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Tesla Plans Three More Gigafactories

February 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Tesla is making plans for a total of five Gigafactories, where it will manufacture solar panels and battery systems for both its electric vehicles and for home and commercial energy storage.

“Later this year, we expect to finalize locations for Gigafactories 3, 4 and possibly 5,” the company stated in a letter to shareholders.

Tesla has already begun installing Model 3 manufacturing equipment in its Fremont, Calif. plant and at Gigafactory 1 in Reno, Nev. It’s first Gigafactory is already producing battery cells for its energy storage products, the Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2; they have the same form-factor as the cells that will be used in Model 3 sedan, the company said.

Tesla’s Gigafactory 2 is located in Buffalo, N.Y. and is expected to open in the second half of 2017, when it will begin production of solar panels and shingles.

Ahead of the launch of its Model 3 sedan later this year, Tesla is planning to re-engineer and expand its manufacturing operations as it anticipates a major uptick in sales of its most affordable all-electric car, it said. The news of the shareholder letter was first reported in The Verve.

This month, Tesla began building Model 3 prototypes; it plans to begin production of the sedan, which has a base price of $35,000, in mid-2017, the company said.

Tesla expects to produce about 5,000 EVs per week in the fourth quarter of 2017 and plans to increase that number to 10,000 per week in 2018.

“Initial crash test results have been positive, and all Model 3-related sourcing is on plan to support the start of production in July,” Tesla said in its letter. “Model 3 vehicle development, supply chain and manufacturing are on track to support volume deliveries in the second half of 2017.”

PC Pricing Continue To Rise, Highest Increase Since 2011

February 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

PC prices are headed upward due to a shortage of a number of components, and the situation isn’t expected to change in the coming quarters.

A shortage of DRAM, SSDs, batteries, and LCDs have conspired to drive up PC prices, Gianfranco Lanci, corporate president and chief operating officer at Lenovo, said during an earnings call last Thursday. It’s difficult to pin a number on the price increase because of the number of PC configurations available.

The cost of purchasing these components is going up, which is triggering PC prices to also rise, said Lanci, a PC industry veteran. The shortage of components like memory will continue, Lanci said.

As component supplies shrink, PC prices will rise, said Mikako Kitagawa, an analyst at Gartner. Moreover, PC makers are raising prices to squeeze more profits out of the shrinking PC market, Kitagawa said.

The PC buyer profile is also changing, with gamers and millennials willing to spend more money on PCs.

That’s changing the mix of laptops, desktops, and 2-in-1s being shipped by PC makers, who are focused on selling higher-priced products that can deliver better margins.

But low-cost PCs won’t go away, Kitagawa said. There will always be cheap laptops available, though those markets aren’t growing and not attractive to PC makers.

Basic configurations of PCs remain affordable, but some PC makers are limiting customization, forcing users to buy additional components in certain configurations.

 

A chart shown at an Intel investor conference last week showed PC selling prices reaching its highest since 2011, when a decline in PC shipments started.

Intel is also selling chips at higher prices, which is adding to PC costs. Intel PC chip prices went up by 7 percent in 2016, but the company also sold more Core i7 chips as sales of gaming and VR systems increased.

Analyst firm TrendForce predicted SSD prices would go up in the first quarter of this year, continuing a trend from the previous quarters. SSD adoption, as a replacement for hard drives, is growing, but the supply of NAND flash has tightened, which is driving up prices.

The price of DRAM is also going up because of shortages. Memory is a boom-or-bust market and extremely volatile with prices falling drastically when DRAM floods the market.

PC DRAM prices went up by 30 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to the third quarter, TrendForce said in a statement this week.

TrendForce is predicting that DRAM prices may increase by up to 40 percent in the first quarter, due to undersupply. The news isn’t any better looking forward.

“Rising prices are expected for the second quarter as well,” said Avril Wu, research director of DRAMeXchange, which is a part of TrendForce and tracks component pricing.

Is The iPhone 8 Going Qi?

February 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Long-standing rumors surrounding the possibility of wireless charging being a hot feature in Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8 this year are now receiving some confirmation, thanks to the company’s recent decision to join the 213-member Wireless Power Consortium group.

