How Do Foldable Smartphones Work?

How Do Foldable Smartphones Work?

Our needs from a phone have changed drastically from just calling and texting to becoming our pocket-sized, office cum entertainment centre. With Apple working on the foldable iPhone screen prototypes, let’s see how smartphones would further evolve in this decade, with flexible displays.

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What Is A Foldable Phone?
It is a phone with a folding form factor. This means it uses a rigid-flex printed circuit board (PCB), which integrates elements from both hardboard and flexible circuits. So, the rigid layer carries the bulk of the components, while the flexible layers make the hinge work between the two screens.

Display Material Used
The foldable smartphones use flexible, plastic OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) displays instead of gorilla glass displays, as the former is capable of sustaining the bend radius required for bending. 

Types Of Foldable Displays

  • The display that wraps around to the back of the device when folded. Eg: Royole FlexPai and Huawei Mate X.
  • A booklet-like display, with an inner screen, which is larger + folded and a cover screen, which lets the user interact with the device without opening it. Eg: Samsung Galaxy Fold.
  • Double folding display, wherein the left and right portions of the screen can be folded to transform into a compact device. Eg: Xiaomi Mi Mix Flex.
  • Swivelling Display is a dual-screen that includes a swivel screen, which can rotate clockwise in 90°, along with the second screen behind it. Eg: LG’s WING swivel.

What About Rollable Phones?
The screen in these smartphones shall behave like a paper on a scroll, actuated by the user’s input as intended. Eg: OPPO X 2021. Also, LG and TCL’s respective rolling phones announced at CES 2021.

Problems Faced by Consumers
Eg: One Fold, Vertical Flip screens – Samsung Z-Flip’s advertised glass screen scratched like plastic and Motorola Razr’s units got easily broken by users.

  • The Motorola Razr was a series of flip mobile phones by Motorola. On November 14, 2019, Motorola again revived the Razr brand, this time for an Android-based foldable smartphone styled after the original Razr, which carried the same name.
  • The first-generation iPhone was announced by former Apple CEO Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007. Since then Apple has annually released new iPhone models and iOS updates. As of November 1, 2018, more than 2.2 billion iPhones had been sold.
  • With the first iteration of the Samsung Fold, there were multiple issues that reviewers encountered, like dust getting into the hinge and damaging the display, nicks and dings on the soft plastic, and the accidental removal of a thin display layer that looked like (but was not) a screen protector. As a result, Samsung had to delay the commercial release of the device and collect back all the initial units.

New Findings Of Chandra X-Ray Observatory

New Findings Of Chandra X-Ray Observatory

In 2020, astronomers added a new member to a family of exotic objects, i.e the discovery of a magnetar. NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has made new observations, stating that the magnetar also acts as a pulsar. But what’s a pulsar? A magnetar? Well, let’s demystify this space jargon!

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What Is The Chandra X-ray Observatory?
Called one of the great observatories like Hubble telescope, it is a space telescope launched aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1999, during STS-93 by NASA. It is sensitive to X-ray sources 100x fainter than any previous X-ray telescope, enabled by the high angular resolution of its mirrors. 

Known as the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF) previously, it was later renamed after the Nobel Prize-winning Indian-American astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar.

What Is A Magnetar?
It is a star which is made up of tightly packed neutrons, formed from the collapsed core of a massive star during a supernova.

How Is It Different From Other Stars?
Also called a magnetic star, it has the most powerful magnetic field in the universe. For context, Earth’s magnetic field is 1 Gauss, a refrigerator magnet is 100 Gauss while a magnetar measures a million billion Gauss! This intensity heats the surface to 18 million° F.

How Was The Latest One Detected?
Using NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Telescope in 2020. Dubbed as J1818.0-1607, it is the youngest (500 years old) and 31st known magnetar, out of the 3,000 known neutron stars.

How Is This Age Estimation Done?
Based on how quickly the rotation rate is slowing and the assumption that it was born spinning much faster. This one spins faster than any previously known magnetar, rotating once every 1.4 seconds.

What Did Chandra Find Out Then?
It gave astronomers the first high-resolution view of the magnetar, revealing a point source where it was located, 21,000 light-years from Earth and how it gives off radio waves.

Only 5 magnetars have been recorded like this, making them 0.2% of the known neutron star population. Moreover, J1818.0-1607 is also converting energy more efficiently from its decreasing rate of a spin into X-rays, and this efficiency matches the range of pulsars.

