Tech Review Top Stories
Using plastic to absorb light could lower the cost of solar power.
A thin sheet of dyed plastic could cut the cost of solar power, particularly for applications that require solar cells to be highly efficient and flexible.
Amazon says it wants to offer 30-minute drone delivery. But companies actually working on the technology outline the limitations.
Amazon’s plans to deliver packages by drones, which it predicts “will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today,” has been widely dismissed as little more than clever self-promotion.
The website for the Affordable Care Act was doomed by an inordinately complex setup that tried to link disparate databases in real time.
The fiasco with the $600 million federal health insurance website wasn’t all bureaucratic. Forcing slow and disparate databases run by government and insurance companies to work together in real time—and then launching the service all at once—would have challenged even technology wunderkinds.
The CEO of Box is building an online file storage system designed to reshape industries.
Aaron Levie bounds onstage with the swagger of a standup comic. But he’s not performing at the Comedy Store. He’s in the Grand Ballroom at San Francisco’s Hilton Union Square kicking off BoxWorks, his company’s annual customer conference. Steve Jobs had his black turtleneck, Mark Zuckerberg has his gray hoodie; Levie’s uniform is a staid black suit, a capitulation to the buttoned-down enterprise software market he aims to conquer. But he spices it up with a cheeky pair of colorful sneakers. Today they’re bright red.
An Icelandic company figures out how to make methanol from waste CO2, but the economics may not work without a nearby volcano.
When a geothermal power plant started spewing hot water into the barren, volcanic landscape of Iceland’s Southern Peninsula in 1976, the locals turned the steaming lake into a health spa that’s now frequented by half a million people a year. Now a small Icelandic company is hoping to turn a profit from waste carbon dioxide from the same plant.
The latest fitness-tracking wristbands need to get in better shape before they’ll earn a spot on my wrist.
At 11:30 last Friday night I was frantically doing jumping jacks in my living room, trying to hit my activity goal for the day: 4,000 points. The more I moved, the more points I got from the Nike+ Fuelband SE fitness tracker on my wrist—and at nearly midnight I had 3,957.
Lithium-ion batteries can be designed to prevent fires, but there are inherent risks.
In the past two months, three Tesla Motors Model S electric cars have caught fire after their lithium-ion battery packs were damaged. Last week the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it would investigate whether Tesla’s Model S needs to be modified to prevent further fires.
New inks and tools allow 3-D printing of lithium-ion technology.
By making the basic building blocks of batteries out of ink, Harvard materials scientist Jennifer Lewis is laying the groundwork for lithium-ion batteries and other high-performing electronics that can be produced with 3-D printers.
Sony and Microsoft release their first video-game consoles in seven years, but they’re battling for a world of play that is rapidly changing.
This month marks a milestone in the turf war for the space beneath our television sets: it’s the first time that Sony and Microsoft have released new video-game consoles within weeks of one another. The PlayStation 4 launched in the U.S. two weeks ago (and in Europe next week), while Microsoft’s Xbox One is available around the world as of today. Both systems are Blu-ray-playing supercomputers squeezed into similar-looking black plastic casing; both are designed to usher in a new era of high-definition, online-enabled video games.
How does the ability to instantaneously reallocate physical resources change the way companies source materials, manage operations, and go to market?
SolidEnergy says its new battery materials store more energy and won’t catch fire.
Bulky and expensive batteries are the bane of electric vehicles. A new MIT spinoff company, SolidEnergy, says it has a solution: materials that can increase the amount of energy that lithium-ion batteries store by 30 percent or more and lower costs enough to make electric vehicles affordable.
Kateeva says its new manufacturing equipment can produce affordable displays based on organic light-emitting diodes.
Color-rich, energy-efficient, and flexible displays based on organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) could soon be churned out more economically on giant ink-jet printers.
Kateeva says its new manufacturing equipment can produce affordable OLED displays, rigid and flexible.
Color-rich, energy-efficient, and flexible organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays could soon be churned out more economically on giant inkjet printers.
A researcher envisions the ultimate cure for “range anxiety”: roadway-powered vehicles with modified on-board power receivers.
One way to extend the range of electric vehicles may be to provide power wirelessly through coils placed under the surface of a road. But charging moving vehicles with high-power wireless chargers below them is complex.
Polymer glue helps fracture-prone high-capacity batteries last through more charges.
If electric cars are ever to drive hundreds of miles between charges—as they must to compete with gas-powered cars—their batteries will need to store much more energy. Unfortunately, several of the most promising high-capacity battery materials are prone to breaking in ways that would cut an electrified road trip short.