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charlesarthur : wireless   20

Exclusive: Intel launches blockbuster auction for its mobile portfolio • IAM
Richard Lloyd:
<p>In what looks set to become one of the highest profile patent sales in years, Intel has put its IP relating to cellular wireless connectivity on the auction block. The company is seeking to divest around 8,500 assets from its massive portfolio.

The news comes as the chip giant searches for a buyer for its 5G smartphone modem business having announced in April that it was pulling out of the market. That was after as it had become increasingly clear that the company, which has been the supplier of 4G modem chips to Apple for the last few years, was struggling to release a 5G product even though the rollout of the next generation of mobile technology is well underway.

The auction offering is comprised of two parts: the cellular portfolio and a connected device portfolio. The former includes approximately 6,000 patent assets related to 3G, 4G and 5G cellular standards and an additional 1,700 assets that read on wireless implementation technologies. The latter is made up of 500 patents with broad applicability across the semiconductor and electronics industries.</p>


Not quite a fire sale, but there isn't anything left of the building now that Apple isn't going to buy 5G modems from it.
intel  wireless  modem  patent  5g 
7 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Thoughts and observations on Apple’s iPhone XS/XR and Series 4 Apple Watch introductory event • Daring Fireball
John Gruber:
<p>AIRPOWER: I wrote about AirPower’s absence earlier this week. What I’ve heard, third-hand but from multiple little birdies, is that AirPower really is well and truly fucked. Something about the multi-coil design getting too hot — way too hot. There are engineers who looked at AirPower’s design and said it could never work, thermally, and now those same engineers have that “told you so” smug look on their faces. Last year Apple was apparently swayed by arguments that they could figure out a way to make it not get hot. They were, clearly, wrong. I think they’ve either had to go completely back to the drawing board and start over with an entirely different design, or they’ve decided to give up and they just don’t want to say so.</p>


I'd love to see an analysis from someone who knows about Qi charging (which Apple uses) on why AirPower was overreaching, but I can completely believe that this has turned out to be too risky because of heat. In the meantime you could always get this <a href="https://www.indiegogo.com/products/gazepad-pro-wireless-charging-mouse-pad">wireless charging mouse mat</a> ($39, one-week shipping) - which looks quite a lot like AirPower.
wireless  qi  airpower  charging 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
Apple tries to wipe AirPower from history • ZDNet
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes:
<p>A year ago during the iPhone X unveiling Apple announced AirPower - an all-in-one wireless charger for the iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods. The product never shipped, and today it seems that Apple has scrubbed almost all traces of it off its website.

At the time of writing this is the only reference to AirPower I can find on Apple's website:

So what happened to AirPower?

Well, while only Apple really knows (and at the time of writing Apple hasn't responded to a request for information), it seems like the product was vaporware and that the promise of an all-in-one charger has died.

I can't think off the top of my head of another product that Apple has announced at a major event and then failed to deliver, which suggests that some things are beyond the reach of even a company as powerful as Apple.

Over the past few weeks I've spoken to a number of sources in the accessories and charging business, and they all claim that not only was AirPower too ambitious, Apple had made the job of developing an all-in-one charger all the more difficult by using differing wireless charging protocols for the iPhone and the Apple Watch.</p>

Many people asked Apple about AirPower on Wednesday, and all were rebuffed with "nothing to say at this time", formally, and nothing off the record.

Three options:
- it's too difficult (different wireless charging methods between phone, Watch and AirPods);<br />- it's too dangerous: lithium batteries are prone to do odd things, and wireless charging heats them up a lot;<br />- it's too energy-inefficient, and Apple was burnishing its green credentials on Wednesday with talk about its renewable energy and so on.

There's a faint chance it will appear in October, but I'm increasingly convinced that something Really Bad about risk turned up in testing.
Airpower  charging  wireless  qi 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
The Pixel 3 will be the first Pixel to get wireless charging • BGR
Chris Smith:
<p>We haven’t had wireless charging on Google phones in years, with the 2014 Nexus 6 being the last Nexus phone to support it. At the time Google said that fast USB-C charging would more than make up for the lack of wireless charging.

