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5
Feb

Google wants you to have remote meetings via a drone


Why it matters to you

While most robotic teleconference systems today rely on bots with wheels, this new design suggests that an aerial approach to meetings may be best.

If you already have trouble focusing at business meetings while colleagues are droning on, the addition of an actual drone could either be the best or worst thing to happen to your career. As per a new Google patent, the tech giant has plans for a small, screen-equipped quadcopter that would buzz around a room, bringing the teleconference into the 21st century. While the patent was first filed back in August, it was only made public on Thursday, and came with a couple of updates.

The point of the drone is to help teleconferencing business partners “feel as if they are present, at the same location as that of the second users.” Attempting to replace the standard videoconferencing setup (which normally consists of a stationary camera and screen that makes at least one, if not all, meeting participants look somewhat isolated), the drone solution would fly about the room, focusing in on each meeting member at the appropriate time. Outfitted with a microphone and speakers, this drone idea may just be the closest we’ve come to being together, even when we’re apart.

google-drone-meeting-640x470

As per the patent, the quadcopter is H-shaped, with a propeller on each of the H’s “legs.” One version of the drone shows a screen hanging off the front end of the machine, while a mini projector sits at the back. The screen’s display area would be “semi-translucent” to allow for the viewing of images projected from the rear.

Related: When African doctors can’t reach sick people, they send this drone to help

Also involved in this grand plan appears to be a smartphone with a built-in projector, similar to the Smart Cast phone. And as per the most recently updated patent, the screen system on the drone adjusts itself to ensure that it stays aerodynamic, and the projection system self-corrects whenever images are becoming distorted.

It’s still a work in progress (and nothing more than a patent at this stage), but soon, we could be having meetings with not only other humans, but drones as well. And finally, you’d be able to move around in your remote meetings, and count on your image and your audio remaining stable throughout.

Article originally published in August 2016. Updated on 2-05-2017: Added news that Google’s patent has been updated and made public.

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5
Feb

Google wants you to have remote meetings via a drone


Why it matters to you

While most robotic teleconference systems today rely on bots with wheels, this new design suggests that an aerial approach to meetings may be best.

If you already have trouble focusing at business meetings while colleagues are droning on, the addition of an actual drone could either be the best or worst thing to happen to your career. As per a new Google patent, the tech giant has plans for a small, screen-equipped quadcopter that would buzz around a room, bringing the teleconference into the 21st century. While the patent was first filed back in August, it was only made public on Thursday, and came with a couple of updates.

The point of the drone is to help teleconferencing business partners “feel as if they are present, at the same location as that of the second users.” Attempting to replace the standard videoconferencing setup (which normally consists of a stationary camera and screen that makes at least one, if not all, meeting participants look somewhat isolated), the drone solution would fly about the room, focusing in on each meeting member at the appropriate time. Outfitted with a microphone and speakers, this drone idea may just be the closest we’ve come to being together, even when we’re apart.

google-drone-meeting-640x470

As per the patent, the quadcopter is H-shaped, with a propeller on each of the H’s “legs.” One version of the drone shows a screen hanging off the front end of the machine, while a mini projector sits at the back. The screen’s display area would be “semi-translucent” to allow for the viewing of images projected from the rear.

Related: When African doctors can’t reach sick people, they send this drone to help

Also involved in this grand plan appears to be a smartphone with a built-in projector, similar to the Smart Cast phone. And as per the most recently updated patent, the screen system on the drone adjusts itself to ensure that it stays aerodynamic, and the projection system self-corrects whenever images are becoming distorted.

It’s still a work in progress (and nothing more than a patent at this stage), but soon, we could be having meetings with not only other humans, but drones as well. And finally, you’d be able to move around in your remote meetings, and count on your image and your audio remaining stable throughout.

Article originally published in August 2016. Updated on 2-05-2017: Added news that Google’s patent has been updated and made public.

