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  • What Can You Do With a 20800mAh Power Bank?

    What Can You Do With a 20800mAh Power Bank?

    20800mAh Power Bank

    In the next two weeks, eeco will unveil an all-new 20800mAh power bank. This is double the capacity of our first power bank. Using your feedback and looking at how popular our 10000mAh Type-C power bank became, we wanted to create something equally great.

    Built using a full aluminum case like its predecessor, our new 20800mAh monster is sleek, ergonomic and beautiful. An inevitably larger size does not mean gross bulk – but it does allow us to fit more ports inside.

    Three powerful ports providing the fastest charging speeds on the market accompany the Samsung-branded batteries contained inside. QC 3.0, Type-C and our very own smartIC port are standard.

    QC 3.0 charges your device up to 80% in just 35 minutes, while the Type-C port is powerful enough to charge a MacBook. Finally, our smartIC port is 20% faster than a conventional 2A port in most power banks.

    Truly a triple threat to batteries everywhere.

    So – it begs the question: what can you do with a 20800mAh power bank?


    1. Charge Your Nintendo Switch

    Provides you with up to 15 hours of Legend of Zelda playtime. Check out this blog post for more.

    2. Power Your MacBook

    Keep working in peace with enough juice for one full charge with some left over.

    3. Charge Your iPad/iPad Air/iPad Pro and Other Tablets

    Watch movies, play games and FaceTime for a long, long time. 

    4. Watch Movies All-Day Long on Your Smartphone

    Unlimited Netflix pleasure.

    5. Travel for a Week Without a Wall Charger

    Backpack in peace without needing to be stuck to a wall outlet.

    6. Charge a Fitness Band

    Very much on-the-go.

    7. Charge Your Drone’s Batteries

    Fly high and stay high – just follow aviation rules. 

    8. Charge Your E-Cig/Vape

    This proves that USB technology is in just about everything.

    9. Power a Raspberry Pi and Compute Anywhere

    You can play Pacman, too.

    10. Power a One Can Refrigerator

    Only one can. For those who can’t resist cracking open a cold one.  

    11. Charge Another Power Bank for Unlimited Power

    It’s not really unlimited… 

    12. Take it Camping

    Fun under the stars. 

    13. Keep Your Digital Camera Charged

    Snap, snap, snap away.

    14. Power a Wireless Charger

    Yes, you can do that.

    15. Power a USB Fan for the Hot Weather

    Cool off – perfect when you’re stuck watching Peewee games. 

    16. Charge Your Smart Belt

    Health, fashion… style?

    17. Charge Your Robot Cat

    And other robots, too.

    18. Run a Mini Fish Tank

    Do take care of the little ones. It’s a snazzy home for them.

    19. Power a Digital Photo Frame

    Show off and relive those precious memories day after day.

    20. Doubles as a Paperweight

    If all else fails, the weight will keep your important documents in place.


    There are many, many products that can be charged with a power bank – but we’ll stop here. What can you do with a power bank? We’d love to hear from you!

    六月 19, 2017 By masy@eeco Blog Technology explained
  • Top 7 Tech Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

    Top 7 Tech Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

    Did you forget? Here’s a reminder: Father’s Day is coming! That’s right, June 18, 2017 brings yet another year of frantically finding an appropriate gift the big guy will like. Hold on a minute – relax. eeco is here to lend you a hand. We’ve put together a shortlist of seven awesome tech gadgets your dad will love – making shopping less of a hassle. Read on to grab one of the following gadgets before it’s too late!

    7. Nest Learning Thermostat

    Nest Learning Thermostat

    Coming in at number seven and priciest ($246) on the list, is the Nest Learning Thermostat. If your dad has a DYI attitude or needs a new thermostat, look no further. The Nest thermostat can learn what temperatures dad likes and when he comes and goes to automatically adjust the temperature and save energy. With Wi-Fi capability built-in, dad can control his new thermostat from anywhere in the world using his smartphone or tablet. It still requires a little bit of DYI action, but with an easy install, there’s no way dad will mess it up on Father’s Day.

    6. Pruveeo F5 Dash Cam

    Pruveeo F5 Dash Cam

    Bring safety, security and peace of mind to dad this Father’s Day with a dash cam. The Pruveeo F5 dash cam comes with Wi-Fi, a 140-degree wide-angle view for everything on the road ahead and crystal clear HD video playback. The bundled app lets dad download and watch recorded videos on his smartphone. A smart design means it hides away behind the rearview mirror so it doesn’t distract dad while he’s driving. Other features include loop recording (deletes old videos when it runs out of storage), motion detection/parking mode (records even when the car is off) and like all dash cams, it automatically turns on/off with the engine.

    At $39, it has 290 reviews and a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, making this a great Father’s Day gift.

    5. Amazon Kindle E-reader

    Amazon Kindle E-reader

    If your dad enjoys the love of reading, grab him a Kindle E-reader for Father’s Day. At just $80 (without special offers), it holds thousands of books at one time, providing hours of entertainment. With an incredible battery life and a thin, lightweight design, dad can take his Kindle to work, on travel and wherever else he goes. Thanks to built-in Wi-Fi, dad can get even more books on Amazon including tons of free titles.

    4. Smart Home Assistant

    Smart Assistants Amazon Echo Google Home

    Ease your dad into a Smart Home future by getting him a snazzy assistant like Amazon Echo or Google Home for Father’s Day. Currently available at discounted rates of $140 and $110 respectively, both assistants are commanded by voice and can do just about anything. Dad can ask for directions, call you when you’re still not home, get recipes from the Internet or find new dad jokes – the two assistants use Wi-Fi to search for answers online. It’s also easy to pair the two with apps like Spotify and Pandora for music playback using built-in speakers, and control Smart Home features and appliances using Samsung SmartThings and Philips Hue.

    3. Google Chromecast & Chromecast Audio

    Google Chromecast Audio & Chromecast

    Bring dad’s old, dusty speaker system back to life and give his TV an edge with Chromecast Audio and Chromecast. Priced at $30 each (until Father’s Day, June 18), the two bring a whole new level of connectivity to the home. Chromecast Audio connects to any speaker system using the 3.5mm audio standard, and with built-in Wi-Fi, it lets dad play his favorite tunes from a laptop or mobile device. Fumbling and searching through tons of CDs to find the right song is a thing of the past – and he gets to keep those old speakers, too. On the other hand, Chromecast hooks up to any TV to play videos and movies from a laptop, smartphone or tablet using Wi-Fi. It also allows dad to show off his Caribbean vacation pictures on the big screen directly from his smartphone.

    2. UE Roll 2 (Waterproof) Bluetooth Speaker

    UE Roll 2

    Coming out from Ultimate Ears is the UE Roll 2, one of the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers on the market. At $70, it’s a great mix of budget and brilliant sound for Father’s Day. With a range of up to 100 feet, a nine-hour battery life and an IPX7 rating allowing it to be submerged for up to 30 minutes – your dad will love it. The sound is big – real big. Dad can rock out to heavy metal tunes in the shower or relax with some jazz and classical music on the sofa. Thanks to a lightweight design, he can take it out into the backyard by the pool or on a hike.

    1. Cables – Lots of Them

    eeco USB Cables

    What dad doesn’t need new cables? A gift that’s perfect every time is a USB cable. For Father’s Day, eeco’s cables are 20% off using the code: DADISNO1 (US/CA; UK: DADSRULE). Whether your dad uses a device that needs a microUSB cable, a Lightning cable or a USB Type-C cable – we’ve got you covered. Available directly from Amazon, order now and dad will get his cables right on time for Father’s Day.

    六月 12, 2017 By masy@eeco Blog Tech in the news
  • 6 of the Coolest and Most Imaginative Smart Home Tech of the Future

    6 of the Coolest and Most Imaginative Smart Home Tech of the Future

    On the eeco blog, we’ve talked about home automation and Smart Home products that currently exist on the market. Today, let’s talk about the future – highlighting incredible products imagined by creative designers.

    Future tech is all about convenience, so check out these incredibly smart ideas and the accompanying pictures. Not everything here actually exists; they are smart ideas, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t coming to a future near you.

    Water Shade

    Watershade 1

    Tired of fruit going bad within a few days of being left outside? Getting annoyed by those pesky fruit flies? Water Shade is the solution. Created by designer Yitu Wang, Water Shade is an intelligent tabletop dish and cover that provides protection for your fruits and vegetables. It works by creating a continuously working shield of water (delicious H2O) over whatever is placed inside.

    A built-in detector senses when a hand approaches and halts the water flow in that spot, like how Moses parted the Red Sea. Once you grab the fruit and remove your hand, the water shield goes back up.

    This clever idea keeps freshness and moisture locked in, while keeping flies, bacteria and any other unwanted particles out.

    Bio Tank Robotic “FishWater”

    BioTank Robotic Fish

    Designed by Akifusa Nakazawa, the dishwasher of the future just got a whole lot cooler. The Bio Tank is a dishwasher, composter and aquarium all-in-one. The fish in this aquarium are little robots that clean dishes by eating food residue and grime and turn it into biofuel.

    The robotic fish have built-in filters that clean the water, too, so replacing the water in your new dishwasher is unnecessary. How nice to have a pet that does so much and doesn’t need to be replaced every other week like that goldfish.

    The Dividing Printer

    The Dividing Printer

    If you’ve ever worked in a small office, you know how confusing and frustrating it can be to dig through a pile of printouts looking for the one you printed just ten minutes ago. Losing important printouts is one thing, but losing time looking for them or putting them in order is even worse.