Based on the wireless industry group’s website last week, Apple has been officially listed as one of the latest members to take part in and promote the widespread adoption of the Qi wireless interface standard, which has been used for wireless charging across a number of products.

Early last year, we wrote that the company had filed a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (July 2015) describing a near-field magnetic resonance (NFMR) power supply arranged to provide wireless power to a number of devices over 1 meter in distance. With the basic concept in physics being that the efficiency of power transfer decreases with distance, the company was said to be developing an aluminum casing for its upcoming iPhone devices that would allow RF waves to pass through from the wireless charging receiver and through a window made from a non-conductive material.

Qi wireless charging more likely than long-range RF for upcoming iPhone 8

But with recent developments in the industry, the possibility of long-range RF charging coming to this year’s iPhone now seem more distant as the company is more likely to adopt the Qi inductive coupling method instead. During CES, a source within Apple’s supply chain partnered with Energous, a company that develops RF-based charging solutions, and this was the first evidence that the more long-range solution featuring transmitters for the home, car and office would make its way into the hands of consumers in 2017. Unfortunately, Energous then announced that plans changed after a “key strategic partnership” was made with another partner, which will now be the first to ship the technology inside its own mobile devices.

While it appears Apple was indeed focused on developing a long-range charging method for its mobile devices, some analysts now point out that it needed to bring a practical solution to the market sooner in order to avoid a potential missed feature that has become standard in the Android community for at least 24 months.

“The success of wireless charging adoption from Apple’s competitors is something that Apple can no longer ignore,” says analyst Vicky Yussuff at IHS Technology. “Consumer survey data shows over 90% of consumers want wireless charging on their next device.”

Although Apple already uses the Qi standard in its watch, which was released in Q4 2015, it is unclear whether the upcoming iPhone will use the full specifications of the technology, as its smartwatch currently uses a modified version that only works with its own chargers.

Nevertheless, the fact that Apple is now an active member of the Wireless Power Consortium allows it to participate and contribute knowledge and ideas to a community responsible for developing some of the world’s more readily available wireless charging standards. The company says “it looks forward to working together with the WPC and its members,” according to a statement given to BusinessInsider.

Courtesy-Fud

S. Korea To Tighten Battery Safety Regulations After Galaxy Note Fires

February 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

In the aftermath of the Note7 fiasco, South Korea is introducing new tests and regulations to ensure battery and smartphone safety, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) said.

The new measures will include requiring manufacturers to certify the safety of lithium-ion batteries based on new technologies in the process of production.

The announcement Monday by MOTIE also agrees with the analysis by Samsung Electronics and some experts on the cause of the overheating and even explosions of some Galaxy Note7 smartphones.

Samsung, backed by experts from Exponent, TUV Rheinland and UL, said in January that the overheating of some Note7 phones was likely caused by the faulty design and manufacturing of batteries by two suppliers, rather than by the design of the smartphone itself.

An investigation by MOTIE affiliate Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) also found that a combination of flaws in battery design and manufacturing processes “were highly likely” to cause fires, as “no particular abnormalities were observed in the smartphone devices,” MOTIE said in a statement.

KATS, for example, found damages by fire in the negative electrode close to the positive tab in a considerable number of batteries, according to the ministry.

Following reports of overheating of the phones, Samsung announced a recall of the Note7 in early September. But the replacement phones, which had batteries from another supplier, were also found to show the same problems, prompting the company to expand the recall to all Note7 devices and to kill the product. The recall involved about 3 million phones, Samsung said.

The South Korean government is now planning to introduce more types of tests and request sample products from manufacturers when needed. By October it plans to modify the enforcement part of a local rule, the Electrical Appliances and Consumer Products Safety Control Act. It will be consulting with industry and consumer groups to reduce the impact of the new regulations on market competition.

HP Expands Recall Of Laptop Batteries Over Fire Hazards

January 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

HP is expanding its recall of laptop batteries that can overheat and cause computer damage as well as spark a fire.

The company is recalling an additional 101,000 batteries in some laptops sold between March 2013 through October 2016. This is an expansion of the recall initiated in June 2016, which involved HP’s recalling 41,000 batteries.

