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Breaking: As we hit publish, everything Google appears to be dead other than google.com: Gmail, YouTube, Google Docs, Google Assistant, Nest devices... This is a huge outage, and no it's not just you!
Oppo has unveiled a new phone concept, with a unique and little bit strange multi-folding phone design cooked up alongside Japanese design studio Nendo. Nendo is famous for minimalist design projects, including this MC Escher art installation.
The release at China International Industrial Design Expo follows patents Oppo filed for phones that fold not just once but multiple times back in November.
The first concept phone is called a “Slide Phone,” but it’s …more of a fold? It has three hinges, and starts off the size of a credit card (54mm x 84mm). And it unfolds something like an accordion-style wallet insert that’s full of pictures of your family. And becomes very tall and thin.
Take a look at the pics and there’s a 1-minute video here too:
- I quite like the concept, but concept is the key word here. It looks too thin and narrow for real use as a “normal” phone, given it folds out to seven inches tall and just 3.3 inches wide.
- Add the practical realities of fragility: the way each section moves on top of the other as it slides, plus the addition of pocket lint or grit may cause some unwanted friction… but again, it’s a design.
- That aside, the use cases are cool: from fast selfies to a gaming controller or multitasking, as the video shows.
- A bunch of people are poking fun with this classic iPhone 5 parody/meme.
- But the idea of a nice big display whenever you need, that folds right down into a small pocket, that’s the future if we can get there.
- Right now, we’re only really at the single fold stage.
- Though, a dual fold device, such as this kind of idea patented from Samsung, or this one from Xiaomi last year, could be on the cards from a manufacturer. Will 2021 see a dual fold device we can buy, of any kind?
📆 The Xiaomi Mi 11 is now tipped to launch on December 29, all-but confirming it as the first Snapdragon 888 phone (Android Authority).
📂 Not three Folds but four: A new report suggests Samsung could actually be launching four foldables in 2021, up from the previous three. Two Galaxy Z Fold 3 variants and two Galaxy Z Flip 2 models is the new detail (Android Authority).
🤔 Did 2020’s Snapdragon 765G affordable flagship experiment work? (Android Authority).
🌑 Google is reportedly testing dark mode for desktop web searches (Engadget).
📸 Zeiss, a leader in camera optics, has partnered with Vivo: the upcoming Vivo X60 series will come with Zeiss branding, leaving the HMD/Nokia-Zeiss partnership as non-exclusive at best, and perhaps history at worst? (Android Authority).
💡 The Google AI blog has an explainer on how Pixels offer enhanced “Portrait Lighting” with machine learning, and it’s pretty wild. Worth clicking to see the spherical lighting rig Google used for data, which “includes 64 cameras with different viewpoints and 331 individually-programmable LED light sources” (ai.googleblog.com).
😬 Huawei worked on several surveillance systems promoted to identify ethnicity, known as the Uighur alarm system, documents show: “…companies included SenseTime, Megvii, iFlytek and Yitu Technology.” (WashPo).
🔓 Foreign state hackers reportedly breached the US Treasury. This may all come back to the FireEye hack? (Engadget).
🍎 Apple TV was making a show about Gawker. Then Tim Cook found out, and killed it, owing to the complicated history between Apple and Gawker. Will it be picked up elsewhere? (NY Times).
📹 Reddit bought Dubsmash, seen as a TikTok rival but bigger in Latin America, and with Latinx/Black communities (TechCrunch).
🏎 EA is buying Codemasters for $1.2 billion to take lead in racing game market, outbidding Take Two (The Verge).
🔨 Tesla will reportedly suspend production of its Model S and Model X for 18 days (The Verge).
🥬 Europe’s biggest vertical farm will be powered by wind and planted by robots (Singularity Hub).
🛫 Nordic nations are setting the pace in electric planes after green-cars push (Bloomberg).
💿 Stroll down memory lane with this 1996 instructional video on How to Internet(Ars Technica).
🌟 Eric Engstrom, co-creator of DirectX and one of the trio of internal “Beastie Boys,” sadly died aged 55. Engstrom was one of three evangelists inside Microsoft that paved the way for Microsoft’s expansion into gaming and a DirectX console, the Xbox (VentureBeat).
🤑 “Is there any evidence that pricing a product at, say, 9.99, results in a higher volume of sales, than pricing the same product at 10.00?” (r/askscience).
Have a great start to your week!
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.