A new resonance extension to the Qi wireless standard lets your devices be even farther from a charging pad. That makes it easier for furniture and other objects to recharge your phone or tablet. Read more »
While batteries for the power grid might not be all that sexy of a topic, Aquion Energy is using water and salt, it’s backed by Bill Gates, and it’s aiming to commercialize its battery this year. Read more »
After buying thousands of dollars in connected devices, plus a hard reset of my Hue light bulbs, I wonder how we’re going to uninstall the connected devices in our homes. Read more »
QNX is partnering with Nokia’s Here mapping division and Qualcomm’s brand-spanking new automotive infotainment division to develop new connected car technologies. Read more »
Tegra chipsets are making their way into new Audis and other vehicles in the form of Nvidia’s new Visual Computing Module line. Nvidia hopes make cars future-proof with its new upgradable design. Read more »
Those of us steeped in the energy business would be happy to discuss it with 60 Minutes. We’re already creating many new jobs that address the need for more energy while staving off the impact of climate change. Read more »
The Staples Connect platform promises some support for cool devices and more radio protocols. Meanwhile Lowe’s’ Iris platform adds some energy conservation products and voice control. Read more »
Two of venture firm Venrock’s energy investors, Matt Trevithick and Matthew Nordan, have left the firm. Trevithick is an accomplished investor who was one of my first interviews after I launched the cleantech site. We’ve published many pieces from Nordan on the state of cleantech venture capital on this site, and Nordan has launched a clean energy project development company focused on China called MNL Partners (which is keeping a low profile). Both investors worked on Venrock’s Nest deal.
At CES Ford unveiled five new apps for its Sync AppLink connected infotainment system: Domino’s Pizza, ADT, Parkmobile, Parkopedia and Gracenote HABU. It’s also launching its first developer conference in June. Read more »
Startup View raises a whopper of a round from the private equity firm associated with the Walmart heirs. Can another $100 million deliver on-demand tinting windows across the country? Read more »
Audi’s 4G cars in the U.S. will be linked to AT&T’s LTE network — another big win in the automotive space for AT&T. In future Audi connected cars Nvidia and Google will also be major players. Read more »
Apple plans to continue building and owning solar panel farms near its data centers, following its first in North Carolina, and another reported in Reno, Nevada. Now it’s planning one in Oregon. Read more »
AT&T launched a new program at CES called Drive with the aim of moving beyond supplying mere connectivity to future vehicles. AT&T wants to become a key technology supplier in the dashboard. Read more »
Amprius’ lithium ion batteries can deliver gadgets that last 25 percent longer between charges. The company is now working on commercializing those batteries and even looking at using them for electric cars. Read more »
2014 is going to be a major overhaul year for GM when it comes to the connected car. The majority of Chevy’s new 2015 vehicles will get LTE connectivity as well as an in-dash upgrade. Read more »
60 Minutes just aired one of the more mainstream looks yet at the Silicon Valley cleantech rise and fall. While they got some things right they also got some wrong. My take here. Read more »
I spent the last few days playing with the voice controlled Honeywell Thermostat (just the voice control, not the temperature control stuff) and learned a few things about how one might want to use voice for the smart home. Read more »
Ford’s smartphone centric approach to the connected car is paying off. By relying on the handset to deliver the data link and run infotainment apps, Ford is able to retroactively connect millions of unconnected cars. Read more »
Now that Airbnb has grown up, has a huge valuation, and is causing fear in the hotel lobby in cities across the world, can the traveler experience get a little better, please? Read more »
A report says Nest is raising another whopper of a funding round. Here’s why it needs such a large chunk of change now. Read more »
Battery maker A123 Systems, which had its own brush with bankruptcy in 2012, wants to buy bankrupt car maker Fisker. The independent A123 made batteries for Fisker’s hybrid Karma car, but was acquired by Wanxiang Group of Hangzhou, China at auction after the bankruptcy filing. A123 is now part of Wangxiang’s U.S. subsidiary, which wants to purchase the car maker.
Both Fisker and A123 received grant or loan money from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The aeroponic growing system’s creators say they would like to launch a Kickstarter campaign this summer to get them into the hands of backers by the end of 2014. Read more »
Here’s the 13 biggest things I paid attention to this year around next-generation energy, sustainability, and resource management. Oh heck, let’s just keep calling it cleantech. Read more »
This article in IEEE Spectrum highlights some interesting research into making cloud computing more efficient by balancing the carbon footprints of global data centers and the latency of serving requests from those data centers. It’s an admittedly incomplete study, and one that’s probably more important to large web companies (e.g., Facebook) and cloud providers than to normal businesses just consuming cloud resources. Smarter load balancing could help providers cut operational costs and pass the savings onto users. Of course, large cloud users such as Netflix might want to research and develop their own systems, as well.
As voted by your clicks, these are the posts that our readers couldn’t get enough of in 2013. Spying, electric cars, and cord cutting was in demand. Read more »
As the world’s cities get ever more crowded, the web sharing economy emerged into the mainstream this year. Next stop, booming cities in developing nations. Read more »
In an attempt to jump on the solar trend, many homeowners in Oahu plunked down an investment on rooftop photovoltaic systems — but the response was so overwhelming, Scientific American reported, that the local electric company couldn’t manage the scale. The solar grid by Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO) was not built to withstand the level of solar energy surging through it, meaning that residences will have to foot the bill for an upgrade. Scaling solar is a complicated issue fraught with many costs — but how much will everyday citizens have to pay to make green energy accessible?
Calxeda’s restructuring was a blow to the ARM-processor-based server market, but hardly a fatal one. While Calxeda started its life trying to build systems using 32-bit chips, there’s a whole new market shaping up around 64-bit versions set to debut in 2014. Read more »
The home automation market size is around $8.8 billion. Here’s an overview of some business models to capture the opportunity. Read more »
Analytics, sensors, networking — Utilidata is bringing the tools of IT to the last mile of the power grid and in the process could make it operate more efficiently. Read more »
What was one of the hottest solar states in 2013 in the U.S.? Would you expect it was North Carolina? Read more »
A French company wants to put a $25 sensor in the fuel tanks of vehicles to help the engines burn cleaner and more efficiently. The sensor takes a “fingerprint” of the fuel, informing car computers how to respond. Read more »
Apple shied away from an earlier plan to standardize on a common phone charger, but it won’t be able to dodge this new, environment-driven piece of legislation. Read more »
More efficient power electronics might not be all that sexy. But a startup is scaling up the process to make next-generation power conversion a reality. Read more »
The company behind many popular cable home automation systems is opening up to outside devices and developers. For now, a limited number of devices work with iControl’s OpenHome Partner Program, but it’s a start. Read more »
Tesla plans to boost Model S production by 35,000 cars, and it’ll be using tax breaks from California to do it. Read more »
Real-time data public transport planner Moovit has closed a $28 million funding round, led by Sequoia Captial. Read more »
Getting from the current petascale supercomputers to the exascale machines is proving to be pretty rough. But research into low-power, on-chip photonics might help supercomputers hit that elusive exascale goal. Read more »
Ridejoy, the ride sharing startup, will soon be no more. It’s the latest startup to try its hand at this difficult market (in the U.S.) and fall short. The same market is growing quickly in Europe. Read more »
QAM has shaped the waveforms in our communications networks for 40 years, but MagnaCom has developed an alternative modulation scheme that it claims will revolutionize speed, capacity and power efficiency on wireless and wireline networks. Read more »