5
Feb

Here’s how Indiegogo plans to prevent high-profile campaigns from floundering


Crowdfunding has a failure problem.

Over the past couple years, platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have been host to quite a few high-profile flops. Just last month, the once-super promising Lily camera drone project crashed back to earth. Having collected $34 million in pre-orders from a massive 60,000 customers, it closed shop before entering production.

Before that, there was the Coolest Cooler debacle: an ongoing) predicament in which the most successful Kickstarter project of all time (over $13 million in pledges) failed to deliver to thousands of its backers.

Before that, it was the Zano Drone: a failed UAV project that left over 14,000 orders unfulfilled. The list goes on and on.

Crowdfunding feeds into the “couple of guys (or gals) building something in a garage” dream that Silicon Valley is built on.

Thing is, these aren’t isolated incidents — they’re just the most widely-publicized ones. Spend just a few minutes Googling your chosen category of crowdfunding project (video game, desk toy, drinks cooler, UAV) and you’ll find hear about so many crowdfunding disasters that you’ll want to get memories of Kickstarter and its ilk surgically removed from your brain.

In some of these crowdfunding horror shows, refunds are thankfully given out. In others, creators are never heard from again, and the idea that you’ll get your hard-earned money back is as likely as a friendly resolution to an argument in a YouTube comments section.

Unpacking all of this isn’t easy. Most crowdfunding entrepreneurs we speak with harbor the fear that nobody is going to pay any attention to their campaign; worrying about what will happen if people pay it too much attention is like seeking an advance restraining order against Mila Kunis on the off chance that she might one day start stalking you.

More: Despite 60,000 pre-orders, the Lily flying camera is permanently grounded

From a subscriber perspective, it’s no less complex. Part of what we love about crowdfunding is the DIY ethos behind it. If a company is too established, if it’s a millionaire movie star raising money for a project they could pay for themselves, people understandably bristle. Crowdfunding feeds into the “couple of guys (or gals) building something in a garage” dream that Silicon Valley is built on. You’re along for the ride. Delays are commonplace and, so long as they’re not indefinite and backers are kept informed of progress, most don’t get too upset.

After all what’s the alternative: turning crowdfunding into platforms geared only at the pros, rather than the kind of democratized market place it was envisioned as?

So what’s the answer?

As crowdfunding continues to develop, these are questions that need to be addressed, not willfully ignored. This is a conundrum Indiegogo is trying to help solve. As the one of the top two crowdfunding sites (alongside Kickstarter) Indiegogo has hosted more than 700,000 campaigns over its 8.5 years of life — and helped raise over $1 billion in pledges along the way.

However, with more and more stories of failure among crowdfunding entrepreneurs, Indiegogo is trying to change its service to resolve some of the frequent problem users and entrepreneurs face.

Axent Wear Cat Ear Headphones.
Indiegogo

For Indiegogo CEO David Mandelbrot, the campaign which alerted him to the problem was a 2015 project on the platform called Axent Wear Cat Ear Headphones.

“It was created by two design students at UC Berkeley who had the original goal of raising around $250,000, and raised over $3 million on Indiegogo,” Mandelbrot told Digital Trends. “But they were design students: they’d never done manufacturing of a consumer product at scale. Their story was the inspiration for our lifecycle strategy.”

“They have a good idea of what they want to build, but they don’t necessarily know how to do it at scale.”

Mandelbrot said that Indiegogo was able to introduce the folks behind the Axent Wear Cat Ear Headphones to Brookstone, a retailer which also had connections in the Chinese manufacturing industry. With an introduction made, the product was subsequently successfully manufactured and became a bestseller. A follow-up pair of headphones was made last year.

For Mandelbrot, it was a new way of thinking about his job — and the role of platforms like Indiegogo.