The batteries are in laptop brands including HP, Compaq, ProBook, Envy, Compaq Presario and Pavilion laptops. Battery packs sold separately are also affected.

Batteries are being recalled in the U.S, Canada and Mexico. Most are in the U.S., while 3,000 are being recalled in Canada, and 4,000 in Mexico. The laptops were sold through big-box retailers and online.

You may need to check that your battery is eligible for recall. The batteries are black and should have the bar codes 6BZLU, 6CGFK, 6CGFQ, 6CZMB, 6DEMA, 6DEMH, 6DGAL or 6EBVA printed on the back of the battery.

Users can also download software from HP’s recall website to check if the battery qualifies for a recall. In the U.S., users can call HP customer service at 1-888-202-4320 to request a replacement battery.

Overall, HP received one report of a laptop catching fire in Canada, and eight reports of the battery overheating, catching fire or melting in the U.S. In one case, HP received a report of the “battery overheating, melting and charring and causing about $1,000 in property damage,” according to a statement issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

In Canada, HP received one report of a laptop catching fire, but no one was injured, according to a statement issued by Health Canada.

U.S. Agency Pushes For Safer Lithium-ion Batteries

January 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Safety standards for lithium-ion batteries should be updated following a massive recall of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd phones after faulty batteries caused fires, a U.S. government agency said on Tuesday.

“Consumers should never have to worry that a battery-powered device might put them, their family or their property at risk,” Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Elliot Kaye said in a statement.

The agency reached agreement with Samsung to recall 2.5 million Note 7 phones in early September. While most recalls have a “dangerously low” consumer response rate, 97 percent of Samsung’s Note 7 phones have been returned, Kaye said.

 The U.S. consumer-safety regulator and Samsung are working with the industry to update the voluntary standard for lithium-ion batteries in smartphones, the commission said.

“At a minimum, industry needs to learn from this experience and improve consumer safety by putting more safeguards in place during the design and manufacturing stages to ensure that technologies run by lithium-ion batteries deliver their benefits without the serious safety risks,” Kaye said.

Samsung Profits Rise By 20%, Despite Galaxy Note 7 Problems

January 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Samsung Electronics announced that its profit increased by nearly 20 percent in 2016 despite nearly flat sales and the costly recall of the Note 7 smartphone.

The company reported an annual net profit of 22.7 trillion won ($19.5 billion), up 19.2 percent, on sales of 201.9 trillion won (US$173.5 billion), up just 0.6 percent.

Samsung saw some of its biggest sales gains in memory chips on the back of strong demand from smartphone makers. The company is one of the world’s biggest memory chip manufacturers.

The mobile division saw sales fall 3 percent in 2016 to 97.8 trillion won. It’s Samsung’s biggest division by sales and was hit by the recall of the Note 7 smartphone and slowing demand for high-end phones.

A day earlier, Samsung divulged that battery problems were to blame for the fires and explosions that led to the massive recall. It said batteries from two manufacturers suffered from internal problems that caused a short circuit and fire.

Looking ahead, Samsung said it expects the smartphone market to slow down while artificial intelligence services present a new business opportunity. To date, Samsung handsets have featured Google’s AI personal assistant, but the company reportedly is developing its own assistant.

Samsung also signaled that it plans to boost the competitiveness of its mid-to-low-end smartphones by adding features that were previously only available in more expensive models.

In the consumer electronics business, sales barely rose but profit more than doubled to 2.6 trillion won. Samsung said it sees high-end QLED televisions and large-screen 4K televisions as key to growth in 2017. It will also attempt to expand the business-to-business side of its home appliance division.

 

New Samsung Galaxy S Smartphone Launch May Be Delayed

January 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has hinted that its latest flagship Galaxy S smartphone may be delayed as it pledged to enhance product safety following an investigation into the cause of fires in its premium Note 7 devices.

Wrapping up its months-long probe, the world’s top smartphone maker said faulty batteries from two suppliers were to blame for a product failure that wiped $5.3 billion off its operating profit.

Samsung mobile chief Koh Dong-jin said procedures had been put in place to avoid a repeat of the fires as the South Korean firm prepares to launch the Galaxy S8, its first premium handset since the Note 7’s demise.