    The Dividing Printer is the solution to small office spaces and homes where every individual needs their own print stack. By mounting the printer on a rail, it allows the printer to move left and right, printing documents in the right stack every time. The printouts are separated by different user profiles.

    It’s a simple, yet smart innovation to an old product. The Dividing Printer doesn’t change the function of the printer itself. Designed by In Young Jo & In Young Joo of South Korea, the product won a Red Dot Design Award in 2015.

    Floor Plan Light Switch

    Floor Plan Light Switch

    This nifty light switch makes current light switches obsolete. By putting your entire home’s layout onto one touch-based light switch, you can turn the lights of a specific room on/off with one touch. Designed by Taewon Hwang, the Floor Plan Light Switch is one button that controls the entire home.

    With one touch and a quick look at the switch, turn on/off the lights to your living room, bedroom or den. No more guessing around for which switch does what.

    Smart Windows

    Smart curtains are coming to the market, but what about smart windows that automatically adjust their tint throughout the day? These smart windows can keep sunlight in or out, meaning there’s no longer a need for window shades. What if the windows were paired with your thermostat? Now, the two work together to save energy by telling each other when to work and when to stop depending on how cold or hot the home is.

    A similar design already exists on Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner fleet, but these windows still need to be controlled manually.

    Withings Thermo – Smart Thermometer

    Withings Thermo

    As one of the few products on this list that is readily available, this is truly a thermometer of the future. Thermo is an instant temporal smart thermometer that can measure temperature simply by hovering it over a forehead. 16 infrared sensors provide accurate measurements in only two seconds. It also pairs with a smartphone app that tracks temperature readings and provides symptoms/medications.

    By measuring temperature emanating from the temporal artery, Thermo is a non-invasive and hygienic thermometer that fussy kids will love. It supports up to eight unique users and is FDA/CE compliant.

    The Future is Cool

    There is so much more future tech out there. This list of six is a very small portion of the interesting and imaginative ideas coming out from creative designers around the world. If you want to see more, check out Yanko Design.

    What do you think of this list? Would you buy any of these products? Let us know below.

     

     

    六月 9, 2017 By masy@eeco Blog Future Living
  • smartIC: eeco’s Newest, Fastest and Safest Charging Technology

    smartIC: eeco’s Newest, Fastest and Safest Charging Technology


    smartIC Logo


    Recently, eeco is releasing brand new products with smartIC technology. But what is this technology and why does it matter? smartIC is a charging technology that makes charging better and faster, while keeping it safe for your valuable mobile devices. Our exclusive technology is similar Anker’s PowerIQ and Aukey’s AiPower. All three perform the same function, however, smartIC provides more safety features than others.

    The Dumb Wall Charger

    Most wall chargers that come bundled with phones and other gadgets are not smart. What this means is that they serve one purpose and provide only one purpose: charging. Wall chargers send the most power they can provide to any device, no matter the device. If you have a wall charger that can provide 2A of power, but a device that can only handle 1A, the charger will send 2A instead of 1A. Therefore, it’s dumb.

    With smartIC, our power banks and wall chargers recognize which device is connected, sending only the most power your device can safely handle. Our chargers can send 2.4A of power or more, but if your device can only take 1A of power, smartIC will automatically adjust to a lower amperage. In conclusion, it prevents harmful side-effects of charging such as overcharging, overcurrent, and overvoltage that can short-circuit your device.

    Overcharging

    A simple explanation of overcharging is this: a dumb charger will send too much power that causes heat, which degrades the life of a battery. Once a battery hits 100%, a dumb charger will continue to send power. smartIC chargers have a chip which allows them to sense when a device is fully charged. Our chargers stop charging your device when it is full. This prevents overheating and a shorter battery life. It sucks having to change your battery every year.

    Overcurrent

    Without smart charging technology, mobile devices can become victim to overcurrent (excess current). When too much of an electric current is passed onto a device from the charger and cable, it creates excess heat. This carries the risk of damaging the device and/or causing a fire.

    Overvoltage

    Overvoltage occurs when voltage sent by a power source to a battery is higher than normal. This is dangerous. Overvoltage can cause every object in use to get very hot, burst into flames or cause objects like cables to melt because of the high heat.

    smartIC: Your Device’s Personal Bodyguard

    Designed to prevent damage to your mobile device. Imagine the following example. When you connect your mobile device to a smartIC enabled charger, the cable sends a coded message from the device to the charger. To provide power to your mobile device, the charger must crack the code. By doing this, it sends the right amount of power every time. It doesn’t matter which device is connected, smartIC will crack the code.

    What eeco Products Are “Smart?”

    smartIC is one of the cornerstone technologies in our products. Along with Guard+ Technology, you can find smartIC in all of our USB products. It is specially placed inside every wall charger, power bank and USB hub. You’re guaranteed a fast, safe charge every time with any of our USB products.

    Questions? Contact us directly at any time to learn more about smartIC. We’re more than happy to talk with you!

     

     

    六月 5, 2017 By masy@eeco Blog Technology explained
  • USB-C 3.1: The Battle of Generations

    USB-C 3.1: The Battle of Generations

    USB 3.1 Generations Infographic


    USB-C THE BATTLE OF GENERATIONS

    What is USB-C?

    • USB-C is the latest version of Universal Serial Bus (USB).
    • It is a low-profile connector that is reversible, putting an end to fumbling with ports.
    • Its biggest advantage is the ability to provide power, video and audio output, data transfer and Ethernet all in one connector type.

    Confusion: USB 3.0 & USB 3.1

    • In a nutshell, USB 3.0 is exactly the same as USB 3.1 – but only Generation 1. USB 3.1 brings with it the Type-C connector, but provides the same power and data transfer capability as USB 3.0.
    • Visible difference: USB-A 3.0 is blue inside.

    Benefits of USB Type-C

    USB-C knocks out the need for cables and dongles – just one cable can do so much.

    • It is slim, small and reversible
    • Ultra-fast data transfer speeds up to 10Gbps
    • Up to 100w of power that can safely charge laptops
    • Universal compatibility with all USB devices and legacy devices
    • Removes the need for legacy ports/cables

    Generation 1 vs. Generation 2

    •  Gen 1: 5 Gbps data transfer speed => Supports up to 65W => Max cable length: 6ft => Thinner cable
    • Gen 2: 10 Gbps data transfer speed => Supports up to 100W => Max cable length: 3ft => Thicker cable

    Who wins?

    • USB 3.1 Gen 1 is good, but Gen 2 is better. Moving 4K UHD movies, huge photo galleries, music albums and other large data is nearly instant. All it requires is a USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 2 cable.
    • As with anything USB – Gen 2 is backwards compatible.
    六月 2, 2017 By masy@eeco Blog Technology explained
  • Smart Cities of the Future and the Internet of Things (IoT)

    Smart Cities of the Future and the Internet of Things (IoT)

    Internet of Things – Barcelona, the world’s mobile capital, held the Mobile World Congress (MWC)  from February 27th to March 2nd. MWC is one of the most influential mobile events in the world as it consists of over 2,000 companies internationally. Some of this year’s featured categories are 5G, App Development, and Connected Living through the Internet of Things.

    Smart City - Internet of Things

    Photo Credit: Pixabay

    Smart City IQ

    With the growth of the tech industry, many cities are looking for ways to use digital information or the Internet of Things (IoT) to solve some of their biggest problems. Barcelona is a smart city that has implemented new technology to better connect and enhance the city’s efficiency with digital sensors that monitor parking and waste management. During the 2008 financial crisis, Barcelona suffered economic hardships which made it difficult for the city to financially sustain itself. In efforts to rebuild its structure, the city channeled energy into becoming what is now called, SmartCity Barcelona, through the integration of the IoT.

    It is through success stories such as Barcelona that enable other cities to identify and harness new technologies to increase efficiency. What is a smart city? There are multiple buzzwords encompassing this idea such as intelligent, green, livable and sustainable. These buzzwords however, are regarded as linked components through a continuous network of digital information generated by people. Through the web of interconnectivity, cities can extract data needed to improve infrastructure. In other words, the stronger the connection within the network, the smarter a city will become.  Use of the Internet of Things is vital in assisting the development of a sustainable society.

    Connected World - Internet of Things

    Photo Credit: Wordstream

    The Internet of Things (IoT)

    “In 2008, history was made as the number of appliances connected to the internet surpassed the number of people on the planet for the first time ever, foreshadowing a future where it is not only the people on this planet which are connected, but also the things” – The Alexandra Institute 2011

    Driven by urbanization, many cities are thriving thanks to the integration of the IoT―which not only refer to sensors, but also includes a diverse group of technologies such as smartphones, augmented reality and cloud computing.

    Partnership with the Internet of Things helps cities like San Jose and Copenhagen utilize smart technology which translates to an increase in environmental stability, economic growth and quality of life for its residents.

    Environmental Sustainability

    Many may not know of the problems California has faced such as droughts and major water pipeline failure in August 2016. San Jose has taken preventative measures to ensure this does not happen again through determination to become smart. Its location is an advantage because it is nestled in Silicon Valley, a popular area for tech startups. With San Jose’s Go Green Vision plan, it aims to address issues such as wasted energy, polluted air, and water supply challenges through partnership of Smart Cities USA and Intel Corporation’s pilot program to sustain economic growth.

    Intel’s program and Smart Cities USA will implement digital sensors throughout the city to interpret some of the environment’s problem areas, such as wastewater, air pollution, and transportation systems that help the city make effective decisions based on real-time data. It is through these data residents can become more educated about their surroundings and take curative measures conducive to their community. For instance, on days with polluted air, people can take Uber or carpool with friends to reduce car pollution.