What Does This Mean?
The magnetar has properties similar to a “rotation-powered pulsar,” a neutron star which gives off beams of radiation, detected as repeating pulses of emission as it rotates and slows down.

  • NASA’s series of Great Observatories satellites are four large, powerful space-based astronomical telescopes launched between 1990 and 2003. They were built with different technology to examine specific wavelength/energy regions of the electromagnetic spectrum: gamma rays, X-rays, visible and ultraviolet light, and infrared light.
  • Edwin Powell Hubble was an American astronomer. He played a crucial role in establishing the fields of extragalactic astronomy and observational cosmology. The Hubble telescope is named after him.
  • Riccardo Giacconi was an Italian-American Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist who laid down the foundations of X-ray astronomy. In 1976 the Chandra X-ray Observatory was proposed to NASA by Riccardo Giacconi.

CES 2021: From Covid-19 Tech to Gaming Vests

CES 2021: From Covid-19 Tech to Gaming Vests

Considered one of the greatest tech events in the consumer electronics industry, the CES 2021 was fully digital, due to the ongoing pandemic. Apart from LG using a virtual human as a speaker and a star-trek like AI pet being launched by Vanguard Industries, let’s see other innovations unveiled to avid fans.

Crux of the Matter

What Is CES?
CES or Consumer Electronics Show is organized by the Consumer Technology Association.

  • Dates: January 11 to 14 (2021).
  • Attendees: 182,000 (2019).
  • Product Categories: IoT, AI, smart cities, robotics, etc.

Project Hazel
It is a smart face mask made by Razer, with built-in N95 respirators and Chroma RGB lighting, to allow others to see your face even in the dark. It also uses mics and amps for voice clarity and its charging case features sanitising UV lights, for disinfecting after every use.

The Flying Cadillac
It is General Motors’ Flying taxi and it can transport a single passenger at a speed of 88.5 kmph. Being electrically powered, it is set to be a zero-emission air taxi service.

Robot Butler
Made by Samsung, it helps with daily house chores like doing dishes in the dishwasher. It can also examine exactly how much force is needed to grab specific objects.

Toto Wellness
It is a smart toilet that can analyse one’s stool to determine whether she is healthy or not and it comes with a companion app, that recommends dietary changes to improve digestion.

Developed by Embodied, Inc, it is an animated companion, that is able to respond to natural language while perceiving eye contact, facial expressions, and other behaviors in a child. It can even recall people, places, and objects. 

As per the launch, it “helps build social, emotional, and cognitive skills through everyday play-based learning and engaging content developed in association with child development and education experts.”

Oticon More
Made by Oticon, Inc, it is the first hearing aid with Deep Neural Network tech and has been trained with 12 million real-life sounds, rather than lab-constructed sound algorithms.

Other Innovations Revealed

  • NINU Perfume – personalise scent with an app
  • bHaptics tactical suits for gamers
  • Samsung’s Solar powered remote control
  • BeFC SAS’ Bioenzymatic Fuel Cells 
  • Cubios Inc.’s WOWCube entertainment System
  • ChiliSleep’s OOLER with water-powered temperature control system
  • GoSun’s Flow pocket device to sanitize water
  • Typewise keyboard with a honeycomb layout for two-thumb typing
  • LG’s rollable smartphone

  • The Burj Khalifa was constructed by Samsung. Samsung built the tower in a joint venture with BESIX from Belgium and Arabtec from the UAE.
  • Razer Inc. is a Singaporean–American multinational technology company that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, financial services, and gaming hardware. In October 2020, Razer announced it was launching a new virtual prepaid debit card starting with its home country Singapore in January 2021.
  • The first CES was held in June 1967 in New York City. It was a spinoff from the Chicago Music Show, which, until then, had served as the main event for exhibiting consumer electronics. The event had 17,500 attenders and over 100 exhibitors; the kickoff speaker was Motorola chairman Bob Galvin.

Indian Army Battling Cold With DRDO Devices

Indian Army’s Battling Cold With DRDO Devices

The Defence Research and Development Organisation or DRDO has developed indigenous products like heating devices and snow melters, in order to help Indian Army’s soldiers deployed in Eastern Ladakh fight off extremely low temperatures.

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Fighting Both Cold And Enemies At The Siachen Base Camp 

  • Located 12,000 feet above sea level north of Leh, Ladakh, it is part of the highest battlefield in the world.
  • Temperatures going down to as low as -86°C, with 300 kmph blizzards. 
  • 50,000+ Indian troops deployed there.

Alocal Cream
Helps protect soldiers from frostbite and sunburns, along with preventing/curing cuts, wounds and surgical dressing of the skin. 

