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.
Just days after clearing the U.S. Department of Justice, Microsoft’s plan to purchase Nokia’s Devices and Services business for $7.2 billion got the European Commission’s stamp of approval. On Wednesday, the EU body outlined three main reasons to let the deal happen, including Microsoft’s low Windows Phone market share, saying that Apple and Samsung will continue to compete with the merged entity. The Commission also saw no risk to Microsoft holding back Windows Phone from handset makers other than Nokia, nor Skype or Office from other platforms.
After a Cyber Monday snafu, the Moto X went on sale again this morning at 9AM PT. But it appears that Motorola underestimated demand, as the allocated supply of discounted phones has already run out. The sale requires you to register with your name and email address at Motorola’s site to get a $150 discount code on an off-contract Moto X ordered through Moto Maker. But if you go there now, you’ll only see a message that says “We’ve sold all the phones we allotted for this promotion.” If you missed out you can try again on December 9, though. Same time, same place.
Yesterday I wrote about Intel’s great big telecommunications market takeover plan, and on Wednesday the chip giant unleashed a networking chip that can offer some pretty intense competition for the network processors from the established vendors. Highland Forest is the third generation of Intel’s networking processors and can process up to 255 million packets per second. Rose Schooler, a VP and GM in Intel’s Data Center Group, says Intel currently has 17 pilots in the telecommunications space with seven of those being public today.
One big advantage of Apple’s Lightning connectors over industry-standard Micro-USB (technically “Micro-B”) connectors is that they can go either way up – you don’t need to look first to see which way to insert it. Perhaps with that in mind, as well as the rise of thinner devices, the USB Implementors Forum said (PDF) on Tuesday that a new Type-C connector will offer the same benefit and more. It will be agnostic not only about orientation but also cable direction, and will be around the same size as today’s Micro-B connectors – prepare to say goodbye to the existing USB plug form factor after the specification is finalised in mid-2014.