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 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 (

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

Scosche Intros New Chargers

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Scosche launches a selection of mobile device chargers at CTIA 2012-- including the reVOLT USB port charger range.

ChargerThe reVOLT H4 and H4 Pro chargers feature four 10W (2.1A) USB ports for speedy mobile device charging. The H4 Pro also includes a micro-USB cable and an Apple 30-pin connector adapter.

The company also announces the reCOIL II car charger-- a 2.1A charger with a retractable cable for use with iDevices.

Finally Android devices get a micro-USB version of the flipCHARGe burst backup battery, providing an emergency burst of up to 30% of full device power.

Go Scosche Chargers

Wearable Displays Get SMART

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 SMART Glasses

Wearable displays have often been referred to as "Head Mounted Displays" because of their bulky size and clunky appearance. Now Vuzix launches SMART Glasses Technology after years of internal development and a recent licensing deal with Nokia.

SMART Glasses Technology starts with a compact display engine capable of high contrast and brightness for outdoor use. The output is then relayed into a 1.4 mm thick polymer waveguide lens with input and output hologram structures on the surface which squeezes the light down the waveguide and then 2-dimensionally expands the image back into the user’s eye.