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Posts from the ‘News’ Category

28
Feb

What’s on TV: ‘Horizon Zero Dawn,’ ‘Moonlight’


This week’s big premieres are Horizon Zero Dawn on the PS4, and Nintendo’s Switch console. If you’re not pulled in by open-world charms or Joycons, then remember Planet Earth II is continuing on BBC America, and this week we’re visiting the jungles. You can snag Academy Award Best Picture winner Moonlight on Blu-ray or video on-demand, while Amazon Prime introduces season four of Annedroids. Also, tonight NBC premieres its TV version of Taken.

There aren’t any big Netflix original premieres this week, but you should know that after tomorrow Clueless is going away, as well as the Jaws movies and the TV series Survivors, while the Jurassic Park flicks (1 – 3) are rotating on to the service. Look after the break to check out each day’s highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).

Blu-ray & Games & Streaming

  • Moonlight
  • Fences (VOD)
  • Allied (4K)
  • The Raid Collection
  • Ape 3D
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4)
  • Valhalla Hills: Definitive Edition (PS4, Xbox One)
  • The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Extended Edition (PS4)
  • Ghost Blade HD (PS4, Xbox One)
  • Torment: Tides of Numenera (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  • A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV (PS4, Xbox One)
  • WRC 6 (PS4, PC)
  • Dying: Reborn (PS4 / PSVR)
  • ACA NeoGeo Nam-1975 (PS4)
  • The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series – A New Frontier (retail – PS4 / Xbox One)
  • (all Switch launch games), (March 3rd)

Monday

  • The Voice (season premiere), NBC, 8PM
  • 24: Legacy, Fox, 8PM
  • The Bachelor, ABC, 8PM
  • Supergirl, CW, 8PM
  • Shadowhunters, Freeform, 8PM
  • Beyond (season finale), Freefom, 9PM
  • Africa’s Great Civilizations (series premiere), PBC, 9PM
  • The Breaks, VH1, 9PM
  • Superior Donuts, CBS, 9PM
  • When We Rise (series premiere), ABC, 9PM
  • Cold Case Files (series premiere), A&E, 9PM
  • Jane the Virgin, CW, 9PM
  • APB, Fox, 9PM
  • 2 Broke Girls, Fox, 9:30PM
  • Chris Webber’s Full Court Pranks (series premiere), TruTV, 10PM
  • Bates Motel, A&E, 10PM
  • Tickled, HBO, 10PM
  • Scorpion, CBS, 10PM
  • Taken (series premiere), NBC, 10PM
  • Humans, AMC, 10PM
  • Desus & Mero, Viceland, 11PM

Tuesday

  • Michael Birbiglia: Thank God for Jokes, Netflix, 3AM
  • The Mindy Project, Hulu, 3AM
  • The Voice, NBC, 8PM
  • The Flash, CW, 8PM
  • The Fosters, Freeform, 8PM
  • New Girl, Fox, 8PM
  • Fresh Off the Boat, ABC, 8PM
  • The Game of Dating, TV One, 8PM
  • WWE Smackdown, USA, 8PM
  • The Real O’Neals, ABC, 8:30PM
  • The Mick, Fox, 8:30PM
  • Africa’s Great Civilizations, PBS, 9PM
  • Presidential Address to Congress, ABC/NBC/CBS/Fox/CNN, 9PM
  • The Challenge, MTV, 9PM
  • Switched at Birth, Freeform, 9PM
  • Face Off, Syfy, 9PM
  • Outsiders, WGN, 9PM
  • The Detour, TBS, 10PM
  • Stranded with a Million Dollars, MTV, 10PM
  • Tosh.0, Comedy Central, 10PM
  • Imposters, Bravo, 10PM
  • Teachers, TV Land, 10PM
  • Taboo (season finale), FX, 10PM
  • Killing Fields Discovery, 10PM
  • Detroiters, Comedy Central, 10:30PM
  • Throwing Shade, TV Land, 10:30PM
  • Desus & Mero, Viceland, 11PM

