Prediction : Future Phones will not come with chargers

The other day I was out of charge on my phone which is a rare thing considering that I got a new Galaxy Nexus (Yes I will post a review) which is not only energy efficient but by far the best battery I have seen on a portable device taking the phone to nearly 2 days of talking and wifi without the need of charging. Back to where I was,  the need for a charger was large and the charger was no where in sight, shopped around in the office and found a blackberry charger that well fit the phone very well. This got me thinking, well why don’t all manufacturers come up with some universal standard for the charger if required. At all other times they can use alternative means built into the phone itself. I have been writing about some of these here on the blog before. Lets see whats available.

First off the Charger itself 

The mini USB is pretty much a standard charger at the moment for a lot of phones, my Blackberry, the Nexus One and now the Galaxy Nexus all seem to love it. But move Blackberry models and phones, you will quickly see that its not enough its just another in the large market for charger pins. In fact when I got this car charger from Merlin in Dubai, looked like there are a lot more than just the mini USB in the market.

Add the ever popular iPhone and the other Galaxy smartphones and the chargers change. I am not sure if the mini USB is the best standard, but considering that most people seem to have one lying around these days, looks like this could be a good standard to follow.

Getting to the Chargers built in with the phone 

First getting through the familier, here is a list of some you can read within the blog:

Indian Innovation : Wind Powered Helmet mounted Cell phone charger

Indian Innovation : Hand Powered Mobile Phones 

Thermoelectric boots charge your mobile phone

Charging phone from the movement of the owners

Charging Phones with residual energy from airwaves

Charging phones with body heat

Some more from other blogs that can fill up the gap with more innovations

Nokia Bicycle charging kit 

Some Eco friendly charging options (must see) 

Juicebox, the charging platform available in public places

Another Charger using movement of phones 

Mobile phones charged by the power of speech

Wind-powered mobile phone charger

Mobile phones in developing nations could charge up using dirt

Sound Charge t-shirt tops up mobile devices using sound

Solar powered tie charges your mobile phone

Piezoelectric generator creates power from shoes

Interestingly a lot of these were invented by Nokia in an attempt to make the lives of all better, but the lack of good software (ahem .. Android) has kind of made it difficult for Nokia to make it big in the market, we might be able to see some of these innovations in the Mobile Phones running Windows Mobile. Keeping fingers crossed to see the Lumia 900 with one of these built in.

From notifications that require attention of the users towards energy saving and other power saving tips to alerts when Phone batteries are fully charged, the chargers require an upgrade if possible to go with apps that are coming up on phones to do the same on the software side. All in all it seems like a really required innovation that the manufacturers are keeping away from the consumers, even though it seems like they have most of these figured out. Well only time will tell if these innovations will get lost or really get implemented into future phones. Are you listening Google, Apple and ofcourse Nokia.

India Innovation – Android Love from India, including a Siri Clone

Its been a while since I wrote about India and the technological innovation there but here is something that is hard to be missed. Being an Indian and an Android fan it is one of those moments that you will be surely proud of, Apps. Indian Software developers are not the foremost to come up with products, yes there are quite a few there, but in comparison to the number of apps used worldwide the apps from India don’t come to the forefront. Indian Software industry has always played a service role for most companies, where we have developed products for others. Not many products that are home-grown. I guess its changing, and here are the first signs that we can be good at it too.

When Apple introduced Siri, every Android user wanted to hear about the version for Android. And there were few but all lacked complete functionality. An Indian Startup is trying to change all that, from the notion that Indian Software companies dont do products to Siri App for Android. Enter Dexetra, A startup from Cochin that is planning to change the world of Android and India.

Iris 

Like the Siri clone, Iris is a speech recognition and interpretation engine aimed solely at the tech savvy always connected Android user. Like the iPhone 4s the Iris requires the internet to be connected at all times to be able to process the information and spit out the results. With over a Million  installs and with tremendous response from the global Android community this app seems to be the one to see in 2012. Along with the company.

Check out Iris for yourself here on Android Market. Oh yes that’s not it, they also have more software like the Speed Sense and Secure Keys that are as helpful as the Iris You can check them out on their developer page on Android Market. Check out decent App Intro Videos as well for their upcoming Android App, Friday. Does this not look like an international App company now ?? Proud to have crossed paths with these guys.

I just hope that these guys find all the support they need and also move along and produce some brilliant Android Apps. Now waiting for some hackable intelligence of connecting the Arduino with the Iris to get a proper solution to the Voice Activated Home. Dexedra Are you listening ??

Wordless Thursday – Revolution in every generation

My life is constantly changing and evolving, especially in how we lead our day to day. I would love to go behind the scenes to research upcoming technologies but cant. However. it’s always a pleasant surprise when big new things come out.