 “The lessons of this incident are deeply reflected in our culture and process,” Koh told reporters at a press briefing. “Samsung Electronics will be working hard to regain consumer trust.”

Koh said the Galaxy S8 would not be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona beginning Feb. 27, the traditional forum for Galaxy S series launches. He did not comment on when the company planned to launch the handset, though analysts expect it to start selling by April.

Investors have said Samsung needs to reassure consumers that it is on top of the Note 7 problem and can be trusted to fix it.

Samsung’s reputation took a hammering after it announced a recall of fire-prone Note 7s, only for reports to emerge that replacement devices also caught fire. Images of melted Samsung devices spread on social media and airlines banned travellers from carrying them on flights.

The handset, Samsung’s answer to Apple Inc’s iPhones, was withdrawn from sale in October less than two months after its launch, in one of the biggest failures in tech history.

Samsung said later on Monday it has not decided whether to reuse parts in the recovered Note 7s or resell any recalled phones. A person familiar with the matter told Reuters reselling some Note 7s as refurbished phones was an option.

Researchers Show How Heartbeats Can Be Used As Passwords

January 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Researchers at Binghamton State University in New York believes your heart could be the vital to your personal data. By measuring the electrical activity of the heart, researchers say they can encrypt patients’ health records.

The fundamental idea is this: In the future, all patients will be outfitted with a wearable device, which will continuously collect physiological data and transmit it to the patients’ doctors. Because electrocardiogram (ECG) signals are already collected for clinical diagnosis, the system would simply reuse the data during transmission, thus reducing the cost and computational power needed to create an encryption key from scratch.

“There have been so many mature encryption techniques available, but the problem is that those encryption techniques rely on some complicated arithmetic calculations and random key generations,” said Zhanpeng Jin, a co-author of the paper “A Robust and Reusable ECG-based Authentication and Data Encryption Scheme for eHealth Systems.”

Those encryption techniques can’t be “directly applied on the energy-hungry mobile and wearable devices,” Jin added. “If you apply those kinds of encryptions on top of the mobile device, then you can burn the battery very quickly.”

But there are drawbacks. According to Jin, one of the reasons ECG encryption has not been widely adopted is because it’s generally more sensitive and vulnerable to variations than some other biometric measures. For instance, your electrical activity could change depending on factors such as physical exertion and mental state. Other more permanent factors such as age and health can also have an effect.

“ECG itself cannot be used for a biometric authentication purpose alone, but it’s a very effective way as a secondary authentication,” Jin said.

While the technology for ECG encryption is already here, its adoption will depend on patients’ willingness to don wearables and on their comfort with constantly sharing their biometrics.

Panasonic Sets Sights On Self-driving Technology

January 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Panasonic Corp is looking to deepen its partnership with electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc beyond batteries and into self-driving technology, as the Japanese conglomerate continues pivoting towards the automotive business.

The electronics maker has placed automotive applications at the center of a growth strategy that targets corporate clients at the expense of low-margin consumer goods, where low-cost Asian rivals have diminished the dominance of Japanese firms.

Panasonic is the exclusive supplier of batteries for Tesla’s Model S, Model X and upcoming mass market Model 3, and plans to contribute $1.6 billion to Tesla’s $5 billion battery factory.

 “We are deeply interested in Tesla’s self-driving system,” Chief Executive Officer Kazuhiro Tsuga said in an interview on Thursday. “We are hoping to expand our collaboration by jointly developing devices for that, such as sensors.”

One candidate would be so-called organic photoconductive film CMOS image sensors currently under development at Panasonic, which enable high-speed sensing of moving objects without distortion, Tsuga said.

Panasonic aims to add such technology to an automotive business that also includes cockpit displays and navigation systems. It targets annual sales of 2 trillion yen ($17.43 billion) for that business in the year through March 2019, from 1.3 trillion yen in the year ended March 2016.

As well as automotive, Panasonic and Tesla work together in solar energy. The Japanese firm last month said it plans to invest more than 30 billion yen in a Tesla factory making photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules.

