Who remembers the legendary Apple AirPower charging mat? It was announced in 2017, and it was supposed to recharge up to three devices at the same time. However, Apple never released it because of engineering issues. Fast-forward to 2023, Tesla is giving it a shot with the Wireless Charging Platform.
FreePower Platform Is Similar to AirPower
The aluminum casing was inspired by the Tesla Cybertruck. They are naming it FreePower, and the platform is from a startup called Aira. It’s the same platform that was used for other charging mats, like the Nomad Base Station Pro. It’s a technology that provides up to 15W of fast charging for up to three devices. The users can simply throw their devices on the surface made from luxurious Alcantara, and they will get recharged, no matter where the devices may land. Yes, no more playing around with aligning your device with the charging coils.
$300 for a Wireless Charger?
It’s not cheap. The Tesla Wireless Charging Platform will cost $300. The company that developed the recharging platform, Aira, was founded in 2017. Since then, it has raised $16 million. The fundraising came by way of angel investors in 2019, which were led by private investors, including Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, and Jawad Ahsan. The company said that the funding was going to be used to reach beyond the consumer market. They also want to expand to hospitality, automotive, and enterprise.
Will the Charging Mat Be Actually Released?
Many will say that Tesla’s concept is similar to what Apple tried to do with its Airplay back in 2017, and they won’t be wrong. However, AirPower was limited to Qi-based devices like Airpods and iPhones and was not able to charge the Apple Watch. It was never released because of overheating problems. Will Tesla’s new charging platform be released and actually useful? Only time will tell. To us users, it’s one step closer to convenience, with so many devices that need to be recharged daily.
Researchers Have Identified How the Brain Tracks Moving Sounds
Until recently, scientists didn’t know exactly how the human brain tracks moving sounds. It is known that the eyes and brain can smoothly track objects, but now researchers have identified the two neural circuits that track the location and motion of a sound. It appears that the brain and ears work together when facing this challenge.
The Human Auditory System Can Track Objects Emitting Sounds
Scientists already knew that humans are very good at determining the location of sounds that are not moving, but some studies suggested that the brain does not track sounds in motion. It was thought that the brain relied more on visual cues or would take static aural snapshots to infer how a sound source was moving. However, it now seems that the brain can track the movement directly.
A new study by Van Opstal and his colleagues shows that the auditory system can track both the position and speed of sounds as smoothly as the visual system when it comes to visible objects. Using subjects in a dark, soundproof room who wore special headgear, the team recorded their head movements when tracking the path of a sound that was moving unpredictably. The results show that subjects could track the movement accurately and smoothly, which would have been impossible if they were just getting static snapshots of the sound’s position.
Humans Can Get Better at Tracking Moving Sounds Over Time
Participants in the experiment got better at tracking sounds over time, which shows how clever the auditory system is. Apparently, it can use information about the motion pattern and adapt its response. The findings also show that the brain is likely to have two neural circuits that it uses to track sound. One is probably dedicated to determining the location, and the other is a complementary one that is dedicated to measuring velocity. The velocity is tracked by comparing the differences in arrival time between the two ears and the way it changes over time.
The research shows how moving the head is important when it comes to accurate soundtracking because the sounds of moving objects change when they enter the ears from a different location. So, in the same way, that the eyes have to focus on a moving object to track it well, the head must move with the object to keep the source of a moving sound in the same area as it is tracked.