Wednesday

  • National Treasure (S1), Hulu, 3AM
  • The Path, Hulu, 3AM
  • Chicago Fire, NBC, 8PM
  • Arrow, CW, 8PM
  • Hunted (season finale), CBS, 8PM
  • Catfish (season premiere), MTV, 8PM
  • Speechless, ABC, 8:30PM
  • Modern Family, ABC, 8:30PM
  • Africa’s Great Civilizations (season finale), PBS, 9PM
  • Chicago PD, NBC, 9PM
  • The 100, CW, 9PM
  • Are You the One?, MTV, 9PM
  • The Magicians, Syfy, 9PM
  • Nova, PBS, 9PM
  • Star, Fox, 9PM
  • Major Crimes, TNT, 9PM
  • Chicago Justice (series premiere), NBC, 10PM
  • Doubt, CBS, 10PM
  • The Expanse, Syfy, 10PM
  • Legion, FX, 10PM
  • The Quad, BET, 10PM
  • Suits (season finale), USA, 10PM
  • Time: The Kalief Browder Story (series premiere), Spike TV, 10PM
  • Workaholics, Comedy Central, 10PM
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, FXX, 10PM
  • Man Seeking Woman, FXX, 10:30PM
  • Jeff & Some Aliens, Comedy Central, 10:30PM
  • Desus & Mero, Viceland, 11PM

Thursday

  • Supernatural, CW, 8PM
  • When We Rise, ABC, 8PM
  • The Big Bang Theory, CBS, 8PM
  • The Voice, NBC, 8PM
  • The Great Indoors, CBS, 8:30PM
  • Powerless, NBC, 8:30PM
  • Riverdale, CW, 9PM
  • Chicago Med, NBC, 9PM
  • My Kitchen Rules, Fox, 9PM
  • Life in Pieces, CBS, 9:30PM
  • The Blacklist: Redemption, NBC, 10PM
  • Lip Sync Battle, Spike TV, 10PM
  • Baskets, FX, 10PM
  • Colony, USA, 10PM
  • The Blacklist, NBC, 10PM
  • Portlandia, IFC, 10PM
  • Nirvanna the Band the Show, Viceland, 10PM
  • Training Day, CBS, 10PM
  • Nightwatch, A&E, 10PM
  • People Just Do Nothing, Viceland, 10:30PM
  • Desus & Mero, Viceland, 11PM

Friday

  • Annedroids (S4) Amazon Prime, 3AM
  • The Vampire Diaries, CW, 8PM
  • Grimm, NBC, 8PM
  • Macgyver, CBS, 8PM
  • Shark Tank, ABC, 8PM
  • Rosewood, Fox, 8PM
  • Reign, CW, 9PM
  • Rise, Viceland, 9PM
  • When We Rise (season finale), ABC, 9PM
  • Emerald City (season finale), NBC, 9PM
  • Hawaii Five-0, CBS, 9PM
  • Sleepy Hollow, Fox, 9PM
  • Prison Fighters: 5 Rounds to Freedom, Showtime, 8:30PM
  • Vice, HBO, 11PM
  • The Wheel (season finale), Discovery, 10PM

Saturday

  • Custody, Lifetime, 8PM
  • Ransom, CBS, 8PM
  • Showtime Championship Boxing, CBS, 9PM
  • Planet Earth II: Jungles, BBC America, 9PM
  • Saturday Night Live: Octavia Spencer / Father John Misty, NBC, 11:30PM

Sunday

  • The Good Fight, CBS All Access, 8PM
  • Once Upon a Time (spring premiere), ABC, 8PM
  • Mercy Street (season finale), PBS, 8PM
  • The 2017 iHeartRadio Awards, TBSTNT/TruTV, 8PM
  • The Missing, Starz, 8PM
  • Making History (series premiere), Fox, 8:30PM
  • Time After Time (series premiere), ABC< 9PM
  • Victoria (season finale), PBS, 9PM
  • Big Little Lies, HBO, 9PM
  • NCIS: LA, CBS, 9PM
  • The Good Fight, CBS All Access, 9PM
  • The Walking Dead, AMC, 9PM
  • Black Sails, Starz, 9PM
  • Homeland, Showtime, 9PM
  • Feud: Bette and Joan (series premiere), FX, 10PM
  • Shades of Blue (season premiere), NBC, 10PM
  • Billions, Showtime, 10PM
  • Trapped, Viceland, 10PM
  • Girls, HBO, 10PM
  • Talking Dead, AMC, 10PM
  • Crashing, HBO, 10:30PM
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, HBO, 11PM
28
Feb

Amazon is teaching Alexa to distinguish different voices


For all of Alexa’s many skills, one major thing Amazon’s voice assistant is currently missing is the ability to distinguish who is actually speaking to it. According to a new report from Time magazine, however, the online retail giant is currently working to make that a reality.