More: Awesome tech you can’t buy yet — Rideables, almond milkers, and robo-arms

“Usually a campaign runs when the entrepreneur has a prototype,” he continued. “They have a good idea of what they want to build, but they don’t necessarily know how to do it at scale. The ones who are really successful suddenly find themselves in a situation where they have to manufacture thousands of one product. But they don’t yet have a relationship with a factory in China, or they may have made errors in designing their product. Those entrepreneurs will start to be challenged almost immediately.”

With that in mind, Indiegogo is currently reconfiguring its services to act as a helpful facilitator to entrepreneurs. Rather than simply taking a cut of projects for the privilege of letting them use the platform, like a barber renting out a chair in their salon, Indiegogo is building partnerships with other groups to help entrepreneurs cope with challenges like scaling.

Arrow
Arrow

One such partnership is with electronics company Arrow.

“What we did with Arrow was to form a partnership so that every single electronics entrepreneur on Indiegogo has the opportunity to have their project reviewed and certified by an expert,” Mandelbrot said. “That means proving that an entrepreneur has thought through all of the components that will be in each product, and that it has been designed in such a way that it will enable it to be manufactured. The entrepreneur can then offer their campaign knowing that they are on the right path, and that their product is manufacturable and, ultimately, shippable.”

“We think entrepreneurs who don’t succesfully ship products have a pretty pronounced impact on our entire industry.”

Last month, it announced another partnership; this time with Riverwood Solutions, which will consult with entrepreneurs about where to manufacture their products.

The goal of all this, Mandelbrot said, is to give entrepreneurs the tools to be “successful all the way through [a product’s] life cycle.”

Indiegogo’s solution is just one possible answer to a bigger question. But it’s a good one. Collapsing a funding platform into an erstwhile accelerator program will help entrepreneurs learn, make the growing number of crowdfunding platforms earn their keep, and — perhaps most important — provide some measure of reassurance to customers.

Because crowdfunding is, simply put, too good a concept to let fail.

“We’ve actually been surprised that other companies who are in this space have been slow to move in this direction,” Mandelbrot concluded. “We think entrepreneurs who don’t succesfully ship products have a pretty pronounced impact on our entire industry. It’s a big part of why we’ve tried to move forward so quickly.”

5
Feb

5 songs you need to stream this week: Bob Dylan, Mac Demarco, and more


songs-to-stream-2-280x75.png

Every week, there are thousands of new songs hitting the airwaves — and it’s just too much for your two ears to handle. With all those options, you can’t be wasting your time on tracks that deserve a thumbs-down click.

But don’t worry, we’re going to save you the hassle. We listen to some of the most-hyped and interesting songs each week, and tell you which are worthy of your precious listening time.

More: Spotify may upgrade its free account to give users more on-demand streaming

Here are our top five songs to stream this week. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our Spotify page for a playlist of our weekly picks, which can also be found at the bottom of this post.

Bob Dylan — I Could Have Told You

Recent Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan is preparing a three-disc album of Frank Sinatra covers called Triplicate for release later this year, and recently put out a breathtaking cover of the ballad I Could Have Told You to whet our collective appetite. A gorgeous blend of pedal steel guitar and upright bass, Dylan’s vocals flow gently over the surface of the track, with the iconic songwriter saving the more gravelly side of his voice until the final refrain.

Mac Demarco — This Old Dog

Canadian songwriter Mac Demarco retains his classic vintage-inspired sound on This Old Dog, a pulsating new single with punchy drums, warm acoustic guitar, and simple vocal hooks. Soft and inviting, it’s a perfect way to relax amid hectic midweek moments, calming your nerves with a sea of supple analog tones.

The Underachievers — Gotham Nights

In the past five years, the hype surrounding thowback ’90s-style hip-hop has tempered, giving way to a slew of younger, trap-influenced sounds. But that news apparently never reached Brooklyn-based duo The Underachievers, whose latest cut Gotham Nights feels like a lost single from Jay Z’s debut album Reasonable Doubt. Jazzy samples and a deep boom-bap beat pair so well with the duo’s syncopated vocal rhythms that you’ll have a tough time hiding a huge, nostalgic smile.

