The latest from our blog...

It looks like the iPhone 8 may be able to wirelessly charge within 15ft

No comments

The rumour mill is currently rife with speculations on the iPhone 8, from people claiming there are up to 10 prototypes to those that claim it will have a glass case to allow wireless charging.

This point is the most interesting to us – if Apple was to go wireless, they would need to make the technology better than the current Qi charging standards. Why? Qi charging is simply not very exciting. It is wireless, but your product still has to be placed right on top of the receiver in order to charge. Add onto that slow charging speeds, overheating and the possibility of the technology not being compatible with certain cases and it adds up to pretty low efficiency and a huge lack of wow factor.

This is where Energous Corp comes in. Energous have been in the game for a few years now trying to develop wireless charging that charges from a distance – called Wattup®. Wattup® claims to charge from up to 15 feet away using a transmitter, which allows multiple devices to connect  simultaneously. If this technology actually works, this is the innovation ticket that Apple has so drastically needed in the last few years to pick up their iPhone sales and amp up their stock price. They’re currently looking into FCC certification, although claims have been positive that this may have already been acquired. Claims also show that other global certifications are now being applied for.

wattup-concept

Concept Artwork from Wattup®

The Wattup® technology has been in the pipeline for some time and they are looking to debut their Wattup® line at CES in January. After a few years of hiccups it appears as if the technology is finally ready to roll. In early November, Energous announced a strategic partnership with Dialog Semiconductor – a company that is currently selling power management, AC/DC conversion, solid state lighting (SSL) and Bluetooth low energy technology.

Wattup® utilises small form factor antennas, formed with the existing devices printed circuit board, which means larger and more expensive coils are not needed. This allows their technology to be used on a huge range of battery powered devices – not just phones but wearables, gaming, virtual reality, tablets and more.

What’s interesting about this partnership is twofold. One, is that earlier this year Energous announced that they had an unnamed Tier 1 partnership in the works and that it aims to “release products to consumer through our licensing partnerships in late 2016, early 2017”. The second is that Dialog is a huge supplier to Apple.

Apple is certainly aware that their biggest criticism in the past few years has been lack of innovation. Pair with this a rather good looking case for them to adopt WattUp® and Apple will be onto a winner.

If this technology truly works and if the rumour mill is in fact correct, then we are looking at one of the biggest changes to the consumer electronics industry that we have had in years. While this is clearly a huge benefit, wired charging is likely always going to be a preference as it will always remain much faster to charge via cable, much like a LAN vs Wireless connection to the internet.

We here at MG* are keeping a close eye on technology to ensure we’re constantly up to date with the latest technology, so we can keep our customers at the forefront of innovation.

KarenIt looks like the iPhone 8 may be able to wirelessly charge within 15ft

Come meet us at the HKTDC Electronics Fair between 13-16 October

No comments

We’re excited to announce that we are going to be at this years HKDTC Electronics Fair – come and meet us! Our booth is ED-C23 in the Expo Drive Hall. We’ll be there from the 13-16 of October.

We’ll be showcasing our flagship product the Novi Charging Station, alongside a range of brand new power banks for consumer use. With live product demonstrations, we’ll be ready to tackle any of your questions and queries about how you can get your customers fully charged!

 

hktdc-floorplan-mg

This event is the Autumn Edition and features over 3,500 exhibitors in the electronics industry. The exhibition features exhibitors ranging from those in the Internet-of-Things (iOT), Virtual Reality, Robotics, Tech Startups, Audio Visual, Eco-Friendly, Packaging & Design, Navigation Systems, Telecommunications Products, Inspection & Certification Services and Consumer Electronic Products.

Situated conveniently in the Wan Chai Convention Centre, the HKTDC Electronics Fair is one of Hong Kong’s most iconic exhibitions for the industry and attracts major players from all around the world. Since Hong Kong is so close to China, the best products, deals and companies can always be found here.

A range of speakers will also be presenting on the day. On Thursday there are a wealth of workshops and forums, featuring speakers from international brands such as Tesla, Amazon, HP, Indiegogo and more.  The event continues across the days with a multitude of highly experienced speakers and business leaders. For a full list of speakers and events, please check here.

There will also be a free shuttle bus service, which leaves from a variety of locations including The Excelsior Hotel in Causeway Bay, Tsim Tsa Tsui Post Office and Hung Hom MTR Station. Further details for the transportation available can be found here.

We’re really excited to meet you all, so please come and find us over one of the days, or please feel free to set up a meeting time by contacting us on contact @ mm-goi.com (no spaces).

HKTDC - Novi Charging

KarenCome meet us at the HKTDC Electronics Fair between 13-16 October

Why Apple hasn’t picked up Wireless Charging yet (and why you shouldn’t either)

No comments

For the last year, people have been hotly debating whether the iPhone 7 release was going to have wireless charging. And now we know – it doesn’t.