As Time’s sources inside Amazon explained, the feature would use a “voice print” to verify each speaker’s identity and primary account holders could set Alexa to require their voice print for specific commands. That means that the person with the credit card tied to the account could set their Echo to require their voice for purchases and restocking the fridge.

The Voice ID feature, which has reportedly been in development since 2015, could also help ease some of those Alexa headaches and accidental shopping sprees. While Echo speakers currently allow for multiple profiles, the Voice ID feature would allow different users to access their accounts without having to switch between them. Time’s sources say the feature is currently completed, but it’s unclear when it will actually get integrated into Echo devices or if it will require new hardware to work.

Source: Time

28
Feb

‘Hearthstone’ gets first expansion of the year in early April


It doesn’t take much to set video game fans down rumor rabbit holes these days, but in this case, hints about Hearthstone’s first expansion in 2017 were correct. Blizzard has officially announced that Journey to Un’Goro will be the next content block added this year, bringing dinosaurs and new mechanics to the digital card game when the set launches in early April.

Named for the World of Warcraft zone of dangerous jungles and lost secrets, Journey to Un’Goro will introduce 135 new cards to the game. The first of this year’s three expansions ushers in the Year Of The Mammoth, which will rotate all content from 2015 out of the competitive Standard format.

While that means finally saying goodbye to your beloved Reno Jackson decks, Un’Goro will bring in a few cool changes. First on the list are two brand-new mechanics: ‘Adapt’ lets you choose from three random stat or ability options to give a creature once it enters play, while ‘Quest’ spells activate their devastating effect after satisfying their requirements. There’s also a new creature type, Elementals, to join Dragons, Murlocs and Pirates as a theme to arrange your decks around.

‘Adapt’ will likely up the game’s randomness and hopefully some ‘Quest’ cards will be easier to attain than normal Legendary-rarity ones, but this early on, it’s hard to tell how Un’Goro will change Hearthstone. Blizzard will announce a batch of cards on March 17th with more trickling out until the expansion comes out in early April. The studio has already promised free packs, in-game gold and crafting dust in the weeks leading up to its launch, which will hopefully help make up for how much pricier it will be to collect all of 2017’s cards than last year’s collection.

Source: Hearthstone blog

28
Feb

New Metrocab lets you stream movies or share directions from your phone


Why it matters to you

Taxi rides could be so much better with the new Metrocab and RealVNC allowing you to keep yourself better connected during your trip.

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Imagine climbing into a cab and sharing the precise directions for your destination through Google Maps from your phone via Wi-Fi. Once underway, you can plug your phone in to charge, and then stream video from YouTube to a screen in the back, or play your own music through the cab’s speakers. That’s exactly what RealVNC’s technology allows you to do.

In partnership with Frazer-Nash, the RealVNC platform has been implemented in the forthcoming Metrocab, a hybrid London cab that the company has been testing for last two years. The aim is to create the perfect cab for customer and cabbie alike, so the firm has been hard at work implementing feedback.

More: Pilot-less flying taxis could take to the skies in Dubai this summer

The result is an impressively roomy cab, with plenty of space for six in the back. The roof is clear, so you get panoramic views as you drive around, which is ideal for a city like London. Electric power is employed 85 percent of the time, and the range extending petrol generator actually powers up the battery, so there’s no need for a combustion engine. This design also allowed Frazer-Nash to keep the front end snub-nosed and create more space for passengers in the back.

RealVNC provides the software and connectivity, tying together support for the varied standards in the market, including Android Auto. Cabbies and customers can hook up their phones via Wi-Fi or cabled connections, and send directions, check emails, browse the web, and stream movies or music. There’s a screen for the driver up front, and one in the back for the passengers. To ensure you don’t have to suffer your cabbie’s musical tastes there’s soundproofing, so you can have different music playing in the front and back of the taxi.

Anyone who has grabbed a cab recently will be familiar with the growing trend for screens in the back, but they usually just display ads. With RealVNC you can pick your own entertainment, whether it’s party tunes to get you in the mood on the way to a club, or a movie to keep you from getting bored on the journey home.

The new Metrocab will be available for pre-orders later this year, but the RealVNC technology can be licensed and implemented in any vehicle, so our taxi journeys could get more interesting sooner than that.

28
Feb

The inventor behind the Maglev train is back with a Hyperloop for launching space vehicles


Why it matters to you

The inventor who inspired the maglev train is back with a maglev rocket launcher concept for launching vehicles into space. It’s both crazy and crazily awesome!