But now, we finally have confirmation that the Pixel 3’s battery can be recharged wirelessly.

Why the sudden change of heart? Google will probably explain it all during the Pixel event later this year. But let’s remember that, last year, Apple launched the first iPhone models that do wireless charging out of the box. So it was not surprising to see rumors saying that Pixel 3 phones would also support wireless charging. After all, the Pixel 3 XL does copy the iPhone X notch, and Google copied the iPhone X navigation gestures as well in Android Pie.

After providing Pixel 3 camera samples earlier, the same @khoroshev posted on Twitter a video in which he’s placing the Pixel 3 XL on a wireless charging device.</p>


Used to have wireless charging, then dropped it, now rediscovered it - even though you can argue that one was "Nexus" and the other is "Pixel" (but they're all Google's only phones), it's that sort of chopping and changing that makes people switch between brands if they like a feature. Only introduce it if you're going to keep it, unless you replace it with something better.
pixel  google  wireless 
august 2018 by charlesarthur
Wireless system can power devices inside the body • MIT News
Anne Trafton:
<p>MIT researchers, working with scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have developed a new way to power and communicate with devices implanted deep within the human body. Such devices could be used to deliver drugs, monitor conditions inside the body, or treat disease by stimulating the brain with electricity or light.

The implants are powered by radio frequency waves, which can safely pass through human tissues. In tests in animals, the researchers showed that the waves can power devices located 10 centimeters deep in tissue, from a distance of 1 meter.

“Even though these tiny implantable devices have no batteries, we can now communicate with them from a distance outside the body. This opens up entirely new types of medical applications,” says Fadel Adib, an assistant professor in MIT’s Media Lab and a senior author of the paper, which will be presented at the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Data Communication (SIGCOMM) conference in August.

Because they do not require a battery, the devices can be tiny. In this study, the researchers tested a prototype about the size of a grain of rice, but they anticipate that it could be made even smaller.</p>


It's a little like RFID (where the radio frequency makes the aerial "ring", generating power) but slightly more sophisticated. Though after reading John Carreyrou's book Bad Blood, about Theranos, you find that any claim of medical advance wants peer review.
wireless  medicine 
june 2018 by charlesarthur
Spires for hire in UK government broadband deal with Church of England • Bloomberg
Angelina Rascouet:
<p>The Church of England struck a deal with the UK government departments to encourage the church to “use its buildings and other property to improve broadband, mobile and wifi connectivity for local communities,” the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said in a statement on Sunday.

The accord, also involving the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, expands on an initiative that already exists in some dioceses in the UK including Chelmsford and Norwich.

“Our work has significantly improved rural access to high-speed broadband,” Bishop Stephen Cottrell of Chelmsford said in the statement.

About 65% of Anglican churches and 66% of parishes in England are in rural areas, according to the government.

The accord includes rules to ensure that any telecommunication infrastructure used doesn’t affect the character and architecture of the churches, according to the statement. The DCMS also said similar deals could be made with other religious communities.

The announcement follows last year’s pledge by the UK government that no part of the country or group in society should be without adequate connectivity, a pledge that includes the complete roll-out of 4G and superfast broadband by 2020.</p>

Would love to know if any money is changing hands here. (Fundraising for church spire maintenance is a trope of British rural life, with giant thermometers of funds raised displayed at churches, and usually woefully far from their target.) This is a good way though for companies to bypass BT's swingeing charges for use of its ducts and poles.
Broadband  wireless  church 
february 2018 by charlesarthur
Just how fast is “faster wireless charging” in iOS 11.2? • BirchTree
Matt Birchler:
<p>iOS 11.2 is currently in beta, and will be released to all iPhone and iPad users in the coming weeks, and one of the key features for iPhone 8/8 Plus/X owners is accelerated wireless charging. Previously, all wireless charging was limited to 5W, but this update will raise that limit to 7.5W. That’s a 50% increase in power on paper, but I had to know what the real world difference was.

