Battery

No, your phone’s battery isn’t spying on you

No, your phone’s battery isn’t spying on you

A video showing an NFC-clad sticker on a battery in a smartphone has gone viral today. This video suggests that this smartphone was using an NFC sticker to "record every photo of yours on your battery." What we're going to need to do right now is get very serious and very clear about this situation. Your battery - and the NFC antenna that may or may not be attached to it - is not stealing your photos and sending them to our estranged government overlords. It's just not.

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“Smart” lithium-ion battery warns before it explodes

“Smart” lithium-ion battery warns before it explodes

News of exploding smartphone batteries might be sensational but they are no light matter. Aside from the harm, or even death, that could come from those, they also point to a problem with lithium-ion batteries that exhibited elsewhere. While little can be done for a battery that explodes due to severe damage, in most other cases, accidents could be prevented if users knew that the battery is on the verge of combusting. That is what Stanford associate professor Yi Cui and other professors have sought to accomplish with this new "smart" battery.

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Apple Watch app shows your iPhone’s battery level at a glance

Apple Watch app shows your iPhone’s battery level at a glance

Now here's a simple, handy app that, when you think about it, seems surprising that Apple hasn't built it into the Watch by default. It's an app that displays battery level of the iPhone its paired with. That's it. Nothing complicated about it. It's called Power, and it's available now on the App Store for $0.99 from developers Surenix. The other neat part about the app is that it can show when the iPhone is being actively charged, even if it's in another room.

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How GM’s giving old batteries a second charge

How GM’s giving old batteries a second charge

General Motors is one of the auto makers working to reuse old electric car batteries, and in its case it is doing so with Chevrolet Volt batteries with one of its IT buildings. Using a handful of old Volt batteries from the model’s first generation, General Motors is powering an administration building in conjunction with wind and solar energy. This is due to the remaining capacities of the batteries after they stop being useful for the Chevy Volt electric cars.

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SRI Durus humanoid walking robot is ultra-efficient

SRI Durus humanoid walking robot is ultra-efficient

DARPA has been sponsoring all sorts of robotics challenges, including the Robotics Challenge course where the robots are supposed to do things that a human would normally do in an emergency. That isn’t the only challenge that DARPA has put down for robot designers. At the same time the DARAP Robotics Challenge course is being transverse by robots, another challenge is underway.

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Nissan and partners to give second life to EV batteries

Nissan and partners to give second life to EV batteries

Nissan has been making its all-electric Leaf car for a long time and one of the big concerns when it comes to aging EVs is what to do with the battery packs after the vehicle is no longer fit for the road. Nissan and 4R Energy have partnered with Green Charge Networks to give old battery packs from EVs a second life in commercial energy storage. Nissan has conducted several research projects to find ways to use the battery packs outside of the vehicle.

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Tesla Powerwall batteries gain power output

Tesla Powerwall batteries gain power output

Back in May electric automaker Tesla announced that it was rolling out a battery designed to power a home called the Powerwall. The battery comes in two versions with one being a whole home power back up used to feed energy back into a home or business at times where power is out and the other being for daily use to power a home when power rates are at their highest. The idea is that the battery can be fully charged at night when rates are at their lowest and that power can be used in the day to save money.

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Mercedes-Benz takes on Tesla with its own home battery

Mercedes-Benz takes on Tesla with its own home battery

Tesla saw ample success with its home batteries, so much so that you’re going to have to wait quite a while to get one yourself. It’s not the only company getting into that market, though, and we’ve known for a few days that Mercedes-Benz was planning to challenge the company. Today Daimler dropped some details on that plan, and officially began taking registrations from interested parties. The home batteries will be branded as Mercedes-Benz offerings, but whether the company will experience the same demand levels as Tesla is yet to be seen.

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Mercedes to challenge Tesla in home power storage batteries

Mercedes to challenge Tesla in home power storage batteries

The last major announcement from Tesla was last month when it unveiled its Powerwall batteries for home energy storage. The idea is that the battery can store power from the electrical grid when power is cheaper and then feed that juice back into the home in an outage or when rates are at their highest. Mercedes isn’t going to allow Tesla to get all the home battery market and has thrown its hat into the ring.

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Invention reuses radio signals to charge phones

Invention reuses radio signals to charge phones

Our mobile devices have indeed become faster and more powerful but their batteries are having a hard time catching up. The usual solutions involve bigger batteries or power banks or cases, both of which tack on bulk, weight, or inconvenience to otherwise slim smartphones. While we're still a far away from being able to almost magically charge our devices over the air, engineering researchers from Ohio State University have invented what could probably be the next best thing: a way to charge phones using otherwise wasted energy from radio signals.

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Hycopter drone uses hydrogen gas to fly for 4 hours

Hycopter drone uses hydrogen gas to fly for 4 hours

With the rising buzz around drones, some have started envisioning them to become bearers of good news. Or at least the packages you ordered. But while Amazon might have gotten a bit of green light for its delivery drone plans, there remains one technical problem. Drones can't really stay up in the air for long, with some of the best lasting only half an hour. Horizon Unmanned Systems, however, might have a solution in the works. Its Hycopter UAV can fly 2.5 to 4 hours, depending on payload, by using fuel cells instead of lithium batteries.

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Prius batteries becoming popular target for thieves

Prius batteries becoming popular target for thieves

You know you have a popular car when it starts getting damaged and stolen for parts, but you'd think the battery would be the least likely cause for vandalism. Well, apparently that's the hot-ticket item on the black market if you're a Toyota Prius owner. San Francisco drivers of the hybrid have noticed an increase in car battery theft in recent days. Both police and local dealerships have noticed the new trend, and one belief is that there is a growing demand for the part as owners of the first generation Prius reach the end of their 10-year battery warranties.

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