Energy-harvesting design aims to turn Wi-Fi signals into usable power

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Terahertz waves are pervasive in our daily lives, and if harnessed, their concentrated power could potentially serve as an alternate energy source. Imagine, for instance, a cellphone add-on that passively soaks up ambient T-rays and uses their energy to charge your phone.

Any device that sends out a Wi-Fi signal also emits terahertz waves —electromagnetic waves with a frequency somewhere between microwaves and infrared light. These high-frequency radiation waves, known as “T-rays,” are also produced by almost anything that registers a temperature, including our own bodies and the inanimate objects around us.

Terahertz waves are pervasive in our daily lives, and if harnessed, their concentrated power could potentially serve as an alternate energy source. Imagine, for instance, a cellphone add-on that passively soaks up ambient T-rays and uses their energy to charge your phone. However, to date, terahertz waves are wasted energy, as there has been no practical way to capture and convert them into any usable form.

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This robot will draw anything you do

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Line-us is by far the cutest drawing robot we’ve ever seen. Currently raising funds on Kickstarter, this little bot is essentially a USB-powered arm that connects to an app on your tablet or smartphone and copies anything you draw in real time. (The software also works on Macs and PCs.) You can use it to just play around by mimicking your doodles, or connect it to the internet via Wi-Fi and send and receive messages from anywhere in the world. If someone has the app, they can send a drawing straight to your Line-us over the internet. Okay, so it’s hardly a practical way to get in touch with someone, but who cares: it’s got personality.

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Europe’s Plan for Free Public Wi-Fi Puts America to Shame

Free wi-fi almost anywhere you go.

When the president of the European commission gave his annual state of the union speech this week, he hit all the typical SOTU talking points—unity, pride, stability.

But tucked amid all that was an unusual promise for EU residents: free wireless internet for parks, libraries and other public spaces across Europe.

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WiFi Signals Can ID You by Your Body Shape

With the Internet of Things slated to have tens of billions of connected devices by 2020, one of the most crucial design considerations for internet-connected products is figuring out how to seamlessly integrate these devices into everyday life. In this respect, teaching machines how to identify the individuals they are interacting with is paramount—it will allow for the total personalization of everything that is promised by the IoT. Rather than just having internet-connected light bulbs and refrigerators that are sitting around waiting to get hacked, these devices will be able to recognize you and interface with you according to your preferences (something that devices like the Xbox One are already doing via facial recognition).

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Did a Chinese startup just build the world’s first bendable screen bracelet phone?

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Moxi Group, an unknown company in Chongqing China, passed these images of a magical, flexible bracelet smartphone around to the financial news press a couple days ago. However, here’s the fine print: Moxi actually claims to be working on a black-and-white version of this concept, with a color version “by 2018.”

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Wireless Home Internet Service by Google Could Rival Comcast

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Google Fiber, brought to select cites in 2011, was reasonably priced and super fast. It became widely popular in the few cities where it was available. Mainly because Fiber offered a much welcome alternative to most internet providers. Now Google has announced they want to set up a wireless service to “beam” wireless service into homes all across the nation.

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Hacker Cats: A New Threat to your WI-FI

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On a clear day last fall, an attached smartphone-sized Raspberry Pi computer, was harnessed and carefully fitted onto a cat, by German digital media student Dennis Siegel. Cosmo, a fluffy Maine coon hit the streets with a small device designed to tap into and amplify local Wi-Fi networks. As Cosmo wandered through a nearby park, his wi-fi device “wardrive” launched a series of commands designed to locate open Wi-Fi networks and break the encryption algorithms of those that were badly secured. After getting into a network owned by an area resident or business, Cosmo’s wardrive amplified it, allowing anyone within up to 650 feet of the cat to freely use a Wi-Fi network they hadn’t been given permission to access.

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