Month: July, 2017

Anker Is Launching A Campaign For Its New Line Of Wireless Earbuds

zolo

Smartphone accessory maker Anker is getting serious about audio with a new brand name and product line called Zolo. The company plans on selling its first product under the name, the Zolo Liberty+ wireless earbuds.

Although Zolo was first announced earlier this year, the Liberty+ earbuds will be the first product under the brand. The Zolo Liberty+ are slated to start shipping to backers in November 2017.

Anker CEO Steven Yang says the company is stressing three points with the Liberty+ price, smart features, and battery life. That last one makes sense — a healthy chunk of Anker’s business is in selling portable battery packs for smartphones, tablets, and pretty much any other device with a USB charging port.




To that end, Yang says the team of engineers behind the Liberty+ created a device with three and a half hours of standalone battery, with 48 hours of extra battery power stored in the Liberty+ carrying case.

For comparison, Apple’s AirPods last up to five hours on a single charge, but the case stores only 24 hours of backup battery life.

zolo

As for smart features, Yang says the Liberty+ is the first pair of wireless earbuds designed to work with all four major digital assistants: Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana.

The company has also allegedly simplified the pairing process to the point that it works almost as seamlessly as Apple’s AirPods, which rely on the special W1 chip to better bridge communication between the phone and the headphones.

Yang says the company decided to go the Kickstarter route not because it needs the funding, but rather, the company wanted to gauge interest and ensure that it was developing a product consumers would actively want.

Plus, Kickstarter allows Anker to incorporate feedback into the development process. “It’s not for the capital,” Yang says. “We want to really get a batch of loyalists and fans to grow together with the brand.”

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Pass it on: Popular Science

Your Old Cell Phone Can Help Save The Rain Forest

illegal logging

Topher White spends a lot of time walking in and thinking about the forest, and how quickly we’re losing it. So much so that he’s gotten a black eye from being smacked by flying tree branches.

But that’s just a small example of what the engineer is willing to endure to stop global deforestation. Founder of the San Francisco-based nonprofit Rainforest Connection, White has developed a simple but ingenious strategy: using old cell phones to listen for the sound of destruction.

Forests are disappearing worldwide, and fast: Swaths half the size of England are lost each year. The Amazon has lost close to one-fifth of its rain forest cover in the last four decades.




“I didn’t know any of this stuff when I started,” says White, who began his journey in 2011, when he traveled to Indonesian Borneo to help dwindling gibbons.

“I just kind of thought it was about protecting the small areas and animals,” “But no, [deforestation is] actually one of the biggest contributors to climate change.”

Topher White

So he has developed a system in which he rigs a cell phone to stay charged by solar cells, attaches an extra microphone, and listens. From there, the device can detect the sounds of chainsaws nearly a mile away.

And believe it or not, cell phone reception often isn’t bad in the rain forest. When you’re up in the canopy, “you can actually pick up a signal from pretty far away,” says White.

It’s not just about listening for logging. The same technology that can pick out the buzz of a chainsaw can pick out the sounds of specific birds, which is why White sees the forest recordings as a potential science tool.He is urging biologists and ecologists to use his monitoring system anywhere, whether it’s a remote forest or a park in London.

He is urging biologists and ecologists to use his monitoring system anywhere, whether it’s a remote forest or a park in London.

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This Universal Zoom Lens Lets You Zoom Your Smartphone Cameras Up To 8x!

telephoto

The camera on your mobile device has all the power, megapixels, and quality you could want. The kicker is, unlike DSLR cameras, you’re stuck with the one lens.




With this handy accessory, however, you can add some telephoto excellence to your phone, tablet, or laptop. It has a 9° angle of view and an 8x zoom for added versatility.

It’s compatible with most smartphones and tablets, and has an easy clip design. Don’t miss this great deal.

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How Fireworks Work? Here Is The Chemistry Behind A Firework Explosion

fireworks

It’s Independence Day, and that means it’s time for controlled explosions in the sky. No, not Texas post-rock, the great scientific display that is a fireworks show.

“Fireworks are an application of chemistry and engineering: you need good chemistry to get the effects up in the sky and good engineering to make sure they get to the right altitude and burst at the right time,” John Conkling, the former director of the American Pyrotechnics Association.

Firework shows last between 15 to 20 minutes on average, but the amount of planning and preparation that goes into producing these displays can take up to two years.




Designers need ample time to determine the right colors and shapes they want to use, and to time the explosions to the soundtrack.

There are limits on the types of chemicals you can use, however. For one, they can’t be agents that collect moisture, or else they won’t burn properly when lit.

So from its initial lighting to its final spectacular explosion, a firework’s life begins with a lit gunpowder fuse, followed by a gunpowder-boost into the sky, and finishes with an explosion of a chemical medley of fuels, oxidizers, colorants, and binders.

As you enjoy these fiery tributes this weekend, remember how much science is involved behind the rockets’ red glare.

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Pass it on: Popular Science