Has the pace of innovation been slowing down lately? We’re used to incremental improvements to the existing technology in our smartphones, but big, bold moves are much more exciting. Our expectations are higher than ever. There have been some interesting developments in the last year. Sony has brought waterproofing into the mainstream. Apple dipped a toe, or a finger, into biometrics with the fingerprint scan to unlock. Google and Motorola gave us a smartphone that’s always listening for its master’s voice. LG and Samsung have taken the first step towards a flexible future.
What might be next on the horizon? Which barriers are our intrepid research and development [...]
Researchers from the University of South Carolina have been able to convert a regular, store-bought shirt into a capacitor, which means that the very clothes we wear could, someday, power the myriad of devices we use in our everyday lives.
While wearable devices are currently iffy at best, we do carry a handful of devices on our person, including our smartphones, personal music players, and to some extent, tablets. Noting that electronics are fast becoming part of our wardrobe, a team led by the USC’s Xiaodong Li and Lihong Bao are experimenting on ways how fabric can act as flexible energy sources for devices.
One day our cotton T-shirts could have more [...]