So why hasn’t Apple jumped onto the bandwagon yet? We’re speculating it’s pretty similar to the reasons why we don’t like wireless charging either:

The technology is unstable
Wireless charging as it currently is, is quite simply, unstable. After the release of wireless charging in devices such as the Nexus 6 and Samsung S7, plenty of people have taken online to complain about how their devices continually disconnect from being charged. Who wants to put their phone down for an hour to charge, only to come back to find that it hasn’t  charged at all?

Wireless charging isn’t even that useful in its wirelessness
While being wireless, the benefits of being truly wireless haven’t been totally developed yet. Phones need to be placed directly on the charging mat in order for it to charge wirelessly. Which makes me wonder- why not just plug it in? If I’m lying in bed looking at my phone, when it’s plugged in, I can at least charge it up while I scroll through my various feeds. With wireless charging I would not be able to charge and browse at the same time. Sure, you don’t need to have an AC adaptor handy, which could be useful at times, but this brings me to the next point.

Wireless charging is much slower than plugging in
If you’re going to be forced to place your phone on a charging, you’d want it to at least charge at the same rate as a standard USB plug – but it doesn’t. It charges much slower than when it’s plugged  in and still needs to be left stationary. Google even famously retracted the capability to wirelessly charge on its later devices, citing difficulties with phone thickness, charging speeds and sheer efficiency of charging via cables (and USB-C).

It heats up your phone, and some phone cases must be removed in order to charge
Not only do I need to keep my phone stationary and flat on a charging mat, but the charging also will heat my phone up in the process. Moreover,  it doesn’t accommodate for every phone case, so some users may find themselves having to constantly remove their cases in order to wirelessly charge. A bit more effort than it’s worth perhaps?

All in all, wireless charging is on its way. And when it does become commonplace for all of our devices to charge wirelessly, it will undoubtedly be amazing. But for now, wireless charging is simply a fancy gimmick that manufacturers are using to sell their phones.

I’m pretty sure Apple sees right through this, and are waiting until the technology is just right before they release it to the masses.

wireless charging regina george

(Yet). Plus, if Regina George thinks it’s true – it’s got to be true.

(Courtesy of Google Images)

KarenWhy Apple hasn’t picked up Wireless Charging yet (and why you shouldn’t either)

How to profit from Pokemon Go: Become a local re-charging centre for dead batteries

No comments

So, it’s been 3 days since Pokemon Go has launched in Hong Kong. While no dead bodies have been found just yet, hundreds of thousands of people have encountered a modern day problem: their battery capacities just cannot handle a full day of Pokemon hunting. Within 2 hours of playing, most players are reporting a loss of between 35- 50% of the power in their battery. This figure is even worse on older mobile phones, or if players have been in the sunlight, Poke-hunting on high brightness.

Pokemon Go Battery Packs

Pokemon Go display at Wan Chai Computer Centre (Photo credit: Brian Cheng)

We visited the Wan Chai Computer Centre today, and found that specialised Pokemon shop displays had been set up to compile all the biggest and baddest battery packs around, luring people in with special offers and deals for their purchases. Within the computer centre, shops were reporting up to a x10 increase in sales of battery packs since the launch of Pokemon Go. “It’s crazy”, said Ko, salesperson at one of the stores within the Wan Chai Computer Centre, “people have been coming in and buying battery packs – some people barely even look at me they’re so busy still playing as they purchase!”

Hong Kong’s largest electronics retailer, Fortress, also reported up to a x5 increase in sales since the launch of Pokemon Go, while Tai Koo’s Broadway branch reported up to x2 of the usual sales. Notably Fortress had a customised Pokemon Go promotion with all their prices displayed in Pokeballs instead of dollars, while Broadway did not have any such promotion.

Pokemon Go display at Fortress, Tai Koo Shing

With such a huge demand in portable power banks, it’s worthwhile to note the impact and value of allowing people to charge. For example, restaurants near PokeStops could offer a charging combo for their lunch / dinner services, and hotels could provide power packs to their guests alongside Poke-maps of nearby areas.

While Pokemon Go’s success is likely to die down over time, what we’re seeing now is that the demand for battery far outweighs the technology which phone manufacturers can provide. Whether the game continues to rage on successfully or not, it’s clear that the future ahead contains more games of the sort, and more power consumption.

Most interestingly perhaps, is that users are willing to spend their money in ‘real world’ stores and locations in order to continue to play. We went inside a local 711 which was conveniently located amongst 3 PokeStops, all with lures on them. Speaking to the staff, we found out that their drink sales have increased dramatically as Hong Konger’s are stocking up on beverages in order to stay hydrated as they continue to Poke-hunt in 35 degree weather, ploughing through 88% humidity. Restaurants nearby have also reported an increase of people who played as they ate their meals, coming in over peak times – with or without friends.