<img src="https://i1.wp.com/birchtree.me/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Screen-Shot-2017-11-14-at-9.58.52-PM.e813a609fd004564a55d8a29171204ad.png" width="100%" />

As you can see from the graph above, the difference between wireless charging on my “fast charge” Samsung charging pad was slight. There is definitely a difference here, and if you’re already using wireless charging (and your pad supports it), then this is an undeniable win. However, if you were hoping that this would make wireless charging catch up to wired then you’re going to be very disappointed…

…Wired charging remains the fastest way to charge the iPhone in 2017, and it’s not even close. It’s popular to hate on the charger in the box, butthe stock iPhone charger gets the iPhone 8 Plus to 79% in 2 hours (68% faster) and up to 21% at the 30 minute mark (91% faster). That’s a pretty striking difference, and if speed is of the essence, it’s a much better way to get topped up fast.</p>


Wonder if Apple's AirPower will do any better.
wireless  charging 
november 2017 by charlesarthur
A startup funded by iPod creator Tony Fadell is suing Andy Rubin's new company over smartphone trade secrets • Reuters
Stephen Nellis:
<p>Keyssa has been working since 2009 on a chip for mobile phones to transfer large amounts of data without using wires or Wi-Fi connections. In August, Keyssa said it was partnering with Samsung, Foxconn parent Hon Hai Precision Industry and others to make its technology a standard feature on mobile phones.

In September, the Essential Phone was released. One of the first devices on the market to feature a wireless connector, the phone uses it to communicate with a camera accessory the company released at the same time.

Keyssa alleged in its lawsuit that Essential engaged in technology and design discussions with Keyssa for 10 months but ultimately ended the relationship. In November 2016, Essential said it would use a competing chip from SiBEAM, a division of Lattice Semiconductor, the lawsuit alleges.

Keyssa alleged that despite Essential's use of a different chip, the final Essential Phone design incorporates many of the techniques developed by Keyssa to make wireless connectors function well in a phone, from antenna designs to methods for testing phones on the manufacturing line.</p>


Headline from CNBC, but story from Reuters. Essential is really getting hit by trucks.
essential  patent  wireless 
october 2017 by charlesarthur
Want to see something crazy? Open this link on your phone with WiFi turned off • Medium
Philip Neustrom:
<p>Want to see something crazy? Open this link on your phone with WiFi turned off:
<a href="https://bit.ly/crazymobiledemo">https://bit.ly/crazymobiledemo</a>

Click “Begin,” enter the ZIP code and then click “See Underlying Data.”

What you should see is your home address, phone number, cell phone contract details, and — depending on what kind of cell phone towers you’re currently connected to — a latitude and longitude describing the current location of your cell phone…

…In 2003, news came to light that AT&T was providing the DEA and other law enforcement agencies with no-court-warrant-required access to real time cell phone metadata. This was a pretty big deal at the time.

But what these services show us is even more alarming: US telcos appear to be selling direct, non-anonymized, real-time access to consumer telephone data to third party services — not just federal law enforcement officials — who are then selling access to that data.

Given the trivial “consent” step required by these services and unlikely audit controls, it appears that these services could be used to track or de-anonymize nearly anyone with a cell phone in the United States with potentially no oversight.</p>


I haven't confirmed that this works (because I'm not in the US). But others are very worried by it.
privacy  wireless  surveillance 
october 2017 by charlesarthur
iPhone 8, Qi wireless charging, and the challenge of open • Tech.pinions
Ben Bajarin on the fact that it's easy to misalign the iPhone 8/Plus on a wireless charging pad - in which case it doesn't charge:
<p>While many third parties disliked Apple’s MFI accessory program, the guidelines Apple had in place for third parties to create accessories for their products led to consistent experiences with third-party products and Apple products. At the moment, we don’t have the same situation with Qi Wireless charging. While Apple’s embracing of the Qi standard means they will certainly get involved and help drive the standard and the technology forward, for now, Apple runs the risk of having third-party solutions not meet their standards of an accessory that will work with iPhones.