Future Islands  — Ran

This week’s best workout cut comes from Baltimore-based synth pop group Future Islands, who employ a driving blend of acoustic and digital drum sounds to propel you through every step, lift, or push-up. The first single from the band’s upcoming fifth studio album The Far Field, Ran is a show of vulnerability and strength, with punchy tenor vocals and cool ’80s-style synth tones creating an extremely repeatable package.

Father John Misty — Ballad of the Dying Man

Poignant songwriter Father John Misty shared a follow-up to last week’s politically-influenced single Pure Comedy with Ballad of the Dying Man, a lyric-driven song that centers on musings about life’s end. Piano and acoustic guitars are eventually joined by gospel choir backgrounds, with somber, investigative lyricism tying a big, black ribbon around the thoughtful funeral dirge.

That’s it for now, but tune in next week for more tunes — and check out our playlist loaded with our recent selections below:

5
Feb

Watson and H&R Block are partnering to help with your tax returns


Why it matters to you

The extension of Watson’s AI capabilities to tax preparation hints at what the future may hold for taxpayers in preparing their returns.

It’s inevitable, and believe it or not, it’s fast approaching. We’re talking, of course, about tax season, and this year, IBM Watson wants to help. Last week, the artificial intelligence system announced a partnership with H&R Block to reinvent tax preparation. By integrating Watson’s smarts, H&R Block promises that its tax professionals will “deliver the best outcome for each unique tax situation, while helping clients better understand how different filing options can impact their tax outcome.”

This collaboration marks Watson’s first foray into the world of taxes, though if this year proves to be a success, it seems likely it won’t be its last. “We are introducing something this tax season that is totally new, and is in fact, a first in the tax preparation category,” said Bill Cobb, H&R Block’s president and chief executive officer. “By combining the human expertise, knowledge, and judgment of our tax professionals with the cutting-edge cognitive computing power of Watson, we are creating a future where our clients will benefit from an enhanced experience and our tax pros will have the latest technology to help them ensure every deduction and credit is found.”

More: Watson will soon be in your ear with “hearables” from Bragi

With Watson’s help, combing through the massive amounts of data necessary in tax preparation may be a bit easier. After all, the federal tax code is comprised of more than 74,000 pages and comes with thousands of law changes every year, each of which can affect our own tax incomes. But H&R Block and IBM have trained Watson in the tax language, teaching the smart system all about the filing process. The resulting technological solution employs cloud-based Watson services to understand context, interpret intent, and draw conclusions regarding a client’s tax statements and returns.

“IBM has shown how complex, data-rich industries such as healthcare, retail, and education are being transformed through the use of Watson. Now with H&R Block, we’re applying the power of cognitive computing in an entirely new way that everyone can relate to and benefit from — the tax prep process,” said David Kenny, senior vice president, IBM Watson and Cloud Platform. “We’re excited to see H&R Block’s tax professionals, leaders in their field, join their expertise with Watson to enhance the client experience and help millions of individuals file their returns during tax season.”

The new Watson client experience will be made available beginning today at H&R Block retail locations.

5
Feb

Unlocked Moto Z units receiving Nougat update in the U.S.


It’s February, which means the unlocked Moto Z is beginning to get Nougat.

As promised, Motorola is now rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat to the unlocked variant of the Moto Z in the U.S., a wait that, for many, was far too long.

moto-z-nougat-n.jpg?itok=mz0tebUM

The company told Android Central last month that it wouldn’t be until February that the unlocked Moto Z would begin getting upgraded to Android 7.0, well after the Verizon edition, which was released over two months earlier.

Motorola USA hasn’t acknowledged the rollout yet, which appears to be happening in small chunks to minimize problems, but a few people have contacted Android Central noting that their units have been upgraded.

The company also said that it would begin pushing the Nougat update to the Moto Z Play sometime in March.

Motorola has come under fire in recent months for falling behind other manufacturers in getting the latest version of Android to its devices, especially since, when it was owned by Google (but still run independently), it was second only to its parent company in issuing updates to its devices.

Moto Z, Moto Z Force and Moto Z Play

  • Moto Z + Z Force review!
  • Moto Z Play review
  • The Hasselblad True Zoom is a Mod to remember
  • Moto Z specs
  • Moto Mods custom backs
  • The latest Moto Z news
  • Discuss in our Moto Z forums

Motorola
Verizon

5
Feb

From the Editor’s Desk: The 2017 flagship challenge


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Tell me why I should care about your phone for more than a couple of months.

The lack of a Samsung Galaxy S8 launch at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona presents an opportunity for everyone else with a smartphone (or smartwatch, or tablet, or whatever) to sell. And sure enough, the mess of press conferences now scheduled for the afternoon of February 26 shows just how many rival manufacturers have stepped in to fill the publicity vacuum. LG, Huawei, Moto and Nokia will all showcase new phones on MWC press day. BlackBerry Mobile does its thing the day before. Sony’s going the day after. (To say nothing of Samsung itself, which is expected to show off the long overdue Tab S3 at its own Barcelona event on the 26th.)

Why will I still care about your thing in two months time, when I can go buy a Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus?

It’s a great opportunity for these guys to soak up some of the clicks, eyeballs and mindshare normally reserved for a new Galaxy S launch. But everyone intending to unveil a new flagship also has to answer one question: Why will I still care about your thing in two months time, when I can go buy a Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus. If, as reported, Samsung has first dibs on the Snapdragon 835, many of the high-end offerings breaking cover in Barcelona could look decidedly dated not long after launch. The likes of LG and Sony will need to make a strong case for why their thing, running last year’s chip, is competitive with Samsung’s upcoming thing, using its direct successor.

(That’s less of an issue for Huawei, by the way, which is likely to use its own Kirin chips in the P10, expected to break cover on February 26. Vertical integration!)

Squaring up to the GS8 with older hardware isn’t an impossible feat, but it certainly is a challenge. Maybe the reason to care is an amazing, unconventional camera, or epic battery life. Or some crazy hitherto unforeseen software feature. I have high hopes for the G6. For LG in recent years, that X-factor has been camera tech, and I’m looking forward to a generational leap forward from the G5 and V20’s cameras.

For Sony, the challenge is more about proving why it’s still relevant. Its Xperia X series phones were competent enough, but entirely forgettable next to the GS7 and Google Pixel. Sony’s killer feature used to be camera tech. It’s been a long time since it was the best at that. (Outside of the sensors its imaging division sells to other vendors, of course.) I’m not really sure what Sony can do to make an exciting phone for 2017, given the design and technical path it seems intent on pursuing, and the state of the competition. Hopefully someone in Japan has a better idea.

I’m not really sure what Sony can do to make an exciting phone for 2017.

Like I said earlier, China’s Huawei isn’t affected by Qualcomm’s roadmap as much as everyone else. Despite the fact that it’s still getting nowhere in the U.S. (ZDNet’s Matt Miller has a good write-up on the challenges for Huawei in the Trump era), an early launch for the P10, with a few important upgrades from the Mate 9, could see it securing a spot as the major Android alternative to Samsung in Western Europe. In the UK, the P9 was picked up by all four major networks, and the product itself stands to be much better this year.

But the P10 needs to be more than just a smaller Mate 9 if it’s to avoid being steamrolled by the GS8. Like everyone else, the case for Huawei to make on February 26 is “Yeah, you could wait another two months, but we have something that’s just as good today.”

A couple of other thoughts this Superb Owl 🦉🏈 weekend.

