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Pokémon Go launches in U.S. on iOS and Android

Pokémon Go is bringing gaming into the real world.


Now you can find a Pokémon on your evening stroll whether you’re in Atlanta or Zurich.

Pokémon Go launched today on the Apple App Store and Google Play worldwide. Go is a location-based augmented reality smartphone game that uses location tech to put monsters in your neighborhood (and elsewhere). It’s free-to-play with in-app transactions. This moves the series — which has shipped 275 million video games worldwide and is estimated to bring in $2.1 billion this year as one of the world’s largest brands — into the VR and AR market, which is expected to be its own $120 billion business by 2020, according to tech adviser Digi-Capital.

You’ll be able to find, capture, and battle Pokémon, as GamesBeat detailed last month during a look at its closed beta test. It layers the critters over the world thanks to your smartphone’s camera — you might find a Pikachu (the yellow cat-rat thing that’s the series mascot) sitting near a bush, or a Squirtle (the cute little turtle-like monster) standing near a pond.

The Pokémon Company and Niantic had a soft-launch for Go yesterday in Australia, New Zealand, and a few other regions.

Correction: The headline originally noted that Pokémon Go launched worldwide. It was the U.S. launch that happened today.

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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

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