AT&T Introduces Solar-Powered Charging Stations

Since June 18th, 25 solar-powered charging stations have sprouted in parks, beaches and other outdoor spaces as part of a pilot project from the wireless provider in partnership with the city. The stations — 12.5-foot steel poles with three petal-shaped solar panels fanning out on top — can accommodate up to six devices at a time regardless of wireless carrier, with dedicated ports for iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys and standard USB charging cables. Designed by a Dumbo-based firm, Pensa, with solar technology from Goal Zero, a mobile solar start-up, they are to remain in place in spots like Union Square Park, Metrotech Plaza and Rockaway Beach for three to four weeks at a time until October. If successful, AT&T could expand to other cities. The project will cost $300,000 to $500,000.



Phone Evolution Nesting Dolls

British designer Kyle Bean has tackled the evolution of technology with a cool project that imagines the evolution of mobile phones through the design of a Russian nesting doll. It starts with the amazing DynaTAC, the famous gray brick cell phone featured in Wall Street, when it was still luxurious and glamorous to be carrying such a device. We evolve straight on down past the candybars and flip phones, until we arrive at the iPhone, the latest evolution.


New Touchscreens With Buttons?!

This touchscreen technology grows clickable buttons that disappear again on command, and it can work on any device on the market.

Most of us have adjusted to life with touchscreens. They lack tactile feedback, the rubber nubs that enable thoughtless use of our television remotes, but touchscreens create dynamic virtual buttons and open up vital screen real estate. They’re worth the thumb-numbing tradeoff.

But what if we could have both? What if we could have a dynamic touchscreen with real buttons? Impossible? Not at all.

A startup called Tactus Technology has developed a thin “Tactile Layer” that sits on top of touchscreens in place of the normal surface (it’s no thicker).

Now, ready for one last mind-bending trick? The Tactile Layer can work on any sort of product you can imagine, from coffee machines to car doors.

“Honestly, all the ways to use our technology that we have not yet thought of!” writes Ciesla, with an air of earnest hyperbole. “Now that our technology is out in the public, we are excited to learn about all the creative ways our product can be applied to generate new types of user experience.”