UBeam uses sound to wirelessly charge phones on stage, confounds critics

UBeam uses sound to wirelessly charge phones on stage, confounds critics

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF More companies are showing interest in wireless charging and the pace of development and investment in the sector is accelerating, but this is one wireless charging technology that the experts say shouldn’t work, but it does.   Unlike Energous, a company that a few weeks...

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Wirelessly charged smart underpants hit the floor at CES

Wirelessly charged smart underpants hit the floor at CES

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As we become ever more reliant on the electron shuffling marvel that is electricity, we’re rapidly getting to the point where we no longer have to tether all our gadgets and devices to our wall sockets to charge them.   This year could well prove...

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Researchers unveil self-charging fabrics that could power tomorrow’s Smart Clothes

Researchers unveil self-charging fabrics that could power tomorrow’s Smart Clothes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As transistors and computing devices continue to shrink it is inevitable we’ll bake more computing power into our clothing, and all that extra compute will need some way to power it.   Today, the majority of smart clothes we use to monitor a person’s vital...

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Nanogenerator breakthrough can generate electricity from the blood in your veins

Nanogenerator breakthrough can generate electricity from the blood in your veins

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As researchers continue to develop micro-machines and implanted medical devices that live within our bodies we might need to find new ways to power them.   Humanity has been generating electricity from flowing water for millennia using everything from watermills to huge hydro-electric dams, but...

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AI can now beat polygraph tests to tell when you’re lying

AI can now beat polygraph tests to tell when you’re lying

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to tell when someone is lying is important, but as with any technology authorities will have to know where to draw the line between just cause and violating a person’s rights to privacy.   Scientists have long known this, our pupils widen ever...

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MIT breakthrough creates glowing plants that could replace street lights

MIT breakthrough creates glowing plants that could replace street lights

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Around a fifth of all the world’s energy production is consumed by lighting, but in the future glowing plants could help provide us all with an infinite, renewable source of light.   Plants at the moment are getting the royal treatment. They’re being turned into...

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Companies have a plan to fix blockchain’s massive energy problem

Companies have a plan to fix blockchain’s massive energy problem

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Processing Bitcoin is now consuming more energy than Denmark uses in a year, and as cryptocurrencies become increasingly popular their energy consumption is, literally, starting to affect the planet.   You’d have to be almost deaf and blind to not notice that at the moment...

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IBM’s AI learns how to predict the outcomes of chemical reactions

IBM’s AI learns how to predict the outcomes of chemical reactions

WHY THIS MATTERS BRIEF Chemistry is the basis and foundation of everything on Earth and being able to predict the outcomes of new chemical reactions will help industries create new compounds and new materials faster than ever before.   By thinking of atoms as letters and molecules as words an...

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Samsung unveils their new ultra fast charging, energy dense battery

Samsung unveils their new ultra fast charging, energy dense battery

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF When asked what irritates them most about their smartphones most people reply battery life, but Samsung’s latest breakthrough might mean we have to moan about something else.   All our mobile devices have been hamstrung for ages by their reliance on traditional Lithium-Ion (LiOn) batteries...

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Wireless charging, the next frontier for electric vehicles gains traction

Wireless charging, the next frontier for electric vehicles gains traction

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Just as countries are starting to get used to the idea of rolling out fixed electric vehicle charging stations a new technology is emerging on the scene that could quickly render them obsolete.   Just as we are beginning to get used to the idea...

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MIT’s new AI is helping scientists design new, futuristic materials

MIT’s new AI is helping scientists design new, futuristic materials

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Materials are a fundamental building block  of everything in existence today, whether it’s cells, our power plants or our smartphones and devices, now researchers have built an AI to help them automate the discovery of new materials and it could revolutionise everything.   Over the...

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Researchers have discovered how to build self-healing fusion reactors

Researchers have discovered how to build self-healing fusion reactors

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Nuclear fusion is being hailed as the next revolutionary power source but the reactions are tearing the reactors apart, but now researchers have found a way to create the first generation of self-healing fusion reactors.   As anyone in the energy business will be able...

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Futurist in Paris: The Future of Sustainable Cities, Station F ChangeNOW Summit

Futurist in Paris: The Future of Sustainable Cities, Station F ChangeNOW Summit

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The effect that climate change and pollution is having on our society and wellbeing is well documented but it’s clear from this summit that for every problem we face there are hundreds of innovative solutions.   Firstly, a big thanks to the wonderful team, lead...

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Elon Musk beats his 100 day deadline to power up the world’s biggest battery

Elon Musk beats his 100 day deadline to power up the world’s biggest battery

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The world’s thirst for renewable energy is increasing, almost  exponentially, and dips in supply have to be met from battery storage systems like these.   Elon Musk started building a giant mega battery for the South Australian outback earlier this year with the aim of preventing the...

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Scientists discovered a new energy source eight times more powerful than nuclear fusion

Scientists discovered a new energy source eight times more powerful than nuclear fusion

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Scientists have found new evidence of a new, theoretical power source that is eight times more powerful than nuclear fusion, and if the theory is proved it will prove to be a revolutionary power source.   This week a team of researchers from Tel Aviv...

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China unveils the world’s largest electric vehicle charging network

China unveils the world’s largest electric vehicle charging network

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF China’s ambitions to embrace renewable energy and electric vehicles shows no signs of slowing down, and they’re leaving other countries in the dust.   Last year the US Government announced it was going to start rolling out a huge network of electric charging points across...

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MIT’s breakthrough air battery could make grid scale storage 80 percent cheaper

MIT’s breakthrough air battery could make grid scale storage 80 percent cheaper

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Renewable energy sources are still, by their very nature, unreliable which is why we need cheap, grid scale energy storage solutions if we’re ever going to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels and nuclear power, and MIT’s latest breakthrough could move the dial   The...

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The renewable energy revolution starts at home, American’s are breaking new records

The renewable energy revolution starts at home, American’s are breaking new records

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Slowly but surely energy grids are modernising and decentralising, and homeowners are at the forefront of the shift, embracing renewable energy and new energy systems faster than ever before   Thanks to companies like Tesla and their Powerwall product the residential energy storage market is...

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Revolutionary new IoT chip communicates miles without using any energy

Revolutionary new IoT chip communicates miles without using any energy

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF IoT devices only “work” if they have connectivity, but up until now trying to get data from a sensor in a field, or a toaster at home, has meant fitting them all with battery powered communications gear, new backscatter devices solve that issue.   A...

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New air conditioning breakthrough cools buildings without using any energy

New air conditioning breakthrough cools buildings without using any energy

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Air conditioning that can cool buildings without using any energy is the holy grail of aircon, and now the technology’s arriving   Heat naturally flows from hot things to cold things, it’s just a fact of life, and physics, and since there are few places...

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