  • If the rumor mill is to be believed, we’re due new Android Wear 2.0 watches from Google and LG in just a few days. I’m still waiting on a compelling case for running apps on my wrist. (Or really, doing anything besides checking notifications and tracking exercise on my wrist.) We’ve seen plenty of Wear 2.0 through the developer previews since it was first unveiled last May (!!!), so I’m curious to see how the finished products (both the physical watches and the software) shape up.

  • In fact, the next three weeks are going to be pretty wild in terms of new Android stuff and awesome content on Android Central — for both obvious and non-obvious reasons. I can’t say any more than that yet, but if you like phones and other things that run Android, it’s gonna be a bumper month.

That’s it for this week. If you are sportsballing this weekend, you’ll want to check out Modern Dad’s guide to the big game!

5
Feb

Your phone is part Android and part Google, and probably part Samsung


galaxy-s7-black-s7-edge-gold.jpg?itok=aZ

The software on every Android phone is different because it comes from several different places.

This is a question that pops up from time to time, but because the Google Pixel ships with different apps and services — namely Google Assistant — than other phones it’s become a little more frequent. We saw the same thing when Google Wallet first appeared, and we’ll see it again when the next phone from Google has something others don’t.

People get a little confused — rightfully so — about what comes with Android and what apps and services are from Google or Samsung or any other company. In other words, why do I have this app and not this app? Not everyone keeps up to date on mobile tech, so if you’re coming from an iPhone where there are four or five different models to choose from but even last year’s models have the same software on them you might expect it to be the same way on Android.

Android comes in lots of flavors.

To answer that, you need to remember how Android is distributed to the people who make our phones.

Android isn’t a thing that can be wrapped up and given or sold to a company to install. Companies like Samsung have access to the code itself and can build it into almost anything they want. As long as the final product meets the criteria given by Google to make sure it’s compatible with applications built for its version, Samsung can have at it with the rest and add to it. That’s why Android is so different when you compare phones from one company to phones from another.

Google adds software to Android

google-play-icon-closeup.jpg?itok=9UN4Q3

But a good bit of Android is still the same, even if the icons and colors are changed. That’s because there are specific apps — both part of the source code as well as apps made by Google for their web services which are not part of Android’s code but needed to get permission to use Google’s Play Store — which also isn’t part of the Android code. These are what we call “Google Apps.” They are made so you can use Google’s products and services on the phone, and they are there for two reasons.

Google adds a few bloatware apps, too.

The first is because some of them need to be installed on every single phone to make sure all the apps in Google Play will work. Even if you never open it, you need a few apps like Chrome installed on your LG V20 or whatever phone you have to make sure it can run apps from the Play Store. The other is that these are the services Google wants you to be able to use out of the box. Google gets it’s way here because it’s an all or nothing agreement — if you want the phone you’re making to be able to use the Play Store, you have to also include these other apps. At least for now, because the EU doesn’t like that (and maybe they are right).

The actual agreement about what apps need to be there and what ones don’t can change from time to time but some are always part of it:

  • Gmail
  • Google Calendar
  • Chrome
  • Google Search
  • Google Talkback
  • Various apps needed to synchronize all these services

Every phone that has the Google Play Store preinstalled will have these core apps. The model or version doesn’t matter. Some are necessary, others are there because Google just wants us to see them. And many of them aren’t part of the Andriod code so won’t be available for phones built without Google Play Store access.

The company who made your phone is next

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The next step is the people who made your phone adding their software or the apps a wireless carrier requests installed. These are included for the same reasons Google apps are. Some of them are essential so things on the phone can work. Others are for services and apps they want you to be able to use right away. And there can be a lot of differences here.

Samsung adds a ton of features and apps to help use them.

Using Samsung as our example again, a very high-end phone like the Galaxy S7 edge or the new Galaxy S8 we expect to see soon will have exclusive features, Right now, these are Samsung’s best phones and they want you to think they are worth the cost when compared to other models that are cheaper. Verizon (or AT&T or any other wireless company) does exactly the same thing and has some apps put in place to make sure you see them right away or to help you pay your bill.