    Greener Community in the IoT

    In 2014, Copenhagen was awarded the World Smart Cities Concept award in Barcelona for its Copenhagen Connecting (CC) project. Like San Jose’s project, CC aimed to create a greener community knitted together with the Internet of Things and a conscious neighborhood of residents. Most cities including Copenhagen, use an array of digital sensors to collect data and interact within the city. But to shake things up, Copenhagen is using street lighting as its framework to improve the city’s integration.

    The use of the city’s street lighting is an excellent platform as there is no need to create new housing for the sensors; lamp poles are plentiful throughout the city.

    “The lighting poles are also excellent for housing sensor equipment for water, wind and pollution as well as for traffic sensors,” says Søren Kvist, spokesperson and Project Manager at Copenhagen Solutions Lab, Copenhagen’s incubator for smart city initiatives.

    WiFi Light - Internet of Things

    Photo Credit: Pixabay

    Using new and existing technologies to create an ecosystem of connectivity makes a city efficient. Copenhagen demonstrates this concept well by showing how lighting can be a viable source for building this web of interconnectivity.

    “An innovative twist is how Copenhagen is planning to use outdoor lighting as infrastructure for the smart initiative. Street lighting is everywhere and every luminaire is connected with electricity, something that’s crucial to get all this tech stuff working. In the coming years 20 000 existing streetlights will also be changed into LEDs.”

    “LED-luminaires also have an important advantage as they are always operating. ‘They’re never totally switched off, only dimmed to extremely low levels. This means that other equipment will have power supply, regardless of the time of day,” says Kvist.

    Economic Growth

    Many cities are dealing with numerous economic hardships from recessions to growing populations. While San Jose and Copenhagen have differences in terms of smart city design due to variations in environmental and cultural characteristics, the two share a desire to create economic growth for their cities.

    San Jose’s project is expected to bring in about 25,000 clean-tech jobs as part of its economic strategy. With these new jobs, residents will have the opportunity to become part of a new workforce in different sectors such as healthcare, transportation and disaster response. Following pursuits to succeed in economic leverage, the city aspires to create an open-data system with the aim to encourage sharing of bigger business ideas from local entrepreneurs that complement the city’s clean-tech jobs.

    In Copenhagen, the CC project predicts almost €592 million in economic leverage and €104 million in new jobs if the project succeeds, according to a report done on the project’s socio economic analysis.

    Quality of Living

    Copenhagen Connecting is well underway as it brings the user experience side of Internet of Things to its residents. For instance, as part of Copenhagen’s hygge-style approach, the project has implemented a sensor-based bike post which records the number of riders cycling in certain areas. The post shows bikers how many riders have taken this route, thus giving that extra boost of encouragement for others. The CC project is also working to alleviate its problem of traffic congestion through improved traffic management fueled by the IoT. According to the Business in Copenhagen site, the project will reduce travel time for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists by up to ten per cent.

    San Jose plans to improve the quality of life for its residents by establishing a more user-friendly infrastructure. It plans to design a digital neighborhood dashboard which will allow access to real-time data information and create an open dialogue for residents to interact and find solutions to problems that may arise. Though not as busy as surrounding cities, San Jose makes for an excellent place to experiment with new technologies and concepts. The city itself is working to build a downtown area from scratch. This is very useful in building the infrastructure required for the Internet of Things as new technologies can be placed directly within systems being created.

    Will the IoT save the day?

    It is through ideas of everyday people that form the basis of what a smart city should and can represent. The migration of people to urbanized communities has birthed the creation of the smart city―which is beneficial for the many creative, tech and business professionals. However, issues such as quality of life have risen. Traffic is one of the top problems urbanized cities deal with around the world.

    As the world moves into the era of transformative technologies, the potential to make our communities more livable are endless. The transformation into a world powered by the Internet of Things will provide cities the tools needed to create a communicative network for its residents to access.

    Without a community of educated residents, smart cities would diminish because it is only through the distribution of shared information that people will be able to make better decisions about their place in the world.  It is well understood a device can only be as intelligent as its user. With that said, how are you becoming an integral part of your city? What improvements can be made in your city and do you envision the Internet of Things to solve some of its issues? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

    五月 29, 2017 By masy@eeco Blog Future Living
  • 5 Must-Have Smart Home Products

    5 Must-Have Smart Home Products

    Let’s face it, Smart Home and home automation is going nowhere. There’s no doubt that homes are going to get smarter as Smart Home products become more affordable. Not everyone wants to upgrade, but there are a few Smart Home products that are really, really worth buying.

    Smart Home products aren’t just for show – they’re meant to make life more convenient and take on tasks we’re too lazy to deal with.

    Here’s a list of eeco recommended Smart Home products for your home.

    Smart Home Products

    1. LED Lightbulbs

    The most useful Smart Home product is smart LED lightbulbs. How many times did you feel too lazy to get up and turn off the lights before going to sleep? In the morning, you wake up to find the lights are still on! Remember the times you left home but weren’t sure if the lights were turned off? With smart lights, these problems are instantly solved. Using Wi-Fi, you can turn lights on/off with a single touch on your smartphone or tablet.

    Lightbulbs like Philips Hue can be dimmed for times you don’t need a bright room or when you want to create a mood. Dimming lights also saves considerable energy. Additional energy is saved by controlling smart lights individually. If you’re curled up on the sofa watching a movie, turn off the lights without getting up and keep just one or two on for ambiance.

    Smart lights can be controlled from anywhere in the world. Afraid of monsters in a dark, pitch-black basement? Don’t get clammy fumbling around for the light switch; light things up using your smartphone. Forgot to turn a few lights on before leaving for a weekend getaway? Use the app on your smartphone and turn on those few crucial lights that say, “I’m-still-at-home-even-though-I’m-not.”

    2. Smart Doorbell

    Wouldn’t it be nice to know who’s at the door without getting up? How many times did you get locked in a conversation with a sales guy who wouldn’t take no for an answer? Did you instantly regret opening the door to another Jehovah’s Witness?

    Smart doorbells will ensure you never get stuck in an awkward conversation again. Most smart doorbells come with a built-in camera to see who’s at the front door, letting you pretend you’re not at home. A built-in speaker helps when you’re really not at home.

    When someone rings the bell, its app pops-up on your smartphone or tablet with audio and video. If the UPS guy comes with your newest eeco Amazon purchase, tell him to drop the package at the front or take it to the back. With this Smart Home product, find out who’s stealing your home deliveries.

    Because a smart doorbell’s features are accessed using Wi-Fi, a smartphone or tablet can communicate with the device from anywhere in the world. You can be sitting at the office or a quaint café in Paris and always know who’s at the door.

    3. Smart Curtains

    It was always annoying when mom opened the bedroom curtains in the morning at the speed of lightning. That initial flood of sunshine did more harm than good. Ever wish curtains opened slowly for a more pleasant wake-up experience? Smart curtain systems make that wish come true.

    Connect Slide to your smartphone’s alarm clock and let your curtains pour gentle rays of sunshine when it’s time to wake up. Slide can also open and close curtains according to sunrise, sunset and other settings using the Slide App.

    Because smart curtain systems like Slide are made using a retrofit design, there’s no need to replace curtains and railings. It’s a truly DIY design that makes installation a cinch. As with all smart things, smart curtains can be programmed to learn when you leave home and return; and work alongside other Smart Home products.

    4. Smart Plugs

    Never forget if you turned off the stove ever again. Smart plugs are a handy Smart Home product that attach to any outlet in the house. Most plugs only have room to attach one appliance, while a few plugs are big enough to connect more. The main purpose of smart plugs is an on/off feature. Using an app on your smartphone or tablet, instantly kill the power (or turn it on) to any appliance connected to a smart plug.

    Smart plugs also allow scheduling when appliances turn on or off. For example, set a coffee maker to turn on at 7:00am for a fresh brew first thing in the morning; program a space heater to warm up the bedroom before you get home; schedule Christmas lights for the festive season or save power by turning off your home entertainment session.

    For rental property owners (such as Airbnb), having smart plugs is especially useful. Property owners can remotely turn off appliances that may have been left on by previous renters.

    5. Voice Assistants

    Last on the list of five must-have Smart Home products are voice assistants. No Smart Home should be without one. Voice assistants work with Smart Home products providing control via voice recognition. This means you can be sitting on the couch watching television and command your voice assistant to turn down the lights, open the curtains or turn up the heat on your thermostat.

    A few voice assistants on the market are extremely popular. Amazon Alexa and Google Home are the most common, with Apple’s Siri falling behind. The first two have physical hubs and can be purchased online, while rumor has it Apple is making one of its own.

    A flood of different Smart Home products on the market make controlling them a big pain. Instead of searching between five or six different apps to find the right one, simply tell your voice assistant what to do.

    “OK Google, close the curtains.”

    “Alexa, what’s the temperature inside?”

    “Siri, dim the lights to 30%.”

    Voice assistants make Smart Home operation easier.

    Make Your Home Smarter

    It can be overwhelming trying to determine which Smart Home products you should buy. Understanding the inconveniences in your home is a good place to start. Simple things such as automatic curtains, scheduled on/off appliances and energy saving lightbulbs make life more convenient.

    As for voice assistants, chances are you already have one! If you use an iPhone or Android smartphone, an assistant comes with either device by default.

