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Who needs batteries?

Heavy, clumsy, expensive and toxic, batteries are a royal pain. Fortunately for users of cellphones, laptops and other devices that need frequent charging, those lab-coated heroes in white -- yep, scientists -- are working on a solution: WiTricity. Researchers at MIT have developed a technology inspired by the turn-of-the-century dreams of electro-genius Nikola Tesla, which efficiently transmits electricity in all directions in about a seven-foot range. Meanwhile, other elctromagnetic fields, such as those surrounding computers, cell phones, and human beings, remain largely unaffected.

The scientists were able to light up a 60-watt bulb that had "no physical connection" with the power-generating appliance. "It was quite exciting," MIT Prof. Marin Soljacic said. The process is "very reproducible," he added. "We can just go to the lab and do it whenever we want."

Right now, WiTricity can only power devices up to about 100 watts, and it still suffers from some energy wastage. Considering that it's still in the early stages of development, however, I'd say the future of electricity looks bright -- and wireless.

Link via Ecogeek.

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New AI-Driven Music System Analyzes Tracks for Perfect Playlists
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Whether you're planning a bachelorette party or recovering from a breakup, a well-curated playlist makes all the difference. If you don't have time to pick the perfect songs manually, services that use the AI-driven system Sonic Style may be able to figure out exactly what you have in mind based on your request.

According to Fast Company, Sonic Style is the new music-categorizing service from the media and entertainment data provider Gracenote. There are plenty of music algorithms out there already, but Sonic Style works a little differently. Rather than listing the entire discography of a certain artist under a single genre, the AI analyzes individual tracks. It considers factors like the artist's typical genre and the era the song was recorded in, as well as qualities it can only learn through listening, like tempo and mood. Based on nearly 450 descriptors, it creates a super-accurate "style profile" of the track that makes it easier for listeners to find it when searching for the perfect song to fit an occasion.

Playlists that use data from Sonic Style feel like they were made by a person with a deep knowledge of music rather than a machine. That's thanks to the system's advanced neural network. It also recognizes artists that don't fit neatly into one genre, or that have evolved into a completely different music style over their careers. Any service—including music-streaming platforms and voice-activated assistants—that uses Gracenote's data will be able to take advantage of the new technology.

With AI at your disposal, all you have to do as the listener is decide on a style of music. Here are some ideas to get you started if you want a playlist for productivity.

[h/t Fast Company]

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