Further observations on the challenge of open ecosystems lead us to both Microsoft and Google now going full steam ahead with their own hardware roadmap. I do find it interesting that both the largest open software platforms in history have led the companies who created them into the hardware market. Both Android and Windows have such diversity in offerings that you can have a quality experience with the platform and a sub-par one all with the same software platform. Both platforms have a great deal of inconsistency in their user experience. They do try to manage this by defining the hardware and software specs as much as possible but in open systems, you can only define your standard so far and still allow your partners to differentiate. It is a double-edged sword.

I view both Microsoft’s and Google’s efforts in hardware as strong evidence of the challenge open systems create and their attempts to address those challenges and provide a “best of” experience that they hope others aspire to duplicate.</p>


OK, but in general, you do this wrong once and you don't get it wrong again. But he is right: this isn't an elegant solution at all, which is classic "open system" effects - cheaper wins.
qi  wireless  iphone 
october 2017 by charlesarthur
Why Canadian cell phone bills are among the most expensive on the planet • National Post
Tristin Hopper:
<p>The more likely reason for the high prices is that the people setting these prices don’t have any reason not to.

As Michael Geist <a href="http://www.michaelgeist.ca/2013/07/telus-response-to-oecd-report/">put it in 2013</a>, cell phone carriers raise prices “because they can.”

They’re not a cartel, which would be illegal. Rather, Canadian telecoms are in a situation in which there’s no real incentive to undercut each other. The three companies know they are better off when Canadians are paying among the world’s highest rates for cell phone usage.

As industry watchers have noted, these companies have a strange habit of raising their prices in tandem. In January 2016, Bell hiked its monthly plans by $5 per month. Within a week, Telus and Rogers had independently followed suit.

These are not the normal actions of an industry. When Air Canada hikes prices, WestJet and NewLeaf don’t follow suit within a matter of hours. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: By constantly trying to grab market share from each other, the competing airlines force prices to a bare minimum.

But Canadian cell phone providers don’t have to worry about a WestJet or a NewLeaf. The awesome costs and regulatory barriers of starting a competing Canadian wireless company are so prohibitive that telecoms can rest assured that they won’t suddenly be challenged by an ambitious startup.</p>


Weird that Canada's regulators haven't thought of providing some sort of incentive to encourage another carrier to move in, perhaps simply by forcing the sharing of infrastructure. This is similar to the problem in the UK where there's no competitor to BT for landlines because of the cost of infrastructure.
wireless  mobile  carrier  canada  competition 
september 2017 by charlesarthur
What do US wireless operators want in the next iPhone? • BTIG Research
Walter Piecyk:
<p>We estimate that iPhones represent nearly half of all smartphones in the United States. Wireless operators and investors are therefore very interested in what technologies and spectrum bands are included each year as they can determine whether these companies are able to leverage their network and spectrum investments. Adding spectrum to a network doesn’t do much good if the smartphones don’t take advantage of it. Unfortunately, the operators don’t really know for sure what is included in each iPhone prior to its launch. So, here’s a quick review of what each national wireless operator in the United States would like included this year.</p>


This is pretty technical, but would be useful to anyone who's really into phone/network interaction.
iphone  us  wireless  modem 
september 2017 by charlesarthur
Powermat CEO calls wireless charging a ‘standard feature in the next iPhone’ • 9to5Mac
Zac Hall:
<p>Wireless charging is widely expected to be on one if not all new iPhone models later this year, and the CEO of a prominent wireless charging technology company appears to consider it a done deal. Powermat CEO Elad Dubzinski called wireless charging ‘a standard feature in the next iPhone’ ahead of any official iPhone 7s or iPhone 8 announcement.