This infographic highlights big inventions that impact our lifestyles greatly. It does a good job of getting lots of cool info into one piece. I must say however I’d like to see more of the ‘graphic’ section of infographic. There’s definitely some cool statistics and charts that could be thrown in with all these great ideas. A cool fact you may not catch a first glance: 2.8 million e-mails are sent every second!

India Innovation – USB 3.0 from Bangalore

Yes you are reading it right, a Bangalore based company has just developed the next generation USB standard called SuperSpeed USB 3.0 completely out of Bangalore. Arrow Devices is the company and is a start up based in Bangalore. According to their website, USB 3.0 design transfers data at 5 Gbps, and is 10 times more faster than existing USB Standard. The new standard has proven to transfer a high definition movie file in under 2 minutes versus 14 minutes taken by traditional USB implementations.

The USB 3.0 IP provides a configurable number of Bulk, Interrupt or Isochronous In/Out Endpoints. They also provide DMA controllers which can be used along with their IP in order to build applications that use the USB 3.0 device controller. We can interface to a variety of system buses. The company has bagged Nvidia, one of the top-5 semiconductor companies in the world as a customer for this chip design.

Started in 2008, the company plans to license their design to chip manufacturers for fabrication. As far as USB 3.0 is concerned, the next generation USB standard is expected to hit the market in the coming year, though companies like Intel have clearly stated that they will not support USB 3.0 until 2011.

Checking their website, it looks like the company is based out of a residence, in RT Nagar in Bangalore. I know some of you who will be excited just to know that. Innovation in India is growing, and we are the lucky ones getting a chance to witness India’s growth agian in the industry.

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Mirror Mirror on the wall who is the healthiest of them all

From the time when the first Fairy Tales were written, it has been imagined that the Mirror might provide more than just a skin deep reflection of one’s self. Although science has been forecasting this in many ways, it’s been a bit of a challenge in terms of achieving it. Concept videos showing Automated Homes of the future always use the Mirror as a good place to place information for the user to see, as this seems to be something that nearly everyone looks into at least once in the morning when they are freshening up after they wake up.

The concept of using the Mirror as a screen for more than just the reflection of the person in front of it has been used by Advertising companies in many locations, in Dubai Deira City center is a good example in Bangalore Mantri Mall is a good example too where there are screens at the back of the mirrors which are visible only when they are operational, else they tend to be like a normal mirror. I also had a chance to implement one of these solutions in Le Reve tower in Dubai, where every bathroom connected to the master bedroom has the facility to use the screen behind the mirror for morning news and things like that.

Now a new innovation from a graduate student from MIT, has enabled to produce a low cost Medical Mirror. This Medical Mirror can measure and display several health indicators such as the pulse and blood pressure of a person standing in front of it. The Student Ming-Zher Poh modified an ordinary webcam and it can now study a human face and measure the brightness variations produced by blood flow thorough the vessels in the face. What makes this innovation even more interesting is the fact that since it just uses a normal modified webcam it will be low cost, meaning affordable to many. And if you are wondering about the accuracy of the device, apparently this new webcam based system performed as well as medical devices approved by the American FDA (Food and Drugs Authority). Variations to this device with more diagnostics will spawn out, and the future of looking deeper than just the skin will become a reality.

Check out the video with an explanation from the inventor himself.

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Virtual Wire – Indian Technology for well going wireless

While Indian Outsourcing was turning from a boon to a curse in the west considering the public outcry over it; the focus of the world was on the call centers and the BPO industries in India that they believed were taking over a lot of the jobs from the west. And in the mean time India turned into a powerful R&D machine. This somewhat has caught the west unaware, and is bringing these sparks of genius that are making us Indians proud. Today, I would like to bring ahead another such an innovation that is sprouting out of India.

After phones and laptops, it’s time for plasma television, video game consoles and DVD players to learn to link up without wires. Vishal Chandra, the 29-year-old chief executive of Virtual Wire Technologies and his colleagues from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, (IIT-D) say they are two years away from developing a new generation of chips that will provide a wireless link from the sleek television set mounted on your drawing room wall to the desktop computer in your study, all within Rs2,000 or <AED 200.

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3 Innovative ways to kill Mosquitoes in India

and another two from other countries

Its the Monsoon season in India, and whether you like it or not, there are mosquitoes in India. The age old methods of killing them off or making sure that they will not cause any harm are always there, but like I said, they are age old. It is time for the Mosquito to face new technologies as well. I mean if you were a mosquito and were trying to suck on human blood, it is clear that the age old coils and the mats are the weapons that humans have against you. Its time we make the Mosquitoes realise that we have actually improved.