Tesla Ends Free Charging For New Vehicles

January 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

It will now cost new Tesla owners about $15 to complete the trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco when using the company’s Supercharging stations.

The new pricing applies only to owners who purchase their electric vehicles after this Sunday. Those who bought vehicles before Jan. 15 will continue to receive free charging, the company said.

The company this week announced that its charging costs will vary from state to state and depend on which charging “tier” a driver is using. Tier 1 pricing, which applies to cars charging at or below 60 kW per minute, will cost half as much as cars using Tier 2 charging, which applies to cars charging above 60 kW per minute. In New York, Tier 2 charging will cost 20 cents a minute and in California, it will cost 19 cents.

Cars using fast charging or Tier 2 charging can attain about a half a full vehicle charge in 30 minutes — enough to travel up to 170 miles.

Tesla announced both kilowatt hour and by-minute pricing for its Supercharger stations, and said a road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles (about 380 miles) would cost about $15. (A cross-country trip from Los Angeles to New York — about 2,800 miles — would run around $120 in charging fees.)

Tier 1 pricing also applies anytime your vehicle is sharing Supercharger power with another car. Supercharger pricing information can be viewed on the vehicle’s 17-in. touchscreen.

Tesla Model S and Model X cars ordered after Jan. 15 will receive 400 kWh (kilowatt-hour) of free Supercharging credits (roughly 1,000 miles) annually on the anniversary of their delivery.

“We carefully considered current Supercharger usage and found that 400 kWh covers the annual long-distance driving needs of the majority of our owners,” Tesla said in a blog. The company didn’t mention whether buyers of the Model 3 EV, due out in mid-2018, would also receive an annual free charging credit.

The Model 3 will be Tesla’s most affordable EV, with a starting price of about $35,000, and was originally slated to ship at the end of this year. Preorders for it have topped 400,000.

In North America, Tesla Supercharging pricing is fixed within each state or province. Internationally, pricing is fixed within each country, Tesla said.

When fully charged, the 85 kWh Model S sedan has a range of just over 300 miles, depending on road conditions and the speed at which it’s driven, according to Tesla.

“Where possible, owners are billed per kWh (kilowatt-hour), which is the most fair and simple method. In other areas, we bill for the service per minute,” the company explained on its website.

The fees for charging could provide Tesla with as much as $175 million in revenue just in this first year, according to Trip Chowdhry, managing director of equity research for Global Equities Research.

Panasonic Develops Flexible Lithium Ion Battery

January 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Panasonic has previewed a flexible lithium ion battery fit for use in wearable devices that maintains its electrical characteristics even after repeated bending.

The battery means more freedom for designers of wearable devices, who are constrained by the need for inflexible areas to hold the battery and some electronics.

Three prototypes of the battery were on display at this week’s CES electronics show in Las Vegas. The largest is 40mm by 65mm, the medium size is 35mm by 55mm, and the smallest is 28.5mm by 39mm.

All three are just 0.45mm thick, considerably thinner than a credit card, which is 0.76mm thick. They can be bent up to a radius of 25mm or twisted to an angle of 25 degrees.

The batteries weigh just a gram or two and output 3.8 volts.

The batteries are small enough to be embedded inside credit cards or similar sized card systems. Batteries currently used in such cards degrade faster than normal because of the flexing and twisting they experience from being in a wallet.

The new batteries, which are still under development, don’t suffer from the same problems. Flexing up to the 25mm limit results in a loss of just 1 percent of capacity.

Panasonic is one of the world’s largest lithium ion battery makers. It produces cells for numerous applications, from consumer AA cells to the batteries used in electric cars. The company is in a high-profile partnership with Tesla to supply batteries for its cars from the custom built Gigafactory in Nevada.

Samsung Puts Confidence In Galaxy S8, Sets 10M Production Target

January 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has set an early production target of 10 million Galaxy S8 smartphones, South Korea’s Electronic Times reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources.

Samsung is counting on the S8 to rejuvenate sales after it scrapped the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones last year in one of the biggest product safety failures in tech history.

The firm has yet to disclose what caused some Note 7 phones to catch fire on their own.