Bukhari, The Space Heating Device
This shall be deployed in the habitats of Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Indian Army

  • At high altitude, high speed wind blows, this device (also called Himtapak) has 3 horizontal double-layered plates which can cut the air and make it blast-proof. 
  • With 6 litre capacity and 100% combustion, there is no production of hazardous gases like carbon monoxide.
  • As per DRDO, its oil consumption is 50%, which saves ₹3,650 crores a year. 

Flexible Water Bottle
There is an integrated, detachable filter inside it and the bottle can withstand -50°C to -100°C temperatures, keeping the water in liquid form.

Solar Snow Melter
Using solar energy, this device melts snow and stores water to -40° C in a 5-litre water tank attached to it.

Are These Devices Being Used Now?
No, but they will be soon. Army has already placed orders worth ₹420 crores of Himtapak devices. The water bottles have been given for trial purposes in Siachen, Khardungla and Tawang. Even India’s first indigenous machine pistol ASMI is set to replace the 9mm pistols used currently.

Who Helps DRDO In Such Innovative Ventures?
The Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences (DIPAS) of DRDO. Established in 1962 and located in Delhi, it conducts physiological and biomedical research to improve human performance in extreme, wartime environments

Shakti By Major Anoop Mishra
It is the world’s first flexible bulletproof vest for both male and female combatants. The ballistic jacket will be able to absorb the impact and reduce/stop penetration to the torso from shrapnel and firearm-based projectiles.

  • Operation Rajiv was a successful Indian Army operation to capture a high point along the Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) in the Siachen area in 1987. The peak, which was earlier named as Quaid Post by Pakistan, was renamed as Bana Top (also called Bana Post) by India after the victory.
  • The Siachen Glacier is the longest glacier in the Karakoram and second-longest in the world’s non-polar areas. The Siachen Glacier lies immediately south of the great drainage divide that separates the Eurasian Plate from the Indian subcontinent in the extensively glaciated portion of the Karakoram sometimes called the “Third Pole”.
  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation’s motto is the Sanskrit phrase “बलस्य मूलं विज्ञानम्”. It translates to ‘Strength’s Origin is in Knowledge’.

Indian Physicist Given French Order Of Merit

Indian Physicist Given French Order Of Merit

Indian physicist Rohini Godbole has been conferred with one of the highest distinctions granted by France to honour eminent persons, the Ordre National du Merite. Let’s see her contributions that led to this honour.

Crux of the Matter

What Is Ordre National du Mérite?
Also called a National Order of Merit, it is a French order, with membership awarded by the President of the French Republic. It was founded in 1963.

Who Is Rohini Godbole?

  • She was born in 1952 in Pune.
  • Alma Mater of IIT Bombay, SUNY, Stony Brook.
  • She was awarded Padma Shri in 2019 and is a Silver medallist from IIT Bombay, 1974 Batch.
  • Currently a professor at the Centre for High Energy Physics, IISc Bangalore.

Why Was Rohini Awarded This Order? 
She has been recognised for both her contributions to the collaborations between France and India and her work in promoting the visibility of women in science. 

What Are These Contributions?

  • Part of the advisory group for International Linear Collider in CERN
  • Chair of the Panel for Women in Science initiative of the Indian Academy of Sciences.
  • Along with Ram Ramaswamy, she jointly edited Lilavati’s Daughters, a collection of biographical essays on women scientists of India.

What Are Her Research Fields?

  • Physics at Large Hadron Collider, which is the world’s largest machine that acts as a particle accelerator, to push protons or ions, near to the speed of light. 
  • Working on the functions of a proton, photon and nucleus and Supersymmetry, which studies the relationship between two basic elementary particles in physics.

“We need more women role models in STEM, to normalise the concept that one’s career or opportunities do not have anything to do with gender. This message is not just to young women but young men as well.”

Professor Rohini Godbole, After Receiving The Award

  • The Ordre national du Mérite (National Order of Merit) comprises about 185,000 members; 306,000 members have been admitted or promoted in 50 years. Half of its recipients are required to be women.
  • The Legion of Honour is the highest French order of merit, both military and civil. Established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, it has been retained by all later French governments and régimes.
  • The Ordre national du Mérite founded on 3 December 1963 by President Charles de Gaulle. The reason for the order’s establishment was twofold: to replace the large number of ministerial orders previously awarded by the ministries; and to create an award that can be awarded at a lower level than the Legion of Honour, which is generally reserved for French citizens