The problem of Mosquitoes is not only in India but in a lot of developing countries in the World, innovation and innovative solutions have been a real issue in this field, even the likes of Bill Gates has got into trying to find a solution for Malaria and eradication of the Mosquitoes in Africa through the Bill and Melinda foundation. But Bangalore based companies seem to be having an edge over the competition when it comes to fighting this prehistoric menace. Here are some solutions that are available.

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“iPad Killers” from India

The Indian consumer electronics industry is going through a bit of a overhaul. From “Indian” Mobile Phones to various innovative gadgets, the Indian Electronics Industry is definitely giving a good fight to the international players in India like the Nokia’s, the Samsung’s, the LG’s and the likes. It was all play nice, we are the new kids on the block, until they started to make a dent in the markets of these guys. Most of us know that Nokia has not been performing in the smart phone segment, the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer has its strength in the low cost mobile sector, and that is now being challenged by the likes of Maxx Mobiles,Karbon Mobiles, MicroMax and others.

But looks like Indian Companies are not just happy with making a dent. They are now going for the Mother load, Apple and the likes. If you have been reading this blog for a while, you will know about my obsession with the Innovation in India as well as a bit of a hatred with the iPad. What sparked off this post is actually a re look into the Indian Pioneer who decided to take on the Pi, Infibeam. And what surprised me was that they have an iPad lookalike ready, running both Android and Windows as optional. Yes, you did hear that right ! I thought it would make a nice look at these so called, “iPad Killers” from India. So, here goes.

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4 new Gadgets for our everyday lives (kitchens)

Most gadgets aim for that cool factor in our lives and try to replace something thats already there. Be it your new phone or your new laptop. But most innovations seem to be circling around the devices that allow us to communicate, connect and entertain. However, the beginning of gadgets in general used to be panned around making things easy with our way of life, like the heater, the fridge, the microwave etc.

Innovations in that field these days seem far apart and few in between. To allow engineers and innovators to re look at our lives and find what can improve the general quality of life Electrolux organizes an annual event where they give innovators to come up with unique gadgets for just that. At the end of the contest 4 gadgets are chosen to be worked upon by Electrolux. These are the finalists from this year.

1. External Refrigerator

2. Dismount Washer (On wall washing machine)

3.Big Robot Refrigerator

4. Eco Cleaner

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Your wallet may soon disappear into your phone

Personally being involved in many discussions, I believe that mos people interested in technology have at some time or the other wondered about the integration of your wallet into your mobile. I am talking about payments to be done through the mobile, or use he mobile as your ID card ? Well if the tech giants of the world have anything to say, it might happen more sooner than you might think. After replacing many of the small gadgets that you might use, and provide additional functionality into the phone like, camera (Check out 18 innovative uses of that phone camera here) , FM Transmitter and receiver, gaming device and many more; the phone giants staring with Apple are now looking to completely replace your wallet into your mobile.

This magic technology is called NFC or near field communication. Although the possibility of doing this has been evident for a long time using RFID tags, its just now. But NFC is coming over in a big way to a mobile near you; all courtesy to Apple. Yes, we know people are suckers for anything Steve Jobs seems to be making and selling including the ridiculous iPad. Getting back to Near Field Communication …

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India Report Card for Technology 2010 – Part 2

In my previous post I tried to show some of the posts that I had done in relation to India, Innovation and overall progress. I would like to continue down the line on some of the amazing innovations in the sub continent for this year that I have not written about. And the look of the improvements in technology is reaching far more than just the shores of India but also abroad. The so called “sleeping Tiger” from India is awakening, and putting aside the likes of Notion Ink Adam, and PI, there are many more innovations coming out of the sub continent worth mentioning.

In part 1 of the report card I highlighted most of the advancements that I reported in this blog. In part 2 we will look at the other part. The focus here is the government and how they have been instrumental in the introduction of new technology in the Indian Industry. When the government wakes, the country will be much stronger, but alas the government is waking like a guy with hangover not knowing what to do, without direction and focus. But what is heartening to see is that there is a change and the government is responding.

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iClone – Better than the iPhone

No I am not going to be talking about the Android phones and how awesome they are, although they are. Neither am I going to talk about the N8 which might be Nokia’s sorry attempt at reviving the smartphone (Although its not the fault of the hardware, its the Symbian). I am talking about genuine clones of the iPhone and how they provide in some cases a better phone than what is considered now the holy grail of mobile phones. Cut to, China.

One of my previous colleagues from China used to tell me all the time, you throw anything into Shanghai, and they will throw 2 clones back, one a cheap one and another inexpensive one. The inexpensive one is the one of interest as more often than not, they also come with many additional features.

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