A Swedish company called People of Lava came out ahead in the race to deliver the world's first fully interactive Internet TV in Europe. The "Scandinavia," as it's being called, boasts a Full-HD LED displays and runs on Google's Android platform.
"Think of it as a device that provides all the functionality that you would expect from an Android smartphone, combined with the quality and definition you demand of a high-end Full-HD LED TV set," says Christian Svantesson, co-founder and CEO of People of Lava.
The multifunctional TV set will include a variety of Android TV apps, including YouTube, Google Maps, Weather, Time, Calendar, and Internet Browser. Users will also be able to send and receive email, browse to social networking sites, and download additional apps from an upcoming app store
A 42-inch version of the Scandinavia will be available in September, with 47-inch and 55-inch models to follow.
It took three firms working together to jointly develop an LED street lamp that doesn't require electricity from the grid, instead drawing energy from the sun.
Dubbed "Super CaLeCS Toki," the street lamp generates power by using photovoltaic (PV) cells and then stores the electricity in an electric double layer capacitor (EDLC) made by Nippon Chemi-Con. The EDLC contains 240 cells with a winding structure, a rated voltage of 2.5V, and a capacitance of 2,300F. By combining the capacitor with PV cells, the company claims the street lamp can stay lit for 14 continuous hours.
Stanley Electric provided the LED unit, which is comprised of two LED lamps with a power consumption of 15W. The company also tapped into technology used for automotive headlights to enhance the weather resistant nature of the LED unit.
And a third company, Tamura, contributed a newly-developed voltage control scheme called "maximum-efficiency tracking algorithm." Tamura says its power supply controller can charge the capacitor in about two hours in clear weather conditions, or six hours in rainy or overcast skies.
Take a survey of all of your electronics, whether in the computer room or your living room, and you'll likely notice a whole bunch of blue LEDs. Now commonplace, the cost of these little lights might soon be going up.
Citing sources within the LED chip market, DigiTimes says manufacturers are thinking about increasing the ASP (average selling prices) by 10 percent. The reason? The recent surge in demand for LED backlighting has put the squeeze on upstream suppliers who are unable to ship materials on schedule.
In addition to higher prices, Lee Biing-jye, chairman of LED chip maker Epistar, says this year's worst shortage of LEDs will come in the second quarter. He didn't offer up any specific numbers, but current supply is already about 30-40 percent short of demand.
The continued shortage might also be a reason why Samsung is considering lowering its shipment goal for LED-backlit TVs.
Asus today added four new models to its Designo Series, including the MS248, MS238, MS228, and MS208. All four boast an eco-friendly, ultra-slim design with 16.5mm profiles and range in size from 20 inches to 20.3 inches.
On the lower end, the MS208 sports a 1600 x 900 screen resolution with a 5ms response time. The other three up the ante to a 1920 x 1080 resolution and a faster 2ms response time. The MS228 adds an HDMI audio-out port, while the MS238 and MS248 also include an earphone jack (for HDMI only).
Asus says all four units are easy on the environment, thanks in large part eschewing bulbs in favor of mercury-free LED backlit panels. According to Asus, the LED monitors reduce energy consumption levels by 45 percent, enough to reduce annual CO2 emissions by 23.6kg per year, the equivalent of planting 1.9 trees that can contribute two years worth of oxygen for a family of four.
Like it or not, 3D is destined for your living room, and there's a race to get there first (just ask Panasonic and Best Buy). But how much can you expect to plunk down on a fancy new 3D television set?
Samsung answered that question today by announcing the availability and pricing info for its next-generation lineup of LED HDTVs, including several 3D-capable units. The least you can expect to pay for 3D, at least for a Samsung set, is $2,000, which buys you a 40-inch HDTV. Pricing goes up from there, all the way to $7,000 for a 55-inch set due out in April.
"Our commitment to innovation has always been strong. We’re not only delivering elegant design and eco-friendly energy consumption, but we’re adding a new dimension to superior home entertainment through a broad lineup of 3D LED TVs," said John Revie, vice president of Home Entertainment for Samsung Electronics America. "We are passionate about this year’s LED TV lineup as we once again raise the bar on technology innovation by delivering a superior TV experience and leadership in the HDTV space."