    Don’t forget to learn about even more Smart Home products by reading our previous blog posts

    五月 22, 2017 By masy@eeco Blog Future Living
  • Smart Home and Home Automation Protocols: Breaking Them Down

    Smart Home and Home Automation Protocols: Breaking Them Down

    Smart Home products are quickly taking over the buzz around consumer tech, and so are their proprietary home automation protocols. Every Smart Home product comes with a protocol for control and use. What are these home automation protocols? Which one is the best?

    More devices than people

    2014 was the first year in which mobile devices surpassed the number of people on Earth, and they are multiplying five times faster than we are. IDC (International Data Corporation) and Ericsson predict there will be at least 28 billion Internet of Things enabled devices by 2020.

    That’s a lot. There’s also no arguing that mobile devices like smartphones are ubiquitous in a smarter future. Read more about Smart Home products in our previous post.

    With a sleuth of IoT connected devices, there are also multiple protocols that control them. There is no single standard when it comes to home automation protocols. Luckily, there are only five major protocols that guarantee control of most Smart Home products. The best part is, you already own two of these home automation protocols.

    Big Five Home Automation Protocols

    Wi-Fi

    Every major Smart Home product has Wi-Fi capability. Wi-Fi was never intended to be a home automation protocol, but because it’s so widely available and everyone has access to it, companies quickly adopted it for home use. Wi-Fi is not particularly power-efficient nor is it very strong when a lot of devices are connected (unless you have range extenders throughout the house). But it does have a big advantage: Smart Home devices connected via Wi-Fi do not require a smart hub for control. It’s easy to set up Smart Home devices with a quick connection to the home’s Internet.

    Wi-Fi is one of the best home automation protocols. It’s ease of use and ease of connectivity makes it user-friendly and provides device control from anywhere in the world (with the respective app).

    Bluetooth

    Every smartphone available on the market today comes with Bluetooth. It’s a low-energy home automation protocol that allows control of smart devices by using a phone or tablet. Bluetooth is power-efficient, and a single charge on a Bluetooth device can provide standby times of a month or even a year. Unlike Wi-Fi, Bluetooth devices have a short range (usually 10m indoors). So, if you want to dim the lights using your smartphone or tablet, you must be in physical range to do so.

    Master & Slave

    Master & Slave is one of the most useful connection types for Bluetooth. Bluetooth acts as the master and connected devices are slaves. One master can connect to multiple slaves, and the slaves can only connect to one master. For example, your mobile phone’s Bluetooth can connect to your thermostat, lightbulbs and your car’s audio system. As you walk through your home, the thermostat automatically sends a message via Bluetooth about the current temperature and efficiency; lightbulbs automatically turn on/off as you walk in/out of a room and your car plays music from your phone as soon as it turns on.

    Z-Wave

    Z-Wave is currently the most popular home automation protocol. Over a thousand devices and a hundred companies make Z-Wave compatible products, and the numbers continue to grow. It uses a proprietary method for home automation that all manufacturers of Smart Home products must abide by. If a company wants to make a Z-Wave compatible product, it must license the use of chips from Sigma Designs. These chips simplify software and hardware development, ensuring that all Z-Wave devices can work together.

    Z-Wave products must also be certified before they can use the official logo. It’s all very similar to Apple’s MFi Certified program.

    Unlike Wi-Fi, Z-Wave requires the use of a smart hub to send signals and control devices. Built using sub-1Ghz frequencies, it doesn’t interfere with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (~2.4Ghz) signals. A useful feature is Z-Wave’s repeater function. Each additional product in the home repeats signals, extending the network reach so your entire home is covered and nothing is out of range.

    ZigBee

    ZigBee is the first wireless home automation protocol for the Internet of Things. It offers low-power use and mesh networking – making each connected device act as a repeater. Mesh networking allows home automation networks to grow with each device added. If one ZigBee device only provides 10m of range, adding five more devices can theoretically increase the range to 50m. This ensures operating range is never blocked by big objects like tables and sofas or walls or anything else.

    ZigBee may have been first on the scene, but it’s popularity and use is declining. Bluetooth is better at power-efficiency and Z-Wave also offers mesh networking. Is ZigBee here to stay? Time will tell.

    Thread

    Thread is a home automation protocol created by Google Nest, in collaboration with major players such as Samsung, ARM, Qualcomm and others. It aims to become the sole home automation protocol of the future by uniting existing protocols. It creates a dedicated network (IPv6 address) that doesn’t rely on an Internet connection/Wi-Fi. Running on its own IPv6 address means it’s easier to connect to the Cloud.

    Thread also runs on the same IEEE 802.15.4 physical radio standard as ZigBee and Z-Wave. The advantage of this is huge. By using the same radio standard, Thread is compatible with ZigBee and Z-Wave devices. ZigBee and the Thread Group have already started working on interoperable products between the two standards.

    Which home automation protocol is the protocol for me?

    Even with these five major home automation protocols summed up, it’s still a tough decision. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are must-haves in any Smart Home product. Having one or both ensures your devices will remain compatible with their respective app on your smartphone. But what about Thread, ZigBee and Z-Wave? Thread is still very new and there’s not many devices that use this protocol, but collaborating with ZigBee may prove to bring about worthwhile products.

    As for ZigBee, it’s an older standard that is losing the Smart Home market every year to Z-Wave. Z-Wave does everything ZigBee does, but better. Mesh networking (additional products acting as repeaters) ensures a Smart Home network never goes down. Using a sub-1Ghz frequency means no interference with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. There are also more Z-Wave compatible products on the market than any other home automation protocol.

    Whichever home automation protocol you decide to choose, remember that any additional Smart Home products you purchase down the road will need to be compatible with what you already have.

    It also helps to think about the category of products you will buy to better narrow your decision on home automation protocols. Our previous blog post covers a few Smart Home product categories.

    Choose wisely.

    五月 19, 2017 By masy@eeco Blog Future Living Technology explained
  • USB – A History: Evolution from USB A & B to USB Type-C

    USB – A History: Evolution from USB A & B to USB Type-C

    USB A HISTORY

    USB-C has gained considerable traction since it was first released two years ago. It is the go-to connector for most mobile phones, tablets and even laptops, today. The only exception is Apple’s Lightning connector – but even Apple has adopted USB-C for its MacBooks.

    To better understand USB’s current evolution to Type-C, it’s important to go back in time and see where USB started.

    USB Type-A

    A very, very long time ago, USB started with Type-A, which is most familiar to any person on Earth. It’s the easily recognizable flat rectangular shape. Type-A is the original design for the USB standard, one that continues to survive today.

    Of course, Type-A has been upgraded, all the way from 1.1, 2.0, 3.0 and 3.1 today. USB Type-A is backwards compatible so 3.1 works with 2.0 and 1.1.

    As the most numerous of all USB designs, you can find it everywhere. Cables are one object, but desktops, laptops, flash drives, wall chargers and car chargers and a sleuth of other devices use Type-A.

    USB Type-B

    Enter the B. Type-B came into the scene and changed things. On one end (male side) is Type-A and on the other end (female side) is Type-B. Type-B came with several new designs, often creating confusion. Out of five common designs, only one remains most popular: Micro-USB.

    It’s the most prolific of USB Type-B ports, found on any smartphone and tablet that isn’t an Apple device. Its small design meant it was perfect for compact devices and the design allowed both charging and data transfer ability.

    Micro-USB once reigned as prince of USB design, but its days are coming to an end. USB Type-C is quickly taking over the throne.

    What about…?

    Is Lightning and the 30-pin connector considered a USB design? Yes and no. On one end, the proprietary design belongs to Apple, but the USB end is still USB Type-A.

    The updates in USB

    As USB designs changed and technology pushed forward, revisions were made to bring better functionality. USB 1.1 came out in 1998 and was only able to provide data transfer at speeds of 12Mbps. Then in 2000, USB 2.0 introduced charging capability and provided a mind-blowing top speed of 480Mbps data transfer.

    It wasn’t until eight years later when 2.0 was upgraded to 3.0. USB 3.0 crashed through the gates with a theoretical transfer speed of 5Gbps – 10 times faster than its predecessor. Ports and connectors are colored blue to differentiate them from 2.0.

    The 3.x confusion…

    USB 3.0 is a worthy upgrade, but then the USB Implementers Forum – the group responsible for the development and certification of USB products and standards, decided to rename it 3.1 Generation 1. It’s the same thing as 3.0.

    3.1 brings us to 3.1 Gen 2

    This is now the era of USB 3.1 Gen 2. It doubles the speed from 5Gbps to 10Gbps, but also increases max power output to 20V-5A for a total of 100W. Enough to charge Macbooks and other laptops, this new iteration of USB brings with it the Type-C connector.

    USB Type-C

    Still backwards compatible with all USB types (you’ll need an adapter, though), the Type-C connector is a massive upgrade. No more flipping and turning the connector type this way or that way to squeeze into a port; the connector is now fully reversible like Apple’s Lightning connector.

    Type-C also revolutionizes the USB world by making many of the connector types we use today – obsolete. USB-C (a.k.a. Type-C) provides audio, video, power and data transfer all into one connector. It’s no wonder new mobile devices and laptops are choosing to become slimmer at the expense of losing bulky legacy ports.

    The ability for USB-C to deliver 100W of power means laptop AC chargers are a thing of the past. All it takes to charge laptops like the Macbook Pro is a USB wall charger and a USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 2 cable. Those same accessories can then be used to power a smartphone or tablet as USB-C automatically adjusts the amount of power delivered by detecting which device it is connected to.

    One Port and Connector to Connect them all

    For consumers, USB-C is a connector of convenience. Not having to fumble around with three different USB-B cables for three different devices and not having to carry around a 3.5mm audio cable, an HDMI cable and a power cord is a blessing in disguise. Just one cable replaces all the former connector types and their respective cables.