You may be familiar with the name James Powell, a prolific inventor who, back in 2000, was one half of the team behind the superconductive magnetic levitation train — which went on to inspire the ultra-fast Tokyo to Osaka maglev train.

Well, Powell last year filed a patent application for a related concept: a “SpaceTram” maglev rocket launcher that would eschew chemical propellants in favor of magnets for launching a rocket into space. If made a reality, this would be a new way to achieve magnetic levitation, stabilization, and propulsion for a space launch.

The big challenge, of course, would be gaining the necessary propulsion, which Powell thinks could be achieved using a vacuum launch tube with electrically-conducting rails, similar to Elon Musk’s Hyperloop concept.

More: As Hyperloop progress glides forward, here’s what you need to know

It’s a neat, if ridiculously ambitious concept, and this week it received the video treatment from YouTuber Deepak Gupta, who runs the PatentYogi channel. The video itself paints a picture of what the technology might actually look like were it brought to life — and, while we’re certainly skeptical, it still looks pretty awesome.

“Patents are one of the tools that engineers use to express their creativity,” Gupta told Digital Trends. “[The] general public finds it easy to understand how a new product works, how it might solve some problems they face and how it may change their lives. However, patents are in a format that is largely inaccessible. A patent document is full of legalese and complex drawings, so most patents go unnoticed. We at PatentYogi want to make patents accessible to the general public.”

Gupta said that he selects patents that he finds interesting himself, although he’s not sure whether we’ll ever really get to see this particular concept in action. It would certainly be well-received were it to actually work, though.

“Recently there has been a greater demand for space launch systems to launch small satellites cost effectively,” Gupta said. “Just a few weeks back, an ISRO mission launched 104 satellites — mostly small satellites — in a single mission, so the technology disclosed in the patent has a great market demand.”

28
Feb

Windows 2-in-1s picking up the slack as iPad and Android tablet sales flounder


Why it matters to you

Samsung and Lenovo are following Microsoft’s lead by offering increasingly productive Windows 10 2-in-1 options.

Just a few years ago, tablets running mobile operating systems were all the rage. Apple’s iPad kicked off the modern tablet and dominated the market for a couple of years, with Android tablets following along. Meanwhile, PC sales were stagnating, leading Microsoft to combat iOS and Android with its own Windows-based Surface 2-in-1s.

Microsoft’s mantra was productivity, highlighting how the Surface Pro was a “real” Windows PC that can run full-featured desktop apps while still providing tablet-like convenience. Fast forward to Mobile World Conference (MWC) 2017, and it appears that at least two other vendors, Samsung and Lenovo, agree with Microsoft’s basic premise, as Computerworld reports.

More: Microsoft rides wave of hot Surface sales into the holidays

While Samsung and Lenovo both launched Android tablets at MWC 2017, they nevertheless put more emphasis on their Windows 10 2-in-1 offerings. In short, Microsoft’s strategy of demonstrating to its original equipment manufacturer partners — and to the market in general — that Windows 10 offers some real productivity benefits seems to be working.

The Samsung Book comes in 10.6-inch and 12-inch screen sizes with detachable keyboards, and uses the Samsung S Pen and Flow application to bring its own productivity flavor to Windows 10 tablets. Lenovo, for its part, stressed its new Miix 320 detachable and its Yoga 720 and 620 convertible 2-in-1s. Both companies were vocal about their beliefs that products need to be truly productive in order to meet customer needs.

Speaking about Android specifically, Jeff Meredith, vice president and general manager of Lenovo’s Android and Chrome Computing Business Groups, said, “We’re facing a product that needs to redefine itself in an environment in which its core advantages are being squeezed in from” 2-in-1 devices and tablet-phone hybrids called phablets.

According to Eric McCarty, Samsung’s VP of Mobile Product Marketing, 60 percent of 2-in-1 tablets with detachable keyboards run Windows, with the potential for a significant 140 percent year-over-year growth rate. Much of that growth, according to McCarty, will come from increasing the mobile productivity of office workers.

If PCs are going to stem the years of declining sales and stagnation, which seems a distinct possibility given recent numbers hinting that PC sales could recover soon, it could be 2-in-1s leading the way. At the very least, Android and iPad sales will likely continue to flounder, replaced by the growing number of Windows 10 2-in-1s hitting the market and following Microsoft’s lead with its successful Surface line.

