uBeam Wireless Charging with a Difference

We all know wireless charging is a new fad, put your phone down on a specific mat, tea coaster or part of a lamp and you get your phone charged without having the hassle of plugging it in. Well now it seems uBeam has changed the game.

Previously, wireless charging could only happen when the device was in direct contact or within a few centimeters of the charging device; normally a few pieces of paper were enough to block the signal. Well now, uBeam has designed a way to send wireless power at a distance of up to 15 feet, yes 15 feet!

The technology comes from ultrasound, this is similar to the ultrasound used to look inside people to find abnormalities or babies; so it is safe for humans to be around. It is still in early testing days, but the company has come a long way in a short space of time. It all started out with a massive phone case and a huge sender box; this has now been condensed down to a pretty average looking phone case and a sender that resembles a WiFi router.

Investors are throwing themselves at this project, wireless charging is the future without a doubt. It all started off with a small amount back when the company started out a few years back; then the ‘Series A’ reaped $10 million back in October. Despite how huge this could be, uBeam’s founder is not milking it just yet, with a Series B estimated to take $50 million, but with a valuation of $500 million depending on progress. So far, Starbucks is the only major player to make their name known for interest in the product, but rumours are pointing in the direction of many other companies looking to invest.

I’d be seriously interested in this technology, imagine walking around a shopping centre and having your phone charged for free. Although I bet this wouldn’t be for long, if it can be regulated like WiFi; there will soon be a price put on it.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information

3-D Printed Casts Set to Speed Up Bone Recovery After Break or Fracture

Since its early days 3D printing has come one heck of a long way, both in terms of its physical abilities, but also the cost of manufacturing along with the cost of purchasing the required hardware. Some examples of where 3D printing has made huge breakthroughs includes NASA utilising it on the space station to print out spare components, manufacturers using it to print bespoke products and in the latest twist we are now seeing it put into the medical environment.

Although it’s still in the prototype stage at this moment in time, the 3D printed cast – which is printed in the exact dimensions of the person needing to where it – has an open frame build, offering better air circulation around the skin and also includes ultrasound emitters to produce low intensity ultrasound pulses known as LIPUS to speed the bone regrowth.

Like many things in their prototype stages the LIPUS technology has seen a mixed bag of results with some seeing more benefit than other and in some cases the benefit was so small it was hard to justify the additional cost of going down this path. That said though, the 3D printed cast has proved to be very popular, with a more fashionable design, lighter build and as the cost of producing 3D printed items comes down, the cost of producing these one-off casts will become more cost-effective.

Until clinical studies have shown that the use of LIPUS is continually more beneficial than using a traditional plaster cast, we will have to sit in expectation. Either way, with this technology not really possible with traditional casts, as soon as we see LIPUS spread out into the wide world we’ll see the sci-fi looking casts become a reality.

Source: IFLS

4D Ultrascans Allow 3D Printed Models Of Unborn Fetus

When I took my partner to the hospital for her scans, we got black a white photos of the baby, the more traditional type of scan that I’m sure many of you will be familiar with. Then of course we have the more modern and little more expensive technology that allows you to view a 3D image on the screen, this is called a 4D ultrasound. So where do we go next? Why that would be 3D printing of course!

A company known as 3D Babies is now offering to turn your 4D ultrasound into a 3D printed model. Now while I applaud the fact that the technology used is out right awesome, and the fact that we can then render that image in physical form at a technology level that is available to your average consumer is also awesome, but the concept is just damn creepy.

“Imagine holding your baby before he or she is born.” reads their website, “This is a great way to share the excitement of your new baby with family and friends.” I’m sure that’s a real conversation starter “Here, hold my fetus!”. Maybe I’m being a little odd, to me this is something I couldn’t imagine me or my partner wanting to get printed, but I’m sure there are people out there that want a model fetus on their shelf at home. Either way, it certainly beats out having embarrassing baby photos “here’s one of little Timmy when he was -30 days old”.

The model will set you back $250 and I’m sure there are some people out there that will love to get this done. I do think it’s cool that they can do it, I just wouldn’t know what to do with the model after I had purchased it.

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Engadget.