    Yes, it’s true there are not that many USB-C devices out there. Companies continue to make Micro-USB and legacy port devices. As with all new technologies, early adoption is a slow but steady process.

    However, it is a guarantee that USB-C will be the connector of the future. Apple’s Thunderbolt 3 connector uses USB-C and Intel claims it has developed a USB audio standard to make the 3.5mm audio jack totally obsolete. These are two tell-tale signs of the C revolution.

    To learn more about USB-C and what it replaces, read our previous blog post.

    五月 15, 2017 By masy@eeco Blog Technology explained
  • Smart Home and Smart Products Explained

    Smart Home and Smart Products Explained

    Smart Home Explained

    Wireless technology continues to advance every year. It leads to innovations in many ways, one of which is Smart Home technology. Smart Home is a blanket term for home automation, which consists of wirelessly controlled devices replacing conventional devices in the home. Examples of these devices include doorbells that let you see and talk to visitors, thermostats that automatically adjust temperatures by learning your behaviors, and lightbulbs that can dim and change color to suit your mood. Other examples include automated cookware, appliances and security.

    Why do we have Smart Home technology?

    Smart Home technology is intended to ease the stress of home maintenance and provide home owners with security and control over their place of comfort. It is also intended to reduce energy waste by letting computers do all the hard work.

    Eco-friendly

    Products such as Nest’s Learning Thermostat aim to save energy and reduce monthly bills. Over time, the thermostat learns when you’re at home and when you’re not, and automatically adjusts the temperature accordingly. Thanks to a mobile app, the thermostat can be controlled via Wi-Fi, allowing you to fire-up the heat/air-con when you leave the office or turn it off when you’re on the other side of the world.

    Smart lightbulbs like the popular Philips Hue provide the ability to change color and dim the lights using a Wi-Fi enabled app. While changing color provides no energy-saving benefits, the ability to dim the bulbs does. When you’re not in need of a bright room, dim the lights and save money on your energy bill. Up to 50 Hue bulbs can be connected at once, leading to a controlled home from anywhere in the world.

    Smart plugs for auto on/off

    Smart Plug Appliance Control

    Several companies create smart plugs, which can also be wirelessly controlled. Smart plugs are possibly the best Smart Home product. Any device or appliance plugged into a smart plug can be turned on/off by using a mobile device. A few apps allow the plugs to be scheduled, so they turn on at exactly the right moment. For example, a coffee maker connected to a smart plug can be scheduled to turn on at 7am, giving you a freshly brewed pot of coffee when you get to the kitchen. Additionally, when you get to work and can’t remember if you turned the stove off, a smart plug helps to make sure it is.

    Security

    Smart Home Security

    While saving energy and cutting your monthly utility bill is a major reason to upgrade to a Smart Home, security is another reason. Smart Home technology has made home security much more affordable. Installing security cameras, door cameras and motion sensors has never been easier. Wi-Fi capability provides the ability to see who is ringing your doorbell when you’re not home; motion sensors detect if an intruder is inside and sends a notification to your mobile phone; and cameras installed inside the home let you see if Fido is going through the trash again.

    When it comes to security, not everything revolves around Wi-Fi. Most devices that are controlled via Wi-Fi can also be used with Bluetooth. Bluetooth enabled door locks can unlock the front door when you get home, so you don’t have to fumble with keys or worry about getting locked out.

    Be a better cook

    Do your cookies come out unpalatable? Are you just too tired to mix up the right amount of ingredients after a long day? Smart Home kitchen products are making cooking effortless. Ovens, air fryers, fridges and coffee makers are becoming smarter. The June Intelligent Oven makes roasting a breeze. Place a dish inside, select what you’re cooking using the app, and the oven uses built-in cameras to cook food to perfection.

    Meanwhile, the Perfect Bake Pro ensures you use the right amount of each ingredient to make the perfect baked goods. It’s a Bluetooth kitchen scale that comes with an app containing recipes and step-by-step guides. By placing a container on the scale, it tells you how much to add of each ingredient and when to move onto the next one. Your next batch of chocolate chip cookies will be one to remember.

    Finally, Crockpot has got a Wi-Fi enabled version for the most delicious slow-cooked recipes you can come home to. Sure, security and energy saving is nice – but cooking delicious food with little to no effort is even better.

    Voice control

    Smart Home Voice Control

    By now, you’ve heard about Amazon Echo or Google Home. These are two major Smart Home products created by their respective companies. Voice control brings a sleuth of features and convenience to a Smart Home. All your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connected devices can now be controlled by voice – from anywhere in your house.

    “OK Google, turn down the temperature to 23 degrees.”

    “Alexa, turn on the home alarm system.”

    “Siri, dim the lights to 50%.”

    Voice assistants are convenient to use on a mobile device, but become even more so when it comes to home automation. Most Smart Home products on the market are compatible with one or more voice assistants.

    The future is smarter

    Home automation is the future of our homes. Smart Home products are innovating our “dumb” devices and appliances, leading to a truly futuristic home. Anything and everything we use today will eventually be controlled by our smartphones. The convenience, security and savings are major advantages to a Smart Home.

    What does a Smart Home look like to you? Have you bought/will buy Smart Home products? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

    五月 9, 2017 By eecotech Blog Future Living Technology explained
  • Debunked: setting straight the top five charging myths

    Debunked: setting straight the top five charging myths

    5 Charging Myth

    “Don’t charge your phone all night.”

    “Don’t charge your phone before draining the battery.”

    “Don’t use a phone while it’s charging.”

    We’ve all heard these “don’ts” many times before. These are just a few of the many battery and charging related myths out there. It’s time they were examined and… debunked!

    Charging Myth #1

    Don’t use your phone while charging

    Many people believe that using a mobile device while it’s charging is bad for the battery. The belief is that the combination of use, charge and heat will reduce battery life faster than normal. Then there’s also the danger of overheating.

    Truth: Mobile device batteries have come a long way and so have chargers. Quality chargers will only send enough power to the phone as necessary. With technologies such as Quick Charge and Dash Charge, overheating is a thing of the past. So go ahead, watch movies, play games and connect with your friends while charging.

    Charging Myth #2

    Charging a phone overnight will damage the battery

    Truth: Battery and charging technology has advanced. Smartphones are smart enough to know when a device is fully charged. Once a phone hits 100%, it stops drawing power from the charger. This means the battery isn’t being used at all. There is nothing wrong with leaving your mobile device charging through the night.

    Charging Myth #3

    Drain the battery before charging

    Truth: Draining the battery all the way close to 0% is detrimental because it causes batteries to become unstable. The optimal amount of charge for a phone is anywhere between 40%-80%. Don’t drain; hold a charge.

    Charging Myth #4

    All chargers are the same

    Truth: No, not all chargers are the same. Some chargers are made with better quality and materials in mind. It’s tempting to buy a cheap charger to save money, but the trade-off is safety. If a charger comes without warranty or safety certifications, you can risk damage to your mobile device or worse: battery explosion and/or fire. Be sure to purchase a charger that complies with international standards and certifications.

    Charging Myth #5

    You don’t need to turn off mobile devices

    Truth: Electronics are not invincible machines that can run 24/7 without encountering any problems. Mobile devices like smartphones need to take a break occasionally. It may be an inconvenience to turn off your phone and miss important updates, but you don’t have to do it every day. Turning off your mobile device once a week is enough for it to rest and get back to work the next day.

    There are many more battery and charging related myths out there. Before Li-ion batteries came along, these myths held some truth. However, technology is more efficient and much smarter than ever before. Before believing what aunt Helen says about sticking a battery in the freezer, read the manuals your product came with. If the answer is not there, contact the company directly.

    五月 5, 2017 By eeco Blog Technology explained
  • 5 things to consider before buying a power bank

    5 things to consider before buying a power bank

    5 Things to Consider Before Buying A Power BankPower banks make life easier by keeping portable devices charged wherever you go. Whether you are going camping, traveling overseas or commuting to work, power banks are a must-have electronic accessory. But there are so many brands making a variety of power banks, which one is the best? Here are five things to consider before buying a power bank.

    What is a power bank?

    A power bank is a portable charger for mobile devices. Like a smartphone, it contains multiple Li-ion batteries allowing you to charge on-the-go. They come in various shapes and sizes but all perform the same core function: charging.

    1. Capacity (battery size)

    The capacity – or how much power a portable charger holds – is an important factor to consider. Capacities can range from 2000mAh to over 30000mAh. If your smartphone or mobile device has a battery size of 3000mAh, you can charge it fully once with a 4000mAh power bank and still have some juice left over. With a 10000mAh power bank, you can charge your mobile device up to three times! However, the larger the battery, the bigger the size and weight.

    1. Physical size and weight

    If you need a power bank with a large capacity, then you’ll have to sacrifice a little bit of portability. 2000-4000mAh power banks are not much bigger than a permanent marker and are convenient for daily commutes and short trips. Power banks with capacities of 10000mAh to 20000mAh or more are considerably bigger and heavier because of how many batteries are inside the device.

    1. Number of ports

    How many devices do you need to charge at one time? The amount of ports on a power bank can severely limit you and your friends if you need to charge more than one device. Ideally, a power bank with two or more USB ports is best. With two ports, you can charge a phone and a tablet or laptop at the same time.

       3.5. It’s also important to consider the type of port: USB-A or USB-C? USB-C can charge faster than Micro-USB or Lightning. As more devices adopt USB Type-C ports, it’s an advantage to have a power bank with such a port.