 The newspaper said the world’s top smartphone maker would start production in March and planned to start selling them in April. Galaxy S7 phones went on sale in March last year.

Nokia Strikes Back At Apple With Latest Patent Lawsuits

December 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

nokia-hq-150x150Nokia Corp said it has filed a number of lawsuits against Apple Inc for violating 32 technology patents, striking back at the iPhone maker’s legal action targeting the one-time cellphone industry leader a day earlier.

Nokia’s lawsuits, filed in courts in Dusseldorf, Mannheim and Munich, Germany, and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, cover patents for displays, user interfaces, software, antennas, chipsets and video coding.

“Since agreeing a license covering some patents from the Nokia Technologies portfolio in 2011, Apple has declined subsequent offers made by Nokia to license other of its patented inventions which are used by many of Apple’s products,” Nokia said in a statement.

 Apple on Tuesday had taken legal action against Acacia Research Corp  and Conversant Intellectual Property Management Inc, accusing them of colluding with Nokia to extract and extort exorbitant revenues unfairly from Apple.

“We’ve always been willing to pay a fair price to secure the rights of patents covering technology in our products,” said Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock. “Unfortunately, Nokia has refused to license their patents on a fair basis and is now using the tactics of a patent troll to attempt to extort money from Apple by applying a royalty rate to Apple’s own inventions they had nothing to do with.”

Acacia and Conversant did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and Nokia was not immediately available to comment on the Apple lawsuit.

The legal action by Nokia and Apple appear to mark a revival of the “smartphone patent wars” that began five years ago, when Apple filed a series of patent infringement cases against Samsung Electronics  around the world, with wins and losses on both sides.

Apple’s lawsuit against Acacia, Conversant and Nokia was filed only one day after Ottawa-based Conversant named Boris Teksler as its new chief executive. He had worked as Apple’s director of patent licensing and strategy from 2009 to 2013, the latter half of his tenure overlapping with the lawsuits against Samsung.

Acacia is a publicly traded patent licensing firm based in Newport Beach, California. One of its subsidiaries sued Apple for patent infringement and was awarded $22 million by a Texas jury in September.

Similarly, Conversant, which claims to own thousands of patents, announced last week that a Silicon Valley jury had awarded one of its units a $7.3 million settlement in an infringement case against Apple involving two smartphone patents.

Nokia, once the world’s dominant cellphone maker, missed out on the transition to smartphones triggered by Apple’s introduction of the iPhone in 2007.

Michigan State Univ Develops Body Motion Power Generator

December 14, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

nanogenerator-1-150x150Can’t wait for the day when you don’t have to worry about carrying a charger for your cell phone or wearable device?

That day might not be as far away as you think.

Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a device they’ve dubbed a nanogenerator that lets motion charge a mobile device or a wearable.

A cell phone using this technology, for instance, would need no battery. Your own motion would provide power.

 “What I foresee, relatively soon, is the capability of not having to charge your cell phone for an entire week, for example, because that energy will be produced by your movement,” said Nelson Sepulveda, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan State University, in a written statement. “We’re on the path toward wearable devices powered by human motion.”
It’s not clear how soon the device would be ready for actual production.

According to the university, the nanogenerator is built with a silicone wafer that is then layered with films made of silver, polyimide and polypropylene ferroelectret. Then ions are added so each layer of the device has charged particles.

When the device is subjected to motion, it creates electrical energy.

The nanogenerator, which is as thin as a sheet of paper, is adaptable to different sizes and applications. Researchers have been able to use it to power an LCD touch screen, a bank of 20 LED lights and a flexible keyboard.

The device used to power the LED lights was palm-sized, for example, while the one used to power the touch screen was as small as a finger, according to the university.

Scientists said the device becomes more powerful if it’s folded.

“Each time you fold it, you are increasing exponentially the amount of voltage you are creating,” Sepulveda said in the statement. “You can start with a large device, but when you fold it once, and again, and again, it’s now much smaller and has more energy. Now it may be small enough to put in a specially made heel of your shoe so it creates power each time your heel strikes the ground.”

That energy could then be transferred from the shoe to a headset.

The device, which is still be studied, is lightweight, flexible, relatively inexpensive and scalable, the university said.

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