Accessories

The Thinnest Mobile Charger Yet?

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Do your customers fear running out of mobile device power at the wort possible time? Proporta suggests the TurboCharger Pocket Power for such emergencies-- a charger small enough to fit in a wallet.

TurboCharger Pocket PowerThe Pocket Power measures 90 x 54 x 7mm and "packs a surprisingly high amount of power" according to the company. It has 680mAh capacity, and Proporta claims the Pocket Power can charge a Samsung Galaxy S3 by 23%, a Kindle 4 by 50%, an iPhone 4S by 34% and the Google Nexus 7 by 11%.

Charging comes through micro USB port (with an adapter for Apple devices). LED lights indicate the amount of charge left.

Go TurboCharger Pocket Power

Microsoft Hardware Group Gets Windows 8-Ready

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With Windows 8 to launch in October, your customers will want upgrades on their Microsoft peripherals selection: for example, wireless and tablet-friendly keyboards and mice.

Windows 8 AccessoriesMost interesting are the Wedge Touch Mouse and Keyboard-- Bluetooth-enabled compact devices with Windows 8 features (such as shortcut keys) and pleasing industrial design.

The Wedge Touch Mouse features 4-way scrolling and Bluetrack technology, allowing customers to use it on any surface. Meanwhile the Wedge Keyboard has a removable cover that doubles as a multi-angle (via centre joint) tablet stand and a set of hotkeys for launching Windows 8 menu functions.

The Explorer Touch Mouse and Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 get an update, and are now the Sculpt Touch Mouse and Sculpt Mobile Keyboard-- thanks to extra Windows 8 functions and a change of Windows logo.

Microsoft 8 keyboard

For 30 years, the Microsoft Hardware Group has successfully sold PC peripherals, a fact that many observers forget when they argue the software giant has little or no experience in hardware.  In the rat race to sell mice and keyboards, Microsoft succeeds in selling brand and product quality against the The Horde of cheap, brand-less Asian manufacturers. This is a tour de force equal to HP holding the number one position in printers.

Go Microsoft Hardware Delivers on Windows 8

The Shrinking iPhone 5 Connector?

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Will Apple accessory sellers get an additional revenue boost through the iPhone 5? According to Reuters the iPhone 5 will carry a new, smaller version of the now-ubiquitous Apple dock connector.

small iphone connectorTwo anonymous sources of the "familiar with the matter" variety say the iPhone 5 will ship with a 19-pin connector instead of the proprietary 30-pin port, in order to "make room for the earphone moving the bottom."

The 30-pin Apple port might be something of an icon, but it also takes space-- being 21mm wide, it is much larger than the likes of microUSB, which offers more power in less space.

The change might annoy the Apple faithful, but it also means extra business in the shape of a whole new iDevice accessory ecosystem. Canalys remarks a change in connector dock "represents an opportunity for accessory vendors."

Chinese accessory makers are already making iPhone cases fitting the supposed new design, complete with earphone socket on the bottom and a "guarantee" of correct dimensions.

Rumours on smaller connector docks are nothing new-- back in May 2012 9to5Mac.com presented photos of "next-gen metal iPhone backs," also with a smaller connector device and bottom earphone socket... as well as what looks like a, different, taller display.

We will know what the new iPhone looks like once Apple actually reveals the thing (probably?) around October 2012.

Go What's Up Dock? Apple to Shrink iPhone 5 Connector (Reuters)

Go Next Gen Metal iPhone Backs Photos (9to5Mac.com)

Mobile Charging, via T-Shirts

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In the future chargers will not only be part of our lives-- they will be part of our wardrobes, as Xiadong Li from the University of South Carolina proposes a means turning a cotton T-shirt into a source of electric power.

tshirt researchers Li and research partner Lihong Bao even provide the recipe on how to do exactly that. Get a cheap cotton T-shirt, soak it in a flouride solution, dry it, then bake it in an oxygen-free environment (in order to avoid charring or burning) at a high temperature.

The treatment transforms the cotton fibres making the T-shirt into an "activated carbon textile"-- a flexible material that acts as a double-layer capacitor (or supercapacitor) capable of storing electrical charges.

One can also enhance the electrode performance of the fabric further by coating individual carbonised fabric fibres with 1nm-thick manganese oxide "nanoflowers," creating a "stable, high-performing supercapacitor."

The final hybrid fabric not only stores electric charges-- according to researchers it is also resilient, as performance doesn't diminish by more than -5% even after thousands of charges.

"By stacking these supercapacitors up, we should be able to charge portable electronic devices such as cell phones," Li continues.

The process of activated carbon creation is both cheap and green, since other methods involve oil or other non-environmentally friendly chemicals as starting materials.

Maybe in the future we will not simply carry mobile chargers around-- we will be actually wearing them.

Go Clothing the Body Electric: Fabric in Modified T-Shirt Can Store Electrical Charge

Ebode Intros Bluetooth Sound

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Bluetooth speakerEbode Electronics launches the Bluetooth Sound product group with a small wireless Bluetooth speaker ideal for use with mobile devices.

Weighing just 120g, the Bluetooth speaker has 10m RF range, frequency response of 100Hz-20KHz and loudspeaker output of 3W. It pairs with devices using Bluetooth V2.1.

Ebode says the battery provides up to 8 hours of music, with 1 month of standby time.

Go Ebode Electronics