    1. How fast it can charge

    Wall chargers can charge a mobile device within one hour. Standard power banks take longer to fully charge a mobile device (an hour or more!). But there are proprietary charging technologies from several brands promising to charge a smartphone up to 60-80% in 30 minutes, for example Qualcomm’s Quick Charge.

       4.5. While Quick Charge is an excellent way to charge your device faster, USB-C is another option. USB-C provides enough power and speed to charge large devices such as laptops and the new Nintendo Switch.

    1. Extra functions and cool tricks

    Power banks are not just limited to charging a device. There are a handful of power banks on the market that do more. Some come with a handy LED flashlight to light up the night; others heat up to double as hand warmers for the winter season. Finally, some power banks are built rugged to handle falls and even the occasional dip in water.

    There are other factors to consider when purchasing a power bank, such as safety certifications, price and brand reputation. eeco’s power banks meet safety certifications like FC, CE & RoHS. Thanks to the eeco Promise, it anything goes wrong, all products are covered by a 24-month warranty.

    四月 28, 2017 By eeco Blog Technology explained
  • Bluetooth 5: Explained!

    Bluetooth 5: Explained!

    Bluetooth 5

    via Bluetooth SIG

    After two years, Bluetooth finally received a major update this past December. It went under the radar until the Samsung Galaxy S8 announcement in March. The S8 will be the first device to offer Bluetooth 5. 5no more “v” or “x.0” – is a major upgrade over 4.0 and its 4.x updates.

    What is Bluetooth?

    Bluetooth is a wireless technology invented by Ericsson in 1994. It allows the ability to connect devices wirelessly by “pairing” them. It is cross platform, so it works with almost any device on the market (iPhone/Android/Windows/Linux). Bluetooth allows the transfer of data, audio and control of Bluetooth-compatible devices such as speakers, wireless mouse/keyboard and smart home products. In contrast to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth has lower power-consumption, making it a useful addition in mobile devices.

    A worthy update

    Almost everything can be connected via Bluetooth: headphones, speakers, cameras, mouse/keyboards, fitness bands, door locks and even lightbulbs. With so many devices polluting the airwaves, Bluetooth devices can easily disconnect or not pair with a mobile device.

    Bluetooth 5 intends to fix this. According to Bluetooth SIG, Inc.,“5 quadruples range, doubles speed, [and] increases data broadcasting capacity by 800%.”

    What Bluetooth 5 promises to do

    1. Better pairing with devices

      If you own Bluetooth peripherals and try to pair them with your mobile device, then you’ve noticed how slow the process can be. Issues can be that the device isn’t recognized, cannot connect or connects and then disconnects. Bluetooth 5 promises to connect more devices, faster. The new upgrade should transfer data two times faster than 4.0, and there will be less audio delay with connected speakers and headphones.

    1. Greater range, better connectivity

      An issue with previous versions of Bluetooth has been the short range, especially indoors. Without a clear line-of-sight, Bluetooth is limited to a range of 10m. Connect an audio device, walk out of range or into another room and the audio begins to skip or stop working altogether. Outdoors, 4.0 provides a theoretical maximum range of 50m. Bluetooth 5 quadruples the range to 40m indoors and 200m outdoors. This means you can leave your phone in your bedroom and catch some sun in the backyard.

    1. Significantly faster data transfer speed

      One of the biggest advantages Bluetooth 5 has over 4.0 are data speeds that are eight times faster. Forget Wi-Fi or cable transfer of your photo gallery, use 5 without issue. Thanks to the ability to transfer eight times the data, 5 also allows pairing two devices at the same time. So, if you have two Bluetooth speakers in the house, connect them both to play audio at the same time.

    2. Stronger signal

      Bluetooth 5 promises to reduce interference from other Bluetooth and wireless devices. If you’re using a wireless keyboard to type an email on your computer, it won’t disconnect because of interference from your smartwatch. Similarly, when your phone is connected to your car, it won’t skip or drop calls because of your neighbor’s Wi-Fi signal.

    The Internet of things 

    “Bluetooth is revolutionizing how people experience the IoT. Bluetooth 5 continues to drive this revolution by delivering reliable IoT connections and mobilizing the adoption of beacons, which in turn will decrease connection barriers and enable a seamless IoT experience.” Mark Powell, Executive Director of the Bluetooth SIG

    The Internet of Things continues to grow and Bluetooth 5 aims to help connect IoT enabled devices. Thanks to advances in pairing and a more robust signal, Bluetooth 5 will keep them connected for a pleasant experience. If you have multiple smart lightbulbs, speakers and other devices around the house, 5 allows you to pair and control all of them. The combination of longer range, faster transfer speeds and better pairing offers a variety of opportunities to make your home smart.

    Available, but coming soon

    Bluetooth 5 was officially released in December 2016, but not every device in 2017 will have it. For now, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the first-and-only device with 5, but expect mobile devices of Fall 2017 (iPhone 8?) to come equipped with better Bluetooth.

    四月 25, 2017 By eecotech Blog Tech in the news
  • The Switch to C

    The Switch to C

    The Switch to CThe highly-anticipated release of the Nintendo Switch has stores quickly running out of stock. 1.5 million consoles were sold in the first week, and sales continue to rise. It’s the first time Nintendo has combined the portability of a hand-held system with a gaming console. Besides Wi-Fi, connectivity includes Bluetooth and multiple USB ports including a USB-C port. Charging via USB-C is a first for Nintendo.

    There’s a first time for everything

    Up until now, Nintendo has only used its own proprietary charging connectors. The switch to USB-C (no pun intended) means the Nintendo Switch can be recharged anywhere with any charging device. Portable chargers like power banks are ideal for gamers on-the-go.

    However, the Nintendo Switch does not come with Quick Charge or any other type of proprietary charging methods. USB-C can deliver a large amount of power, but the Switch doesn’t take advantage of this. Its 4,310mAh battery takes 3.5 hours to fully charge.

    This charge time is based on using the included charger and dock that comes with the Nintendo Switch. Is it possible to charge the Switch using a standard wall charger and USB to Type-C cable? It is possible, but the charge time is significantly slower.

    The charging question

    How fast would a USB-C charger or power bank with a USB-C to C cable charge the Switch? The result: much faster.

    Hooking up our 10000mAh aluminum power bank with USB-C PD (power delivery) charged the Nintendo Switch to 45% in one hour. Granted, this was while it was in sleep mode, using no power.

    In conclusion, our testing shows not every power bank can charge the Nintendo Switch properly. Both the power bank and cable matter. Power banks must support USB-C output and the cable must be Type-C on both ends.

    A USB-C cable is not included with the Switch, but here’s one of ours.

    四月 21, 2017 By eecotech Blog Tech in the news
  • HKTDC Electronics Fair: The 7 Cool Tech Products We Saw

    HKTDC Electronics Fair: The 7 Cool Tech Products We Saw

    Last week, the eeco team attended the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s (HKTDC) Electronics Fair in Wan Chai. It’s an excellent place to see what new tech products are coming to the market. In 2016, over 62,000 people attended the fair and over 2,800 exhibitors were present. There was no shortage this year, either.

    With that being a quick introduction, this blog post will cover a few products the eeco team thinks are cool. At the HKTDC Electronics Fair, technological innovation was lacking, but design made up for it. Products such as Bluetooth speakers shrunk in size and other products adopted premium materials such as aluminum and steel. A few products showcased their tasteful artistic designs.

    Bluetooth Speakers

    Villo: artistic, multi-directional Bluetooth speakers

    Villo Color Villo Open Villo Covers

    One of the coolest Bluetooth speakers we saw are made by a company called Villo. They immediately caught our attention by their colorfully designed speaker covers. The covers are interchangeable; so, if you’re not feeling the all-black cover, switch it for a colorful mosaic or one that resembles fire. Villo’s unique design creates an almost surround-sound experience with its multi-directional speakers. Up to 10 Villo speakers can be connected for audio throughout the house.

    Mentioned: FABRIQ

    Fabriq Speaker Fabriq Speaker

    FABRIQ is a sister-brand of Villo. These compact Bluetooth speakers have a bunch of different designs and can also pair with other FABRIQs to pump up the noise.

    EWA: compact, steel Bluetooth speakers

    EWA BT Speaker EWA BT Speaker

    At a glance, EWA’s Bluetooth speakers are nothing special. But hold them, lift them and don’t drop them, because they’re heavy. Made of brushed steel, one speaker as big as the palm of your hand weighs over a whopping 500 grams. The use of steel makes these speakers feel durable and keeps them sturdy on any surface. The sound quality is surprisingly good for compact speakers, especially from the mini ones.

    Wall Adapters

    PowerCube: multi-port modular wall plug

    PowerCube PowerCube

    PowerCube by Allocacoc is a wall plug that supports multiple inputs. Each PowerCube comes with a master switch built-in that shuts off power. The company’s design is a common theme (modular cubes), but each version has a different twist. PowerCube Remote comes with a battery-free remote. A nice feature of the Remote is that it can connect to multiple PowerCubes; one switch turns on/off all the cubes in your apartment.

    Smart Home

    Smart mirrors: check your reflection, the weather and the day’s events

    Imagine a television that replaces your bathroom mirror. Wake up in the morning and get ready to brush your teeth. As you look up, alongside your reflection you see the day’s weather and tasks. Once connected with Alexa or HomeKit, use voice commands to play music, check emails or secure your home. Running on Android, the home screen of smart mirrors can be arranged to your liking. As television screens become thinner and lighter, smart mirrors may one day replace standard mirrors in your home.