Powermat’s CEO made the comment in an unrelated <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dan-stone-ceo-of-compucom-appointed-chairman-of-the-board-of-powermat-300445074.html">news release</a> about the company gaining a new board chairman:

“With the recent announcement by Apple that wireless charging will become a standard feature in the next iPhone, we are finally at the threshold of mainstream adoption,” said Mr. Dubzinski.</p>


If Steve Jobs were still alive, Dubzinski would now be in the foundations of the new Apple building.
apple  wireless  charging  iphone 
april 2017 by charlesarthur
Apple joins Wireless Power Consortium/Qi, lending weight to rumor of wireless charging for iPhone 8 | 9to5Mac
Ben Lovejoy:
<p>Long-running rumors that Apple will add wireless charging to the iPhone 8 have been lent additional weight with the news that the company has joined an industry group devoted to wireless power.

Apple is <a href="https://www.wirelesspowerconsortium.com/member-list/">now listed</a> as one of the 213 members of the Wireless Power Consortium. It was not present in a cached version of the page from a week ago.

While early rumors suggested that Apple was holding out for long-range charging, without the need to place the iPhone on a charging pad, those hopes appear to have been dashed by more recent reports. These suggest that Apple will, like other manufacturers, use simple inductive charging.

One of those reports even indicated that Apple will not include a charger in the box with the iPhone, instead offering it as an optional accessory at extra cost.

While Apple may indeed have been aiming for long-range RF charging, IHS Technology analyst Vicky Yussuff says that the company couldn’t wait any longer.

The success of wireless charging adoption from Apple’s competitors is something that Apple can no longer ignore. IHS Technology consumer survey data shows over 90% of consumers want wireless charging on their next device.</p>


The Apple Watch uses Qi charging, but tweaked. One assumes the iPhone 8 will follow suit. *Sherlock Holmes voice* So, Watson, what does this tell us about the future for the Lightning port?
apple  wireless  charging  qi 
february 2017 by charlesarthur
Apple developing wireless-charged iPhone for as soon as 2017 » Bloomberg Business
Tim Culpan:
<p>In 2010 Apple made a <a href="http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=9,086,864.PN.&OS=PN/9,086,864&RS=PN/9,086,864">patent application</a> outlining a concept of using an iMac personal computer as a hub for wirelessly recharging at a distance of about 1 meter using a technique called near-field magnetic resonance. Apple currently uses a similar technique, called induction, to charge its Watch within millimeters of the power source.

Another Apple patent outlined a method for making aluminum phone casings that allow radio waves to pass through, a technique that would minimize the problem of metal interfering with transmitted signals.

Apple has previously played down its interest in any charging technology that still needs to be plugged into a wall socket because such methods would add little convenience.

Semiconductor makers Broadcom and Qualcomm are among those who have developed or are developing technology and standards for wireless charging.</p>


How much demand is there for wireless charging?
apple  tech  wireless  charging 
february 2016 by charlesarthur
Experts still think uBeam’s through-the-air charging tech is unlikely » IEEE Spectrum
Lee Gomes:
<p>In some regards, uBeam is already walking back some of the more extravagant claims it has made in the dozens of stories that have been written about it. <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2015/09/28/electric-liberation/">A September piece</a> in TechCrunch, said uBeam “could power up your phone while it’s in your pocket when you’re at a café.” While that sort of ubiquitous charging would be appealing for its simplicity and convenience, experts consider it to be impossible on account of the line-of-sight nature of ultrasound waves.

A <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2015/10/08/how-ubeam-works/">TechCrunch interview from Saturday</a> concedes the point, saying, The system “requires a line of sight and can’t charge through walls or clothes.” The latest story, though, didn’t address the obvious discrepancy with the earlier account. The most recent story says uBeam could transmit up to 4 meters, far less than the 30 feet (9 meters) claimed <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/01/ubeam-wireless-power-startup-shows-prototype-at-d9-video-hands/">in an earlier piece</a>.

