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New soft, stretchable battery can safely power wearables

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The battery, developed at Stanford University, uses a special plastic to store power more safely than conventional batteries.

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Researchers David Mackanic, Xuzhou Yan, Yi Cui, and Zhenan Bao from Stanford University’s engineering school have created a soft, stretchable battery prototype for wearables. The new type of battery relies on a unique plastic to store power in a safer manner, compared to the flammable materials used in conventional batteries, according to a Stanford Engineering Magazine article.

SEE: Apple Watch Series 5: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The use of polymers, or plastics, is not new, according to the magazine article; however, some previous polymers existed as flowable gels that could sometimes leak or burst into flame.

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The new battery is ideal for use in wearables, such as smartwatches, because it’s soft and flexible.

“Current batteries are stiff and rigid, making them non-conformable to the human body. This means the batteries must be small in order to not cause discomfort,” said David Mackanic, one of the project’s researchers.

“Additionally, our battery uses a polymer electrolyte, which is safer than the liquid electrolyte currently used for many wearable batteries. Our battery’s electrolyte is safer because it is less combustible and flammable, and won’t leak,” Mackanic said.

Outlined further in the Nature Communications scientific journal, even though it is constructed differently, the battery can still carry an electric charge between battery poles.

In the testing lab, the experimental battery kept consistent power output even when it was folded, squeezed, and stretched to almost twice its original length.

The battery is thumbnail-sized and is able to store approximately half as much energy as a similar sized traditional battery, according to the Stanford magazine.

What can the battery be used in? 

“We are still experimenting with new ways to incorporate our battery into wearable electronics. This battery could be integrated into things like wristbands for smartwatches, allowing the actual smartwatch to be thinner and more comfortable,” Mackanic said. “These batteries could also be incorporated comfortably into clothing, providing a power source for smart textiles.”

While this battery is undoubtedly impressive, it only holds half the power of a traditional battery, which is a serious limiting factor, said Ramon Llamas, research director of mobile devices at International Data Corporation.

While Mackanic said this battery could be used in smartwatches, hearing aids, smart glasses, smart textiles, footwear, on-body health monitoring patches, and more, Llamas noted that most wearables don’t necessarily need a stretchable battery to begin with, especially on systems like fitness trackers or smartwatches.

The most practical use case currently, based on the battery’s size, would be in disposable heart rate monitors. People typically wear heart rate monitors for approximately 24 hours before disposing of them. Stretchable batteries would be great for this application since they are flexible, Llamas said.

However, Mackanic indicated that future versions of the stretchable battery could be bigger, allowing for more advanced use cases.

“Right now, the energy density of our battery is lower than conventional lithium-ion batteries,” Mackanic said.

However, since the battery is so flexible, future prototypes can be made bigger, allowing for more power and battery life, without losing comfort, Mackanic said.

The battery is still being refined and going through the manufacturing process, after which the battery will undergo advanced safety testing. For now, the battery remains a prototype.

Mackanic said it would likely be between 12 and 18 months until they can provide completely certified test batteries to manufacturers.

For more, check out How wearable devices and sensors could make some of the most dangerous jobs safer on TechRepublic.

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WhatsApp starts rolling out Message Yourself feature – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com

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WhatsApp is now rolling out its Message Yourself feature for users on iOS and Android. The feature was initially part of a beta trial that is now being made available to everyone.

Message Yourself is a feature that lets you, in a sense, message yourself. It’s a chat that is only visible and accessible to you and you can post there as you would in any other chat. This can be used to write important notes to yourself, saving web links, or uploading documents and voice notes.

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This feature has been available on other platforms, notably Telegram, which has had it since launch. WhatsApp only publicly started testing this feature back in October. Some users have managed to work around its absence in the past by creating a group and then removing other members to essentially create a private chat for yourself.

The feature was unavailable for testing at the time of writing but should be available over the coming weeks.