Of course, none of these apps go along with Android. All of these apps belong to Samsung and Verizon (in our example) respectively. Models made for specific regions and models made for different carriers can vary a little bit. But this is how the people who made the phone and the people who sell the phone want it to be, and they are really choosy. They want you to be a happy customer and try to offer a mix of features and apps so that there is something there everyone will like,

But what about Google Assistant!

pixel-xl-google-assistant.jpg?itok=1pzcu

This same process applies to phones sold by Google. Every Nexus Phone and every Pixel phone have all had the core apps from Google to be compatible and to make sure you see an app like Gmail so you don’t go looking for a replacement. Sometimes we see a phone sold by Google with an exclusive app from Google. Like Google Assistant.

Google Assistant is there because Google thinks that some people will find it a reason to buy their phone instead of somebody else’s, and probably because it is so much easier to deploy on a phone that they can update directly and isn’t going to sell tens of millions of units, Slower sales mean far fewer chances for a particular bug to affect as many people.

Google uses Assistant as a selling point for the pixel, but it’s also branching out.

We’ve already seen Google Assistant announced as coming to Android TV and Android Wear. Companies like NVIDIA and Sony and LG will have it in their 2017 lineup. There is no word from Google about Assistant becoming available for any other phone including their own Nexus 6P. Some of us here at Android Central are pretty sure it will because Google loves data. My guess is that they will try to get it into the Play Store eventually so hundreds of millions of people have a chance to use it.

This can all be a bit confusing if you’re used to iOS or even Windows or BlackBerry. It gets even more confusing when you see different phones on different versions of Android and they have different features. But it’s also a reason so many people prefer an Android phone. There are so many choices that one of them will be what you’re looking for.

5
Feb

Supercar concept runs on electrolyte fluids


Alternative fuel cars are rarely pulse pounding thrill rides, but NanoFlowcell might have created an exception to the rule. It’s teasing the Quant 48Volt, a supercar concept that runs on a combination of positive and negative electrolyte fluids. No, this doesn’t mean that you can run it on energy drinks, but it does promise an environmentally friendly vehicle that doesn’t compromise on performance or range. Reportedly, the Quant 48Volt’s 760HP engine can take it to 62MPH in 2.4 seconds, hit a top speed of 186MPH (arbitrarily limited) and a range of over 621 miles.

While the company has previously developed “flow cell” cars, its latest prototype is the first to promise this kind of performance. It’s taking advantage of “new, innovative” motors, an upgraded cell membrane and six of the cells needed to make its technology work.

As it’s a concept, NanoFlowcell isn’t talking release dates or pricing. However, there are more than a few obstacles to getting a production-ready Quant 48Volt on the road. Would-be buyers need to know that this car can meet expectations, for one thing. It’s easy to put out an impressive spec sheet, but it’s another matter to back that up. The company unveiled the 1,000HP Quant F in 2015, and little has been heard about it since — the 48Volt comes across as a second take on the idea. Although NanoFlowcell has previously talked about being ready for production by 2018, it’s not certain just what cars will roll out of the factory.

There’s also the question of infrastructure. The company says that existing gas stations could supply these fluids, but that still means convincing these locations to switch pumps to brand new technology offered by only one automaker. As it stands, clean fuels like electrolytes and hydrogen frequently come across as stopgaps that could become obsolete once pure electric cars have enough range (they already have the performance). The technology may only have a small window of opportunity to have an impact.

Via: Autoblog

Source: NanoFlowcell

5
Feb

After Math: Do you think this is a game?


It’s been a heck of a week for gamesmanship. Sony announced significant firmware upgrades for the PS4, Super Mario Run is collecting millions in coin and Nintendo revealed surprisingly affordable pricing for its Switch multiplayer system. Numbers, because how else are you going to keep score?

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