Spectrum: Smart Pavement, A Cure for Filthy Phones

Spray-on battery, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.

by / August 2, 2012

A Cure for Filthy Phones

Seventy-five percent of people use their phone in the bathroom, so it’s no wonder that researchers found the following:

  • 16% of phones had E. coli (commonly found in fecal material)
  • 82% of phones had other harmful bacteria

The invention to clean up the mess: PhoneSoap, which uses ultraviolet C (UV-C) light to reportedly kill 99 percent of those germs. Users simply put the phone in the device for three to five minutes. UV-C light is safe and used in the health-care industry to sanitize materials, the manufacturer says. PhoneSoap retails for $40, and was developed using seed money from crowdfunding site Kickstarter. Source: InformationWeek

Smart Pavement

Cities seeking smarter infrastructure might want to follow Madrid’s use of iPavement: Wi-Fi paving stones that deliver free Internet. What makes these calcium carbonate stones intelligent is that each contains a 5 GB microprocessor chip, mesh network and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connectivity. The wireless walkways are powered by underground cables, and are more affordable than building out a Wi-Fi network, since they can be interspersed and easily replaced. The technology comes with its own operating system, apps and a real-time alert system. Source: Wired

Spray-on Power

Researchers at Rice University have developed a spray-on lithium-ion battery that one day could be purchased at a local home improvement store. The rechargeable batteries are flexible and have been tested on various surfaces. In one experiment, nine ceramic tiles that were spray-painted with the battery lit up 40 LED lights. One drawback: Spraying currently must be done in an oxygen-free environment.  Source: Yahoo

Technology Trade

Meet Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s new CEO. She’s a Google alum with more than 13 years of tech experience under her belt. Mayer’s projects include Google Maps, Google Doodle curation, Zagat and many more.  

This Wiki Writes Itself

Wikipedia has become the digital destination for millions of people seeking information. But the site doesn’t write itself, which is the kind of wiki the Pentagon needed. Enter Raytheon BBN Technologies, which built a prototype system that gathers news from 40 websites in English, Chinese and Arabic, with more on the horizon, and provides analysts with useful summaries of global news and events, and profiles of people in near real time.


Spectrum Aug 2012

Karen Stewartson

Karen Stewartson served as the managing editor of Government Technology for many years. She also contributed to Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines.