that seems to be a lot better than what came with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.1. Word is built into the Outlook app, allowing you to author emails in a much r

Samsung Drops Qualcomm Chip From Next Galaxy Smartphone

Written by admin. Posted in Mobile, Mobile News

Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) will use its own microprocessors in the next version of the Galaxy S smartphone, dropping its use of a Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) chip that overheated during the Korean company’s testing, people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, tested a new version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chip, known as the 810, and decided not to use it, the people said, asking not to be identified because the issue hasn’t been discussed publicly. Qualcomm shares fell as much as 3.5 percent for the biggest intraday decline in more than two months.

The decision is a blow to Qualcomm, the world’s largest maker of semiconductors used in phones, which has been supplying Samsung with chips that run the company’s best-selling handsets. The South Korean company, the world’s second-largest chipmaker, is trying to become more self-reliant and boost its own processor-making division as it spends $15 billion on a new factory outside Seoul.

The new Galaxy S will be equipped with Samsung’s most advanced chips, one of the people said. A spokesman for Qualcomm declined to comment. Samsung declined to comment in an e-mail.