Category Archives: Technology

Experimental Li-Fi Reaching Speeds Up To 224Gbps

Researchers have been developing a new way of transmitting signals with light instead of radio frequency waves intended to replace Wi-Fi infrastructure. This experimental technology will be capable of carrying speeds of 224Gbps (28GB/s) throughput.

To put into perspective, even the newest routers with latest IEEE 802 standards do not even support close to the speed of Li-Fi. So let’s compare the current standard (802.11ac) to its predecessor (802.11n); not only did they double the spatial streams (multiple transmit and receive antennas) from 4 to 8, and channel width (wider channels, more data) from 40MHz to 80MHz; they also quadrupled the spectral efficiency from 64 to 256 (number of signals able to be transmitted over same frequency). Then you have beamforming that was also present in 802.11n (where it increases throughput by transmitting signals in a directional manner with tracking); however was not implemented as a standard therefore caused interoperability issues.

802.11ac operates on the 5GHz frequency band where attenuation occurs faster at such high frequencies – compared to 2.4GHz present in previous standards; therefore signal attenuation will occur as it is propagated through a medium, i.e. your router is on the other side of a wall. Li-Fi however, can be installed in every single room.

Currently 802.11ac is marketed at speeds of 1.3Gbps (166 MB/s); however, real world tests resulted in speeds of 364Mbps (45.5MB/s). Even at its theoretical maximum running at ~7gbps (~875MB/s) it still would not be anywhere near the speed of Li-Fi.



Japanese Construction Giant Proposes Space Elevator by 2050

Obayashi Corp. has drafted plans to build a space elevator that transports passengers to a space station approximately 22,000 miles high. However, it would take about 7 days to reach. The company described that this technology was viable due to the development of carbon nanotube technology.

The cable that would carry passengers into space would be held into place by a counterweight. The ‘cable car’ is specified to carry around 30 persons. The speed of travel reported by Wired UK is said to be as fast as a high speed train, but nowhere near as comparable to space shuttles that are capable of travelling 28,000 km/h.

On the other hand, speed may not always be the better option in terms of cost. ABC News state that ‘using a space shuttle costs about $22,000 per kilogram to take cargo into space. For the space elevator, the estimate is about $200’, which is approximately one hundredth of the current costs.

Other concerns are how much the whole project would cost from start to finish. Obayashi spokesperson Yomiuri Shimbun informed ‘At this moment, we cannot estimate the cost for the project… However, we’ll try to make steady progress so that it won’t end just up as simply a dream.’

Yale Professor Creates Super Smartphone Cases 3 Times Stronger Than Steel

Smartphone cases are about to get even more durable according to Yale University professor, Jan Schroers. The material is said to be 50 times harder than plastic and 3 times harder than steel. The professor has even designed integrated buttons to access volume and power buttons for example, all while keeping it thin and lightweight.

The manufacturing process has been referred to as ‘thermoplastic forming’ by Scroers, by utilising a supercooled liquid state. Other intricate components can be formed using this process, such as components found in watches.

Android 4.1.1 Jellybean Arrives for The HTC One X

Three network rolled out an OTA update for HTC One X users to Android 4.1.1 at the beginning of this month. This promises to bring exciting new features to the handset including having HTC Sense 4+ UI.

One thing that is noticeable is when the screen changes orientation, this seems to be more snappier than before.

Another aspect is the new, sleek looking notifications bar which now has a nice big digital clock and the option to enable or disable power saver mode. This can be quite handy as you won’t need to go through several menus in the settings to get to it. Notifications of the same type can be expanded; such as emails, which is a neat feature to have.

There is also the introduction of Google Now which can be activated by long pressing the home button. The idea is to show smart information that relates to the user. Currently the cards that are available to my particular device are weather, ETA to commute home and photo spots nearby.

The behaviour of scrolling horizontally between homescreens has now changed. The user is now able to continue scrolling in one horizontal direction infinitely, such that when it reaches the end of the homescreen at either end, it would loop back on itself. Prior to the update one would have to scroll back and forth.

When opening the Gallery app the user is greeted with several icons. Clicking on the thumbnail labelled ‘My phone’ will show the user the photos on the phone. I was surprised to see that the layout has changed, photos are now ordered in a tile fashion, with time and location data. For those who wish to revert to the old style can do so by the drop down button and selecting ‘Albums’ instead of ‘Events’.

The Camera app has added a ‘switch camera’ button for easier access, and there is also the addition of information that displays how many photos you can take and how much video you can capture.

There is the addition of map view whereby it uses the geo-location data for photos taken on the phone and displays them on a map.

Those who are still to receive the update can manually check by heading to Settings -> About Phone -> Software Updates then select ‘Check now’. The update is around 360MB so those on a limited data plan are advised to do this over WiFi. Don’t forget to ensure the phone is on charge or has enough battery, and it is also recommended to back up data.