28
Feb

Olay shows off its Olay Skin Advisor, a deep learning beauty application


Why it matters to you

Artificial intelligence applications continue to expand, with one of the latest directed toward producing personalized skin care recommendations.

Beauty just got a healthy injection of brains. Or at least, artificial intelligence. On Monday, skincare brand Olay brought its Olay Skin Advisor to the global stage at Mobile World Congress, heralding its AI-based advisor as “a new platform designed to help women better understand their skin and find the products best suited to their personal skincare needs.” It’s the first beauty application that makes use of deep learning, and promises to equip customers with the information they need to care for their skin and determine what beauty products are most appropriate for their needs.

“Shopping for skincare has never been more overwhelming, as women are faced with thousands of products and promises,” said Dr. Frauke Neuser, Principal Scientist for Olay. “Olay’s research shows that browsing the shelf is the number one purchase influencer for women, yet a third of women do not find what they are looking for. Our solution is Olay Skin Advisor, which uses artificial intelligence to deliver a smart skin analysis and personalized product recommendation, taking the mystery out of shopping for skincare products.”

More: Put a ring on it: three smart rings with plenty of beauty and brains

The web-based skin analytics platform requires just a single selfie to determine a user’s “skin age,” and which parts of her face contribute most to that age. The Skin Advisor then asks a few questions about personal skin concerns and product preferences, and passes along a unique product regimen that draws inspiration from a vast knowledge base made possible by supporting technology. The goal, Olay explains, is to help customers find products that are right for individual needs.

“AI is not a technology of the future — it’s transforming our world today,” said Greg Estes, vice president of developer programs at Nvidia, whose GPU-accelerated deep learning platform was used to train Olay Skin Advisor’s neural network. “Olay and other leading brands are using AI to infuse devices and apps with intelligence, bringing new experiences, unprecedented personalization, and real benefits to people’s lives.”

You can check out the power of the Skin Advisor yourself at https://skinadvisor.olay.com on any smartphone or tablet.

28
Feb

Olay shows off its Olay Skin Advisor, a deep learning beauty application


Why it matters to you

Artificial intelligence applications continue to expand, with one of the latest directed toward producing personalized skin care recommendations.

Beauty just got a healthy injection of brains. Or at least, artificial intelligence. On Monday, skincare brand Olay brought its Olay Skin Advisor to the global stage at Mobile World Congress, heralding its AI-based advisor as “a new platform designed to help women better understand their skin and find the products best suited to their personal skincare needs.” It’s the first beauty application that makes use of deep learning, and promises to equip customers with the information they need to care for their skin and determine what beauty products are most appropriate for their needs.

“Shopping for skincare has never been more overwhelming, as women are faced with thousands of products and promises,” said Dr. Frauke Neuser, Principal Scientist for Olay. “Olay’s research shows that browsing the shelf is the number one purchase influencer for women, yet a third of women do not find what they are looking for. Our solution is Olay Skin Advisor, which uses artificial intelligence to deliver a smart skin analysis and personalized product recommendation, taking the mystery out of shopping for skincare products.”

More: Put a ring on it: three smart rings with plenty of beauty and brains

The web-based skin analytics platform requires just a single selfie to determine a user’s “skin age,” and which parts of her face contribute most to that age. The Skin Advisor then asks a few questions about personal skin concerns and product preferences, and passes along a unique product regimen that draws inspiration from a vast knowledge base made possible by supporting technology. The goal, Olay explains, is to help customers find products that are right for individual needs.

“AI is not a technology of the future — it’s transforming our world today,” said Greg Estes, vice president of developer programs at Nvidia, whose GPU-accelerated deep learning platform was used to train Olay Skin Advisor’s neural network. “Olay and other leading brands are using AI to infuse devices and apps with intelligence, bringing new experiences, unprecedented personalization, and real benefits to people’s lives.”

You can check out the power of the Skin Advisor yourself at https://skinadvisor.olay.com on any smartphone or tablet.

28
Feb

Mozilla makes new mobile push, acquires online ‘read-it-later’ service Pocket


Why it matters to you

After its acquisition of Pocket, Mozilla could soon start making a much more serious push into mobile, which could lead to some great, new products.

Mozilla has had a rough time in the mobile world. While Firefox is a relatively popular internet browser, even on mobile, the company has wanted to take things further for a while. It even tried to launch its own mobile operating system, called Firefox OS, which ultimately failed.