    Orvibo: touch-based glass wall outlets

    Orvibo is a company specializing in Smart Home products. Formats like Amazon Echo and Apple HomeKit are supported by Orvibo products to control doorbells, cameras, curtains and overall home security. Orvibo’s light switches are a cool product. Made of a glass-like material, the switch turns on/off with a touch of the finger. There’s nothing to press; a light-touch does the magic.

    Mobile Accessory 

    PIECE: dual-SIM adapter

    PIECE SIM

    PIECE is a cool phone accessory. It’s half the size of an iPhone 5s, and doubles as a second SIM card slot. Simply insert a SIM card into the device, connect it to your phone via Bluetooth and voila, your phone now has dual-SIM capability. Unfortunately, it only supports 2G, so data capability is out; only phone calls and text messages are supported. The material build isn’t the best, as the shell felt flimsy. PIECE comes with a dedicated “selfie-button” to take pictures on your phone and has an alarm to locate your phone if the two are separated. The built-in 550mAh battery provides four hours of talk-time.

    Your Thoughts

    What do you think of these seven products? Do you think they’re cool enough for you to buy/use in your own home? Have you seen products that are way, way, way cooler? Let us know in the comments below!

    四月 17, 2017 By eecotech Blog Tech in the news
  • Apple won’t lose its Lightning, and here’s why

    Apple won’t lose its Lightning, and here’s why

    Rumors of the upcoming iPhone 8 (or 7S) are floating around on the Interwebs. They talk about what the phone will look like or what it will feature. Talk about wireless charging, curved screens and larger phone size are just a few. One rumor that has gained traction is the debate over whether Apple will ditch the Lightning connector and make a total switch to USB-C.

    A Wall Street Journal article reported “people with direct knowledge of Apple’s production plans” saying,

    “…Apple [will] introduce other updates including a USB-C port for the power cord and other peripheral devices, instead of the company’s original Lightning connector.”

    Will Apple ditch its proprietary Lightning connector in favor of USB-C? One side of the argument says yes. The evidence: Macbooks. Apple’s new line of Macbooks have made a full switch to USB-C.

    The other side says no. The evidence: Apple’s MFi certification program.

    Made by Apple, for Apple

    Money is LightningThe no’s have a substantial argument. MFi – Made for iPod, iPad and iPhone, is a money-maker for Apple. Any hardware or software made by a third-party for iPods, iPads and iPhones must receive a MFi certification to use Apple and product logos on their packaging. To become MFi certified, third-party products must pass certification tests and pay a licensing fee. They must also carry a special chip inside for compatibility with iOS.

    There’s no doubting Apple has a giant share of the smartphone and tablet market. With such popularity, there’s of course going to be hundreds of third-party manufacturers looking to make a profit. For Apple, this translates to $$$.

    It’s all about control

    Besides the MFi certification program, Apple has no interest in losing control of its proprietary Lightning connector. Google may be pushing USB-C as the future of cables, but it’s nothing exclusive to Google itself. With the Lightning connector, Apple controls what goes into their devices, thereby keeping control of their connector, device and the money that comes from it. Imagine if the iPhone could use USB-C cables. Would you buy a USB-C cable from Apple or the one made by LG or Samsung for a third of the cost?

    Continuing the theme of money in this blog post, sticking with a Lightning connector also saves Apple money. The amount of time and money spent in R&D to ensure a new connector (USB-C) works perfectly and looks good in a slim, attractive device just isn’t worth it. Why fix something that’s not broken?

    The connector going into an Apple device won’t lose its Lightning, but it doesn’t mean the other end won’t be USB-C. USB-C is a powerful connector; it supplies power, audio and video all-in-one and therefore, it’s a connector of convenience for Apple. It basically does what Lightning has been doing for years now.

    Lightning will stay

    Any rumors circulating about Apple ditching the Lightning connector are just rumors. It will all be revealed this coming Fall.

    四月 14, 2017 By eeco Blog Tech in the news
  • Wireless Charging – the magic of inductive charging

    Wireless Charging – the magic of inductive charging

    Wireless charging is magic. Actually, it’s not. But if you weren’t living in the 21st century, it might as well be. Wireless charging is – literally – charging without the need of a wire. No cables, tangling or frustration. Simply drop your smartphone on a wireless charger and watch the magic begin.

    It’s not magic – so what is it, scientifically?

    Wireless charging – or inductive charging – is a method of charging electronics that uses an electromagnetic field to send energy between two objects. Both objects require an induction coil within them to transfer energy a.k.a. charge.

    Phone charging wirelessly

    1. Power is provided to the wireless charger via a cable connecting it to a battery charger.
    2. Energy provided is alternating current (AC).
    3. The wireless charger then sends that energy via induction coil to the device’s induction coil.
    4. Alternative currents between the two induction coils create a magnetic field.
    5. The magnetic field generates a current within the device.
    6. Current flowing into the device’s induction coil (receiver coil) is converted into direct current (DC).
    7. The device is thus charged.

    Key advantages

    The key advantages of wireless charging are:

    1. No wires to connect the two objects to charge.
    2. Electronics are closed and nothing is exposed to water or air or particles. Corrosion and electrical faults are therefore not a concern.
    3. Without having to plug or unplug anything, charging ports remain durable and in good condition.
    4. It is aesthetically pleasing. No cables are involved.

    Wireless charging is magical, but it does have disadvantages. For example, because a direct current is not sent from charger to device, the device charges slower. Much of the energy is lost during conversion. At the same time, inconvenience is an issue. To charge a device wirelessly, it must remain on the wireless charger. Moving it away cancels the charge. This means you can hardly use your phone while charging.

    Lastly, a big issue is heat. Wireless charging causes phones to heat up considerably, which could potentially harm its battery.

    It’s still a baby

    Wireless charging is still a baby, but there is much more technological innovation and development planned. Multiple standards currently exist, but for smartphones and tablets, Qi is the one to look at. Most smartphones that support wireless charging use this standard.

    Samsung Galaxy S6/S7/S8, Google Nexus 5/6 and Nokia Lumia lines use Qi wireless charging. With the vast amount of smartphones out there, consumers can expect Qi and other standards to be adopted in the future.

    It’s not just smartphones adopting wireless charging as a safe and convenient method of charging. Wearable tech like smartwatches are next in line. It’s much easier to charge a smartwatch by dropping it on a wireless charger than plugging it in and out each time.

    Companies have also developed ways to bring this convenient method of charging to electronic devices that use AA batteries. Video game controllers, remotes, toys and many more consumer electronics use AA batteries. PowerbyProxi has developed a method to create wirelessly charging AA batteries. Imagine dropping your PlayStation controller, drone or RC car onto a wireless charger without needing to carry and fumble around with cables. It even becomes unnecessary to remove batteries from electronics to charge them.

    It’s an eco-friendly method that will reduce battery waste, which is a difficult and hazardous material to dispose.

    Don’t have a Qi compatible phone? Don’t worry!

    Charging adapter for wireless charging

    There are a few ways to bring wireless charging to your device. If you’re lucky enough to have a phone with a removable back cover, you can apply a wireless charging adapter to the back, such as the one in this video. As the adapter sticks onto the battery and is hidden under the back cover, an attached cable inserts into the phone’s charging port. This then delivers power to the phone via wireless charging.

    Some phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 have stick-on wireless charging coils that don’t require the need for a charging port. They simply stick onto the battery and provide wireless charging capabilities. Check out this video to see how it works.

    If your phone is sealed and can’t be pried open, you may still be in luck. For example, Sony’s Xperia Z2 and Z3 can be wirelessly charged by purchasing a case that has a battery and wireless capability built-in. You’ll always need to have the case on, though. A few products with the same function also exist for Apple’s iPhones. If you’re looking for longer battery life and protection, these two-in-one wireless charging cases are a handy phone accessory.

    Is wireless charging the future?

    A wireless charging future is a convenient future. Technologies are being developed where devices can be charged simply by entering a room. Wireless charging may one day be an invisible wavelength always around us. But that is still a future to look forward to.

    We are heading towards a wireless future, but a wirelessly charged future is still in the works.

    四月 10, 2017 By eeco Blog Technology explained
  • The dangers of using damaged cables

    The dangers of using damaged cables

    The wireless revolution has gained significant traction in the past decade, but the world’s dependence on cables continues. Cables are an everyday and necessary item for each mobile device. Apple is cutting down on how many cables consumers need for their products, but it’s still chained to them.

    Cables are inexpensive and widely available. Most of us are abusive with them. We’ll tug them straight out of the outlet or throw them into a pocket or bag without properly wrapping them. Eventually, the rubber tears and the wiring inside begins to fray.

    Damaged cables are dangerous

    When a cable is forcibly bent in a particular direction or the rubber casing begins to tear off, it means a cable is damaged. It’s a warning sign: get a new cable.

    Using damaged cables is dangerous. Not only is it dangerous to your mobile device, but it can have greater consequences such as electrocution and can be considered a fire hazard.

    The National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE) in Japan warns consumers about the danger of charging cables. Over a five-year period, 48 cases were recorded in which cables caused minor injuries and property damage. To prove how much a hazard damaged cables can be, NITE produced a video that shows a cable purposefully bent, then straightened. Once in use, the cable begins to emit smoke.

    According to the Office of Compliance (USA), 53,600 home fires were caused by electric failure or malfunction from damaged power cords in 2008. In dollar cost, that is $1.4 billion in property damage.

    Don’t use a damaged cable

    Not only is there a danger of electrocution from a damaged cable, but you can also cause shorting of your expensive mobile devices.