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Samsung Cyber Monday Deals: Save Hundreds On Phones, Tablets, TVs And More Electronics – Forbes

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The best Samsung Cyber Monday deals are delivering some of the steepest discounts on its electronics we’ve seen all year long, especially if you have an item to trade in. Whether you’re shopping for a new smartphone or a cutting-edge smart TV, it’s important to buy from reliable brands you know and trust. (After all, ‘tis the season to get the best bang for your buck.) Samsung delivers with top-notch electronics and an excellent, almost too-good-to-be-true Cyber Monday Sale that’s going on right now.

Thanks to Samsung’s Cyber Monday deals, you can score some of its best electronics for way less than the sticker price. That includes up to $1,000 off Samsung’s artful The Frame television and $350 off its Galaxy Z Fold4 smartphone. To help streamline your search, we’ve put together the best Samsung Cyber Monday deals available right now.

After you’re finished perusing this list, you may want to check out the top Cyber Monday deals across all categories, the best TV deals, Cyber Monday appliance deals or these Cyber Monday soundbar sales.

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Best Samsung Cyber Monday TV Deals

Save Up To $1,000 On Samsung’s Frame TV


Samsung Slashed The Price Of This Smart TV By $400 And More


Samsung Cyber Monday Deals On Galaxy Smartphones

Grab This Unlocked Galaxy Z Fold4 For Less


Flip Over The Savings On Samsung’s Other Folding Smartphone


Save $225 And Up On The Samsung S22 Ultra


Samsung Cyber Monday Deals On Wireless Earbuds

Scoop Up Galaxy Buds2 Pro For $50 Less


Get Nearly Half Off These Stylish, Curved Buds Live


Best Samsung Galaxy Smartwatch Deals For Cyber Monday

Save At Least $50 On Watch5 Smartwatches


This Smartwatch For $230


Best Cyber Monday Deals On Samsung Tablets

Save $200 On The Samsung Tab S8+


Get The Galaxy S7 Tablet For $200 Less


Best Samsung Cyber Monday Deals On Computers

Save $300 On This Samsung 2-In-1 Laptop


Nab 31% In Savings On Samsung’s New Chromebook


Best Samsung Cyber Monday Deals On Storage

Save $100 On The Rugged T7 Shield SSD


Save $40 On This Super Light SSD


Best Samsung Cyber Monday Deals On Soundbars

Get 26% Off This Four-Piece Sound System


More Cyber Monday Savings

Head over to Samsung’s website to discover dozens of additional deals on TVs, smartphones, kitchen appliances, washing machines, internal SSD storage and laptop computers. Many of these deals are only being offered for a short time or limited inventory is available, so don’t wait. And don’t forget: If you’re an educator, first responder, veteran, or active military, you automatically quality for the Samsung Offer Program which entitles you to additional savings (up to 30%) on your online purchases from the Samsung website.


For even more savings opportunities, head over to our Cyber Week coupon page to check out the deals from some of our favorite brands.

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Flexispot EG1 electric standing desk is nearly 50% off for Cyber Monday 2022

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Doctors have long touted the benefits of working at a standing desk compared to sitting all day. But most workers find that some work is more comfortable to do while sitting, while other work is more appropriate for standing. Sit/stand desks, like the Flexispot EG1, provide the best of both worlds, allowing you to electronically adjust the height of the desk at the touch of a button.

When I got my standing desk, I discovered another major benefit. I use it for product photography and because I can adjust the desk height, it makes it easy for me to shoot at just the right angle. It’s been a huge time-saver.

 

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The desk I’m spotlighting today has a 24×40 in desk area. You can drop it down to as low as 28.6 inches from the ground and raise it up to 48.2 inches — or about shoulder height. The motorized lift system supports up to 132 pounds, which is more than enough for a keyboard, monitor, mouse, and even most tower PCs.

You do have to build the Flexispot EG1 yourself, but it goes together quickly and easily, and requires no special tools.

Amazon is currently offering 39% off, plus an additional $20 off if you click the coupon box.

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