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In Brief

Wireless power company WiTricity announced on Thursday that it has entered an intellectual property licensing agreement with Toyota. The auto-maker will “offer wireless charging power capture devices on their future rechargeable hybrid electric and battery electric vehicles,” meaning that its cars won’t need to be physically plugged in for a re-charge. Instead, using WiTricity’s technology, the vehicles will get their battery charge without wires, presumably through a charging pad on the ground under the vehicle.

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Like to ride your bike but need a little boost on those steep hills?  Check out this new “Copenhagen” wheel that snaps onto the real wheel of most bikes to convert them into human-electric-powered hybrids. The wheel, born out the MIT SENSEable City Lab initiative with help from the mayor of bike-friendly Copenhagen, goes on sale Tuesday for $699 from Cambridge, Mass.-startup superpedestrian.com. The goal, according to Assaf Biderman, associate director of SENSEable, is to get people to cycle more than they already do.

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Five-year-old Spanish startup Optimitive has raised a $1.9 million Series A round from European venture capital fund GGM Venture Capital to boost sales of its artificial intelligence software. The company, which came out of the Surge Accelerator in Houston, can help refineries, manufacturers, power generators and industries that are heavy energy users, make their processes more efficient in real time.

In Brief

A startup that’s recently been spun off from MIT — SolidEnergy — is making materials for lithium ion batteries for electric cars that could make them cheaper, less flammable in the event of an accident, and capable of holding more energy, according to MIT Tech Review. The company, which has developed a lithium-metal electrode (instead of graphite) and combined that with a safer electrolyte, plans to sell its materials to battery makers. It has raised a round of venture funding and is working with battery maker A123 Systems.

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