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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk

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Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics


Making Hearables a Hit Mark Patrick
Hearables—computing devices that fit into your ears and primarily use an audio interface—received a boost with the launch of Apple’s AirPods wireless earbuds last year. However, AirPods are just a tentative first step for hearables, which are a potentially huge market that still seems up for grabs for whoever can developer a killer product.

Standards Fight Holds Back Wireless Charging Steven Keeping
Today’s wireless charging is like commuting to work by bicycle: great in principle but a pain in practice. Cycling promises fitness, no gas bills and freedom from public transport schedules but the reality involves dodging cars, inhaling truck fumes and arriving in the office disheveled. Similarly, wireless charging has the potential (excuse the pun) to free consumers from the tedium of finding the correct charger from the dozens of incompatible units in the kitchen drawer and to cut through the Gordian knot of power cables lurking under the office desk. Yet wireless charging systems remain thin on the ground and compatible mobile devices are rarer still.

Wireless Charging: What You Need To Know Barry Manz
Charging the batteries of smartphones, tablets, and other battery-operated products is a bit of pain especially if you’re “heavy user”. And how many times do you succeed the first time in correctly plugging in that micro-USB connector on our Android phone? So you would think wireless (inductive) charging would have taken off like a rocket, but it hasn’t for the usual reason: a battle between incompatible standards, with the typical consumer confusion as a result. If you haven’t delved into this area, here’s where wireless charging currently stands.

Wi-Fi Aware Raises Beacon Challenge Steven Keeping
Until now, Bluetooth® Smart has largely had a free run as the preferred communication technology for beacons – compact wireless proximity sensors that transmit a short-range radio signal advertising their position which can be picked up by compatible smartphones.

Bikeshedding: The Ethics behind the Driverless Car Rudy Ramos
How would you feel about driving down the highway at 65mph when suddenly you realize that the car that just passed you did not have a driver! No driver, only passengers – a group of seniors running late to their next Bingo game! How accepting would you be to the idea of sharing the highways with throngs of “driverless” cars? And what would be some of the “what ifs” or “ethical issues” you would have with this scenario?

Tesla PowerWall: A Backdoor for the Mass Adoption of Home Automation? Mike Parks
On April 30, 2015, Elon Musk announced to the world the Tesla PowerWall. In its first week alone, Tesla brought in $800 million dollars for their new PowerWall. Powerwall is a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery pack that will store energy for when you need it, or to use as a backup power supply during an outage. Unlike a generator, it doesn’t require fuel and creates no noise. What’s interesting is that the backlog of customer orders is already winding itself well into the second half of 2016. This is a sign that demonstrates there is a market demand for rethinking how we power our homes both from the perspective of lead-shifting and backup power. With a little speculation, it is also a product that just might serve as a backdoor to the mass adoption of smarter, more automated homes.

Not Your Father’s Tear Down… Not Anymore Caroline Storm Westenhover
For my senior project I am supposed to program an Android app that uses Bluetooth to communicate to a timing board. This sounds reasonable; I am an electrical engineer, we program apps all the time, right? Wrong, prior to being assigned this last semester I had no Object Oriented Programing (OOP) experience. I spent the Christmas break frantically trying to learn Java and start in on Android programming. By the end of the break I realized that there was no way for me develop a reliable app, keep up with my other classes, and go to work.

Plug and Play: Not So! Rudy Ramos
Have you ever tried to set up a home wireless network? Was it easy? You’ve probably heard of Plug-and-Play (PnP). Does PnP work for you every time? During the recent holiday I had to vacate my home office to turn it into a temporary guest room. I left my cable modem and wireless router in the room but I had to move my printer (not wireless) and my desktop PC to my bedroom.

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