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Nokia will disable the key feature of its priciest scale

Nokia has announced that it will be disabling the headline of feature of its Body Cardio scale in a software update. The scale was sold with the ability to track Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV), essentially measuring the speed at which your blood flows through your veins. The slower and more constant the speed, the healthier you are, and vice versa. In a statement, the company said that the feature “may require a different level of regulatory approval,” possibly risking the wrath of regulators.

Like most smart scales, the FDA initially considered the scale as a “wellness device,” requiring little in the way of scrutiny. In the last two years, however, something must have changed for the company to suddenly row back on both selling the device, and deactivating existing units. Users are told that they are unable to opt out of the software update, which is coming on January 24th. In addition, the device itself has been withdrawn from sale until such time as the hardware can be altered.

This isn’t the first time that Nokia has driven a truck through its Withings’-made products to the consternation of users. Last summer, the company updated the Health Mate app, redesigning the look and removing several features, prompting something of an apology from Nokia. It’s likely that those folks who wanted to use this device to measure their hypertension (or other cardiac issues) will be similarly miffed now.

In the document, Nokia asks what the difference is now between the Body Cardio and its Body+Scale, which is $80 cheaper. The company points to the rechargeable battery and its sleeker profile as justifications, but if you’re looking for a half-decent scale, it’s likely that the Body+ will probably do just fine.

Source: Nokia

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Ms. A. C. Kennedy
My name is Ms A C Kennedy and I am a Health practitioner and Consultant by day and a serial blogger by night. I luv family, life and learning new things. I especially luv learning how to improve my business. I also luv helping and sharing my information with others. Don't forget to ask me anything!

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Existing EV batteries could be recharged five times faster

Lithium-ion batteries have massively improved in the last half-decade, but there are still issues. The biggest, especially for EVs, is that charging takes too long to make them as useful as regular cars for highway driving. Researchers from the University of Warwick (WMG) have discovered that we may not need to be so patient, though. They developed a new type of sensor that measures internal battery temperatures and discovered that we can probably recharge them up to five times quicker without overheating problems.

Overcharging a lithium-ion battery anode can lead to lithium buildup, which can break through a battery's separator, create a short-circuit and cause catastrophic failure. That can cause the electrolyte to emit gases and literally blow up the battery, so manufacturers impose strict charging power limits to prevent it.

Those limits are based on hard-to-measure internal temperatures, however, which is where the WMG probe comes in. It's a fiber optic sensor, protected by a chemical layer that can be directly inserted into a lithium-ion cell to give highly precise thermal measurements without affecting its performance.

The team tested the sensor on standard 18650 li-ion cells, used in Tesla's Model S and X, among other EVs. They discovered that they can be charged five times faster than previously thought without damage. Such speeds would reduce battery life, but if used judiciously, the impact would be minimized, said lead researcher Dr. Tazdin Amietszajew.

Faster charging as always comes at the expense of overall battery life but many consumers would welcome the ability to charge a vehicle battery quickly when short journey times are required and then to switch to standard charge periods at other times.

There's still some work to do. While the research showed the li-ion cells can support higher temperatures, EVs and charging systems would have to have "precisely tuned profiles/limits" to prevent problems. It's also not clear how battery makers would install the sensors in the cells.

Nevertheless, it shows a lot of promise for much faster charging speeds in the near future. Even if battery capacities stayed the same, charging in 5 minutes instead of 25 could flip a lot of drivers over to the green side.

Via: Clean Technica

Source: University of Warwick