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The Wrap: 20 August

Charging on

Minimal battery life and the time it takes to re-power is the bane of many smartphone users’ lives nowadays, and California startup Qnovo is taking a different tack to solve the problem. Its reportedly come up with software to reduce charging time by a third and get as much as six more hours out of a single charge.

The software’s smarts come from monitoring the battery to find out things like temperature and how it’s previously been charge, to determine how much power can be taken from the power adapter. Qnovo also offers a chip for smartphone that speeds up charging even more.

Coding cartoons

We typically know cartoons as comic strips, hand drawn pictures telling stories about superhero battles, or computer generated movies. But John Pound makes them by writing code to produce randomly generated sketchbooks.

This example is Red and Grey Heads, from the sketchbook Loop 18.

Pound’s site is full of other creative efforts, both animated and static.

The height of fashion

Online shopping is nothing new, but one site is putting a novel twist on the way clothes are sold. Theorem, based in the US, brings the ‘set your own price’ approach to limited run ranges it says are from up and coming merchants.

This is what users see when they browse – the merchant’s full and recommend price for the item, then a slider to set the price they’re prepared to pay. That offer is then sent to the seller to be accepted or declined.

A safer ride

The Skully augmented reality bike helmet is taking motorcycle safety to new levels. Currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo, the display shows a feed from a 180-degree angle rear view camera, and if you choose, turn by turn directions and mapped GPS navigation. All this tech is designed so riders can keep their eyes on the road but be aware of everything around them at the same time.


Amanda Sachtleben is an Auckland writer and social media type, who's also Idealog's former tech editor and business journalist.

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