    Once a cable is frayed or pinched (bent or chewed on), it doesn’t deliver power in the same, safe way it used to. A smartphone may charge slowly, intermittently or not at all. By continuing to use the damaged cable, you can risk shorting your smartphone.

    What to do if a cable is damaged

    As soon as a cable shows signs of wear and tear, stop using it and replace it immediately. Continuing to use a damaged cable is not only dangerous, but it is also a violation of the US National Electrical Code.

    eeco’s cables are made to withstand abuse by using a Kevlar-like material. These cables can withstand up to 10,000 bends. But even these cables can fail, so make sure to replace them when needed!

    For tips on how to make your cables last longer and take better care of them, check out our previous blog post!

    四月 6, 2017 By eeco Blog Technology explained
  • Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ | Everything you need to know

    Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ | Everything you need to know

    The Samsung S8 / S8+ is here…

    techradar Samsung S8 screenshot techradar

    Coming April 21st is Samsung’s greatest phone yet, the Galaxy S8 and S8+.  Exceptionally beautiful and considerably expensive. This phone is possibly Samsung’s most important release to date, considering the spontaneously combusting Note 7 the year before. It’s an opportunity to present and best rivals such as the LG G6 and the upcoming iPhone 8, and show consumers it won’t get them booted off planes due to bomb scares.

    Created with a combination of glass (Corning’s Gorilla Glass) covering the front and back, and metal holding everything together. In looks alone, the Samsung S8 is unlike its predecessors. Samsung has removed the recognizable physical home button and capacitive buttons, instead replacing them with on-screen buttons. The standard power and volume buttons are located on the right and left respectively, with an additional third button underneath the volume. This new button launches Samsung’s Siri-like AI, Bixby. More on that later.

    With physical buttons removed, the Samsung S8 uses a similar haptic-feedback like Apple’s iPhone 7 for a button-like feeling. Such a large screen leaves no room for physical buttons.

    The screen is beautiful

    CNET Samsung S8 website screenshot CNET

    At a whopping 5.8 inches, Samsung calls the new display: “Infinity Display.” It’s gorgeous. Curved edges at the sides make it hard to tell where the metal body meets the display. Thanks to on-screen buttons and the removal of Samsung’s logo, the top and bottom have been stretched to incorporate the massive display.

    A large increase of 0.7 inches in display size would mean an equally large increase in physical size, but it doesn’t. Over the S7, the S8 is hardly any bigger. The Samsung S8 and its 5.8-inch screen is equal to the S7 Edge and it’s 5.5-inch.

    A Super AMOLED display is standard, but this time the resolution increases (amongst other things) to 2960×1440 pixels. Samsung says there’s room to place two apps side-by-side, so social networking and watching videos is seamless.

    Don’t you go, headphone jack 

    To silence rumors that Samsung followed Apple and cut out the headphone jack, the new S8/S8+ keeps the 3.5mm standard. Audiophiles and consumers will be relieved to hear there will be no need to buy an adapter to plug in 3.5mm headsets.

    Next to the headphone jack is a future-proof and Google-backed USB-C port. Alongside these two plugins is the speaker. Very standard.

    Impressive hardware

    Like all Samsung flagships of the past, the S8/S8+ stuffs the best hardware on the market into a slim, compact design. Two chipsets are offered: a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Octa-core for the US market, and Samsung’s very own Exynos Octa-core for the international market. This much power should theoretically provide a blazing-fast user experience on Android’s 7.0 Nougat software.

    4GB of RAM and 64GB of on-board storage accompany an expandable SD card slot with support for up to 2TB of space. NFC and MST for secure, wireless transfer and Samsung Pay are adopted from the S7 along with IP68 certification, making the Samsung S8 pair water and dust resistant.

    Battery life and the charge

    Samsung S8 website screenshot S8 website screenshot

    Until reviews of battery life are conducted, numbers and hope is all that is available. Battery capacity isn’t impressive. 3,000mAh on the Samsung S8 and 3,500mAh on the S8+ is a less juice than expected to supply a larger, more power-hungry display. Thankfully, Qualcomm’s Quick Charge is there in both wired and wireless charging formats. The new Snapdragon 835 chipset supports QC 4.0, which promises to be both USB-C & USB-PD compliant while delivering 50% charge in 15 minutes.

    Camera improvement

    Taking a break from ogling the display and taking a closer look at the Samsung S8, the rear camera hasn’t changed. It’s the same 12-megapixel lens with OIS from the S7. However, Samsung states the camera software is better to improve picture quality and speed. The rear camera may not have changed, but the front camera gets a big improvement. It’s an 8-megapixel sensor with autofocus for those beauty shots.

    New software tricks and fingerprint sensor 

    Samsung S8 website screenshot S8 website screenshot

    Previously, S6 and S7 had their fingerprint sensor located on the home button itself. A convenient location to unlock the phone without having to punch in unlock codes or patterns. On the Samsung S8, the lack of a home button means the fingerprint sensor must be moved. It’s now located at the back next to the camera, rather than under it like other Android manufacturers. It’s not the best location as the camera will get smudged when fumbling around trying to unlock the phone.

    Iris scanning is back on the Samsung S8, and is an alternative to fingerprint scanning. By using “eye-prints,” the phone can unlock the phone and make payments. Even better, Samsung improves Android’s face detect system to unlock the S8.

    The most compelling software feature is DeX. By purchasing a special dock from Samsung, the S8/S8+ can be hooked up to a monitor, keyboard and mouse to get a desktop-like feel. DeX can only run Android apps, but with most desktop apps now available on Android, it’s a useful feature for those business and tech-savvy people on-the-go.

    Hello, Bixby

    Samsung S8 website screenshot S8 website screenshot

    Say hello to Bixby, Samsung’s version of Siri – or Google Assistant – or Cortana – or Alexa. Remember the dedicated Bixby button mentioned earlier? Hold that and it launches Samsung’s personal assistant. It only supports 10 built-in apps and any new apps must be coded to support it. While it’s no different (and may be lacking) than Google or Apple’s personal assistants, Bixby does have a trick up its sleeve. By using its in-camera features, point the Samsung S8 camera at any objects and Bixby will search the web for it. See a cool pair of shoes or an eclectic watch? Bixby will search the web and show where it can be bought online.

    Initially, Bixby is trained to only recognize US and Korean humans.

    The S8 or the S8+? Choosing is easy

    Besides the screen size and battery capacity, the two phones are identical. Hardware, software and cameras come with no difference between the Samsung S8 pair. If screen size is important, the Galaxy S8+ is the way to go. But if budget is a concern, the Samsung S8 is $120 cheaper.

    In conclusion, no matter the choice, it’s undeniable the S8/S8+ is the sleekest and most beautiful smartphone on the market.

    三月 30, 2017 By eeco Blog Tech in the news
  • A Wireless Future is Inevitable; Charging is the Next Step

    A Wireless Future is Inevitable; Charging is the Next Step

    Cables are definitely going out of fashion. Around the late 90s and early 2000s, essentially everything was wired. Internet, file transfer, mice and keyboards, game controllers, headphones, doorbells; for the vast majority of people, these things all needed a physical connection or it was no-go. However, the wizardry of wireless technology has been spreading fairly relentlessly and now a wired connection seems disappointingly archaic. With rumors that the iPhone 8 may ship without any ports at all it begs the question, is a portless smartphone really imminent?

    Portless smartphones and a life without cables

    In truth we are already most of the way there. With the removal of the audio port from several recent phones, including the iPhone 7, the reasons for connecting a cable to your device have dwindled further. Wireless headphones are becoming more and more sophisticated, whether it’s via Bluetooth 5.0 or Apple’s W1 chip. Data can also be transferred easily through wireless methods and this area of technology is only going to improve further. The primary use of the remaining port on smartphones is charging, and this is the primary barrier that has to be overcome if we want to go fully wireless.

    Cableless current, portless power

    Wireless charging has been heralded for years as the next big thing but the technology hasn’t matched the hype. Every year there is however, incremental improvement and slowly but surely wireless charging is starting to go places and win converts.

    Survival of the fittest

    One of the main problems at the moment is that there is no unified standard, and the inevitable battle to the death between the different competitors is still under way. The current big two are Qi and Rezence, although there are others trying to squeeze in. The two standards are incompatible, so a lot of people are waiting for one or the other to “win” before committing too heavily to wireless charging.

    Wireless Shortcomings

    However, the main barrier to widespread adoption of wireless charging has always been the extremely short range of it. The wireless charging pads that have been on the market for the past few years require the device to be within a few centimeters for charging to take place. This has few advantages over wired charging and the added disadvantage of not being able to freely use your phone as it charges. This kind of close-range charging is called inductive charging, but luckily that are other types under development.

    The different ranges of wireless charging

    As we can see, long range charging is currently riddled with too many flaws to make it worthwhile, but mid-range resonance charging seems very promising. It’s powerful enough to charge a laptop and has a decent range. Others have seen the potential too, and there’s a sizeable chunk of R&D money going into perfecting this technology. There are already products of this type on the market, and trade shows like CES have seen some really promising looking solutions that are not far away from going mass-market.

    The Apple way

    With practical wireless charging close at hand, it seems that talk of portless smartphones isn’t fanciful at all (and you just know Apple is itching to make headlines again with another bold omission!). Once wireless charging and portless phones become common, it won’t be long before the last cables start disappearing from other devices and equipment too. The future is going to be wireless, and we can’t wait.

    What do you think? Will we see a portless phone in 2017? Do you think going completely wireless is a good thing or a bad thing? Let us know in the comments!

    十二月 22, 2016 By eeco Blog Future Living
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