While Samsung announced 27 new models in all, 8 of them will come with built-in 3D (C7000, C8000, and C9000 series). All of these include Samsung's Real240Hz refresh rate technology and are compatible with major 3D format standards, the company said.
See here for a full list of details and new models.
LED manufacturers are having a tough time keeping up with demand, says market research iSuppli, who warns that the market might be on the verge of a shortage.
"It is clear that demand is outstripping supply," said Jagdish Rebello, senior director and principal analyst for wireless research at iSuppli. "With LED market growth forecasted to rise by double-digit percentages for at least the next three years, including 2010, a drastic undersupply situation could occur this year unless additional capacity is brought online to meet the increased demand."
The shortage mostly applies to LED LCD TVs, which employ anywhere from 300 to 500 LEDs per panel. Notebooks use about 50 LEDS, while monitors require about 100 LEDs.
"On the demand side, the shortage is being spurred by strong consumer desire, given the growing popularity of LED-backlit LCD TVs due to their super-slim form factors and improvements in pictures quality," said Sweta Dash, senior director for LCD research at iSuppli.
Still, LED manufacturers have a little bit of wiggle room, but not much. Total consumption of LEDs climbed to 63 billion units in 2009, up from 57 billion in 2008, while the industry's total capacity sits at about 75 billion.
Super bright LED flashlights are already pretty awesome, but slap an integrated video recorder into the mix and it's all over, man. This might be the coolest gadget James Bond never had.
It's called the LED Spy Light HD. The HD nomenclature might be a little ambitious, but you can shoot video in 1,280 x 960 at 30fps. You can also snap photos of your nemesis' secret plans in 1,600 x 1,200, And if all that weren't enough, there's also a voice recorder tossed into the mix.
The Spy Light doesn't come with any internal memory, but you're welcome to shove your own SD/SDHC card into the Spy Light.
OLED displays are widely accepted to provide some of the best image quality money can buy. The problem is that it does take a lot of money to buy them. The current generation of manufacturing tech means that small OLEDs, like the one found on the Nexus One, are really at the upper limit of cost effectiveness. A start up called Kateeva wants to change that. They are developing a system for printing OLED displays.
Kateeva’s manufacturing process has been shown to be capable of printing 1.8 by 1.5 meter OLED displays. They estimate the costs to be roughly 60% of current methods. Don’t get too excited yet. The OLED printer is set to be tested by display manufacturers next year. Just imagine, in a few short years you may be tossing out your tired old plasma or LCD HDTV and buying an OLED version.
We love finding uses for old hardware seeing as we go through so much of it. The hard drive clock is a classic. We’ve seen it, and like it, but it’s getting old. However, one intrepid modder at the Hacked Gadgets site has reaffirmed our faith in the concept of the hard drive clock.
The modder, known as NatureTM, created a clock made from a still spinning hard drive. The hands are actually created by a single line of LEDs in the spinning platter. With mad scientist level math skills, NatureTM programmed the controller to flash at intervals to make it appear that there were moving hands on the clock. He used an open hardware prototyping platform called Arduino to control the time display.
NatureTM plans to release code at some point. So before you know it you’ll be ruining hard drives trying this yourself. Hit the jump to check out the full video.
Bill Watkins, the ex-Seagate CEO who served 12 years with the hard drive maker, jumps out of the unemployment line to serve as CEO of LED lighting company Bridgelux. Not by accident, Watkins has been researching green technologies ever since cutting ties with Seagate and became fascinated with the LED sector.
"There's a $100 billion opportunity, a whole new disruptive technology with LEDs, and an installed base that owns the market but doesn't have good solutions. You don't see that very often, but that's how new technology can make an impact," Watkins said this week.
Watkins is thinking on a global scale with his new position and said he plans to help his company grow by developing its manufacturing and expanding internationally, CNet reports.
"The whole world is basically going to embrace this technology," Watkins added.