The Frisbee/"Amplifier" Combo

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FlitunesAre your customers forced to choose between buying either a portable media player amplifier or... a frisbee? ThumbsUp suggests they can do both, with the Fli Tunes flying disk/amplifier combo.

Apparently the "craziest trend that’s taking off all over Europe this summer" (not that we can tell from the miserable weather currently all over the continent), the Fli Tunes is little more than a hollow plastic disc in which one can put an phone, speaker or player.

ThumbsUp claims the gadget amplifies sound "doublefold" before one flattens it for a bit of flying disk fun. Err.

Go Fli Tunes

A Robot to Clean your... Mobile Displays

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Customers complaining about all the man hours they waste cleaning smartphones and tablets? No more-- Japan's Takara Tomy has an adorable mechanised solution with the "AutoMee S."

Automee SLooking like a palm-sized Roomba robot, the AutoMee S trundles on 5 tires (3 for maneuvers, 2 for cleaning) over devices, with sensors making sure the little robot does not fall off the edges while performing its duties.

Takara Tomy says the robot takes 4 minutes to clean a smartphone and 8 minutes for a tablet, and it even makes a "cute" sound once finished. Too bad the company denies responsbilities for potential damages to devices or their software...

The AutoMee S will be available in Japan from March 2013, with no mention of an international launch. No lie, we kind of want one.

Go AutoMee S

The Future of Batteries is Flexible

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Korean scientists claim to to make a breakthrough in materials allowing the creation of flexible li-on batteries-- developments that might lead to the creation of flexible electronics and bendy mobile phones. 

Flexible BatteryThe bendable batteries use "fluid-like polymer electrolytes" instead of traditional liquid electrolytes poured into cases. According to the Korean Science Ministry fluid-like electrolytes are not only flexible but also more stable, reducing explosion risks.

Creating such batteries simply involves spreading fluid-like electrolytes on electrodes ("just like spreading jam on bread") and 30 seconds of exposure to UV rays. 

The team will publish the findings in the Advanced Materials journal later this year. 

Mobile phone makers have been toying with flexible devices and displays for a while now-- at CES 2013 Samsung revealed the "Youm" flexible OLED series, while the "Nokia Kinetic Device" made headlines back at Nokia World 2011.

Go Scientists Build First Bendable Battery (Korea Joongang Daily)

Nokia Goes DIY for Custom Lumia Back Covers

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Remember how Nokia used to offer removable plastic back covers in different colours for its phones? The Lumia 820 sees a return to those simpler days-- if in DIY 3D printing form. 

Lumia 820Customers with access to a 3D printer can get all the files and documentation required ("3D templates, case specs, recommended materials and best practices") in what Nokia calls the "3D Printing Development Kit" (3DK). 

Users without such equipment can, of course, just buy Nokia-made back covers in different colours, as well as covers offering ruggedised or wireless charging capabilities. 

Nokia first introduced customisation to its phones around 15 years ago with the Nokia 5110 (aka 5120 in America). How times change, right?

Go Everything You Need to Know About the Lumia 820 and 3D Printing

Apple Device Docks at CES

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Henge Docks reveals two docking stations ideal for Apple customers at CES 2013-- the Horizontal Dock for MacBook laptops and the Gravitas Dock for iDevices.

Henge DocksDesigned for use with either MacBook Pro or Air models, the Horizontal Dock expands laptop connectivity options to x3 external displays, x6 USB 3.0 ports, x2 audio devices, Ethernet, SD card and FireWire 800 port. It also adds further physical security through a Kensington lock.

Docking laptops involves a 4-point positioning system for properly alignmen with the device, while a simple button press takes care of undocking.

The dock weighs 2.5kg with an Apple-style solid metal chassis and should be available from Q3 2013, with a Thunderbolt version set for a Q4 release.

Meanwhile the Gravitas Dock is an all-metal device with 7.6cm diameter and 5cm height. All-metal construction makes it weigh nearly 1kg, providing stability to docked devices and single-handed undocking.

Available in either Lightning or 30-pin connector versions, the Gravitas features a USB port and audio line-out as well as 3 interchangeable inserts handling different iDevices and 3rd party cases. It should be available from Q2 2013.

Go Henge Docks