While the company has made several technical advances involving ultrasound, “the idea that uBeam is going to eliminate the need for wires is ridiculous,” said one person with knowledge of the situation.</p>


Leaning towards IEEE Spectrum's sources knowing more about this topic than Techcrunch's.
ubeam  wireless 
november 2015 by charlesarthur
How uBeam transmits energy wirelessly using ultrasound » uBeam
Meredith Perry, uBeam's founder, has a big explainer about how it works, because people have been saying that either it doesn't work, or it's dangerous:
<p>The uBeam system is composed of two parts: a transmitter that emits energy, and a receiver that receives energy. The transmitter is like a sound speaker, but instead of emitting audible sound, uBeam's transmitter emits high frequency sound. This sound can't be heard by humans or dogs; it's called ultrasound. The receiver, like a microphone, picks up the sound and converts it into usable energy. Sound, like light and wind, is a form of energy that can be converted into electrical energy with our proprietary energy harvesting technology. The receiver then sends this electrical power to charge or power an electronic device. </p>
business  wireless  ubeam 
november 2015 by charlesarthur
The company behind Relish wireless broadband makes a big loss » Engadget
Nick Summers:
<p>Relish's dream to connect London homes with wireless broadband, rather than traditional landlines, could be in trouble. UK Broadband, the company behind the service, has reported losses of £37.5m for 2014 - almost four times what it was the year before. To make matters worse, turnover slipped from roughly £2m to £1.5m over the same period. Relish was launched in June 2014 as a simpler, but capable broadband alternative to the likes of BT, Sky and Virgin Media. Instead of copper and fibre cables, the company relies on 4G connections to deliver the internet to its customers. The advantages are plentiful -- you don't need to pay for a landline, and because Relish's network is already up and running, you don't need an engineer to install anything. Once you've signed up, a router is sent round within the next working day and you can instantly get online. The concept is similar to the mobile broadband packages offered by EE, Three and other UK carriers, although here there are no restrictive data allowances. So what's gone wrong?</p>


Nobody, it seems, knows.
relish  wireless  broadband 
october 2015 by charlesarthur
Hackers remotely kill a Jeep on the highway—with me in it » WIRED
Andy Greenberg:
The attack tools [Charlie] Miller and [Chris] Valasek developed can remotely trigger more than the dashboard and transmission tricks they used against me on the highway. They demonstrated as much on the same day as my traumatic experience on I-40; After narrowly averting death by semi-trailer, I managed to roll the lame Jeep down an exit ramp, re-engaged the transmission by turning the ignition off and on, and found an empty lot where I could safely continue the experiment.

Miller and Valasek’s full arsenal includes functions that at lower speeds fully kill the engine, abruptly engage the brakes, or disable them altogether. The most disturbing maneuver came when they cut the Jeep's brakes, leaving me frantically pumping the pedal as the 2-ton SUV slid uncontrollably into a ditch. The researchers say they're working on perfecting their steering control – for now they can only hijack the wheel when the Jeep is in reverse.


All this is remote and wireless - they aren't directly plugged in to the car: the car's phone connection makes it vulnerable if you know its IP address. Let's just hope these cars aren't running Flash.
hacking  car  vehicle  wireless 
july 2015 by charlesarthur
How Sonos and John MacFarlane built the perfect wireless speaker for streaming music >> Businessweek
[Mark] Trammell [a designer formerly at Digg and Twitter] likes to interview customers in their homes, sometimes in the moment when a Sonos speaker first arrives and a family is taking it out of the box and deciding where it should go.

“They’re looking for a Sonos-size hole to fill,” he says. The small Play:1 is good for bathrooms and kitchens; the Play:5 tends to go in living rooms and dens. The accessories allow for attaching other kinds of sound equipment, such as weatherproof outdoor speakers, to the network. The average Sonos household has 2.1 units.

A key moment tends to be when family members discover how to add to and remix playlists together. Mark Whitten, Sonos’s chief product officer, compares the experience to that of the Xbox. “The reason gaming consoles became ascendant wasn’t because of the games,” he says. “It’s because two kids were sitting on a couch, playing together.” Whitten was hired six months ago from Microsoft, where he introduced and oversaw much of the Xbox, including Xbox Live.


On an upward curve. Will someone buy them?
sonos  wireless  music 
november 2014 by charlesarthur

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