Now, it looks like the company will make another attempt at success in the mobile arena. Mozilla has announced its acquisition of Pocket, a nine-year-old company that builds tools for saving online content to view later. The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

More: Mozilla’s latest version of Firefox hits 50, but shows no sign of aging

According to Mozilla, Pocket will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary, and help bring Mozilla to mobile. Pocket itself boasts a hefty 10 million monthly active users, and it could end up being an important part of Mozilla’s business. That’s if it leverages the platform for things like advertising and premium subscriptions.

“They’re adding fuel to our rocket ship. We have worked closely with Mozilla as we partnered with their Firefox team, and established a deep trust with their team and vision,” said Pocket in a blog post. “They have extraordinary resources, global scale, and reach to put Pocket in more places, and help us build an even better product, faster.”

This isn’t the first time that Pocket has entertained the idea of an acquisition. In 2011, news broke that Evernote was considering buying the company, when it was still known as Read It Later. That acquisition offer was later rejected when CEO Nate Weiner found out that Pocket was likely to be integrated into Evernote’s offerings rather than remaining a stand-alone service.

We may not hear much from Pocket in the next few months. Weiner said the company won’t make any major changes to its business this year, but over time it will assist Mozilla in its so-called “content graph” effort.

28
Feb

Wireless charging will replace your fridge with self-cooling Tupperware


Ikea introduced wireless charging furniture a few years ago — a lamp and pad that could charge your phone without wires, though in some cases you needed a special case to make the Qi technology work. Ditching cables sounds like a great idea, but Ikea’s products still require contact with your phone to transfer juice. Is it wireless? Sure, but it’s still a sort of tether.

For several years now, there’s been buzz about wireless charging that doesn’t require you leaving devices on a special mat or nightstand, however. Energous and Ossia are two companies competing to bring wireless charging to your home, office, and the airport. They have different approaches: Energous hopes to power objects in a transmitter’s line of sight (and is rumored to be partnering with Apple), while Ossia uses lower power but can charge devices that are in a different room. Ossia recently showed off its idea for a ceiling tile that works as a transmitter for Cota, its wireless-charging platform, but neither company plans on having products available for purchase quite yet.

More: Apple reportedly has five groups working on wireless charging technology

But imagine that, a few years down the line, there is a mass adoption of wireless charging. What would that look like? It’s not just your devices that would be getting charged — everything would be a device. Your coffee mug would keep itself warm all day, and your fork would keep track of how much you’re eating. We wouldn’t even need fridges, says Ossia founder Hatem Zeine. Instead, we could use temperature-controlled tupperware to keep things cold.

“We would be able to speak to our doorknob and ask it for the weather,” he told Digital Trends. “Your slippers would tell you, ‘Easy on the chocolate.’” Companies making self-darkening glass have approached Ossia, looking for ways to make smart windows without wires or batteries.

Getting there

With a technology as new as this, Zeine says there will be four stages to adoption. First, your phone would be retrofitted with something like a charging case that could work with the transmitter. Next, device makers would start building specific devices that work with the transmitters; something that normally uses AA batteries could instead embed the wireless-charging technology. Devices begin to transform in the third phase, becoming smaller and lighter because they don’t need to house a bulky battery. Finally, designers start coming up with all new devices that wouldn’t be possible if they ran on batteries or had wires attached.

If there’s going to be billions of IoT devices in the next few decades, Zeine doesn’t see them running on batteries or being plugged into an outlet.

We’d all have to buy the transmitters for our homes at a price of several hundred dollars.

The last few stages require mass adoption of the technology. If your phone only works with a transmitter, and you can’t plug it in when you’re at the airport or get to your hotel, that’s not really appealing. Right now, Ossia’s transmitters need to be a certain size to work — big and flat like a ceiling tile or picture frame, or narrower and taller, like a tower. While Zeine thinks manufacturers should be able to absorb the cost of adding the tech to a new phone or electric toothbrush, we’d all have to buy the transmitters for our homes at a price of several hundred dollars. The cost would eventually drop to around $200, he predicts.

There’s something in the air

Recently, Ossia passed FCC safety tests that regulate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The company says Cota devices emit signals in the Wi-Fi 2.45GHz spectrum and bounce off walls, while the transmitter receives the signal and sends it back along the same path. Neither signal passes through people or pets, which limits RF radiation and absorption, according to the company. Keeping it safe means using lower wattage, meaning it will take devices a while to charge; plugging it in may be faster.

Yet Zeine thinks batteries have had their day. “When batteries were invented, Napoleon Bonaparte was alive,” he says. “Imagine that.”

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