It’s always a gamble leaving the house with your smartphone. Even as batteries get bigger, the threat of being out in the world with little time left on your device can create a panic akin to witnessing a natural disaster. And the worst part is when you go to someone to ask for a charging cord only to find that they do not have your cable type!
This week on Gadgets, we’ll womansplain how Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are working to eliminate this headache for smartphone users worldwide. The idea is that if all devices had a universal charging standard, the other half of us would not be left out in the cold with no way to charge our smartphones. But it means that Apple would have to switch from its proprietary Lightning cable and adopt the USB-C standard prevalent throughout the rest of the industry.
Then, it’s time to talk about Nothing. This new smartphone brand has been making the rounds in Android’s hype machine. Prominent YouTuber, Marques Brownlee, showed off the Nothing Phone (1) and some unique features in a half-hour video. Those 900 LEDs on the back are cool to look at and will provide a bit of hands-free functionality for things like checking on battery power and notifications. But it’s still up in the air if there’s anything else about the smartphone that will move the needle. The Nothing brand is the brainchild of Carl Pei, formerly of OnePlus, and the playbook here gives us a bit of deja vu.
Lastly, we’re curious about Bandai’s new Digimon watch, the Vital Hero. It’s a fitness watch for kids based on the virtual pet game, and it gamifies walking and running so that the life of your Digimon relies on how much you physically move throughout the day. The more active you are — or your child, if they want one — the faster the Digimon’s stats will improve to help increase their chance of victory when they battle against other monsters. The game has a Pokemon Go-like vibe to it. Now, if only Apple and Google would gamify our walking in this manner — we’d be way more inclined to hit the trail!
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