All over the internet we’ve heard stories about business owners capitalising on the success that Niantic has brought to the world.

So how can your business profit from Pokemon Go? 

1.     Offer your business up as a local charging station, where people can re-charge, catch Pokemon indoors and away from the outside elements

2.     Tie that in with an offer, such as ‘Share your Pokemon catch on social media for 25% off your bill’

3.     Set up constant Lures on your closest PokeStop(s) to increase human traffic

4.     Advertise outdoors with a huge sign – ‘Recharge your phone and yourself – 25% off your bill for Pokemon Trainers’

5.     Advertise the offer on your social media platforms – Facebook has options in larger countries such as the US to geographically target users within a mile of your business

6.     (Optional) Have a staff member play all day and take screenshots of any rare Pokemon caught within the vicinity, also to be shared on social media

7.  Look to partner with local Youtuber’s who talk about the game – they could promote your business for free on their social media channels in exchange for some air conditioning and hydration!

Feel free to email us to find out more about our portable charging stations for businesses and how we can help you monetise that Pokemon Go craze!

Pokemon Hunting in Kennedy Town

Easter Egg: Hong Kong’s Pokemon Trainers going crazy hunting in Kennedy Town (Photo Credit: Nicolle Bloomfield)

KarenHow to profit from Pokemon Go: Become a local re-charging centre for dead batteries

Exploring Nomophobia and Our Reliance on Smart Phones

No comments

 

Everywhere you go these days, you see people glued to their mobile devices. Everything that was a bore before is now much more enjoyable with the introduction of 2G, 3G, and then 4G.

The term ‘Nomophobia’ (no-mobile-phone-phobia) was coined by researchers who discovered that people would feel anxious or distressed when their mobile phones are not at hand. It also relates to the extent in which we as a society now depend on phones to complete the most basic of tasks and learning. Not (that!) long ago, I remember my Maths teacher telling me I would need to learn arithmetic as, “You’re never going to have a miniature calculator in your pocket all the time.” Little did he know that just a decade or so later, almost everyone would have access to not only a calculator, but a million other applications and tools for learning.

I remember when an argument could go on for a week, arguing strange topics such as ‘whether or not a particular insect was in fact a praying mantis’.When your phone dies Smart phones put an end to all arguments, as anything unknown can quickly be Googled. Now we rely heavily on the internet to answer all our questions, and the dependence has shifted the way our brains work. Why bother remembering a telephone number, when it is stored in a device? Why keep a track of your calendar appointments in your head when you get updated reminders? Researchers have now shown that our transactive memory reduces our motivation and ability to actually retain knowledge about topics that we have easy access to. Quite literally, as the Scientific American put it, “the internet has become an external hard drive for our own memories”.

 

According to the latest statistics we could find – in 2010 – numbers showed that, even then, already 58% of men and 47% of women suffered from the fear of being without their mobile device, with an additional 9% who felt stressed when their phones were switched off.  This, combined with the research by the Scientific American, proves that the way that humans learn and understand things now is much different from the way we did before smart devices. We rely on these devices to learn, to be our memory, and to be an integral part of our lives. And if these numbers were this high then – what do you think they are now? The vast majority of us now immediately panic at the thought of losing touch with the internet that’s at our fingertips, whether this is because of the element of communication with our families, losing touch with our work emails or simply losing the ability to Google search any answer to any question we desire.

So, while my Maths teacher thought we wouldn’t have calculators in our pockets, he also didn’t realise that almost all schools would come to rely on kids owning individual tablets to aid study. We’re seeing a huge adoption rate of tablet aided learning in the UK, Australia and the USA, with massive growth also in international countries such as Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong and many more. Despite this huge increase in usage, we still haven’t seen a decent solution for actually charging the devices. Kids take them home, and then end up keeping them overnight and forgetting to charge them back up before going to school the next day.

This reliance on technology to learn means that we have to keep both ourselves and our kids charged up at all times, which is where the Novi fits in. It’s not just a charging station for schools, but also is a great charging solution for restaurants, bars, hotels, events or even more.

In fact, we rely on our smart phones so much that hundreds of thousands of studies have been commissioned regarding their usage, and mobile phone developers are listening. With iOS 9.2, we’ve seen the introduction of the red tinted screen for the iPhone – released after several years of studies showed that the blue light emitted from screens can prevent the body from falling asleep naturally. We can’t even go to bed without keeping our phones on to entertain us.

It’s quite clear that most of us suffer from Nomophobia, and that this fear is only going to expand globally as more and more countries adopt smartphones for personal, business and educational usage. We’re here to try and make that fear a little less of a reality.

KarenExploring Nomophobia and Our Reliance on Smart Phones