With the Oppo Find X, slider phones are officially back

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It appears that we’ve come full circle. We went from candybar phones to clamshells, to sliders, back to the candybar (with every smartphone following that framework), and then in the pursuit to have bezel-less displays, phones are revising the slider format to hide elements like the front-facing camera. After a few companies like Vivo and a lesser known Doogee started experimenting with sliding formats, it became evident that the fastest way to a bezel-free phone would be to go for the hide+slide technique… and that’s what Oppo (the parent company of Oneplus) is doing with its Find X.

The Find X quite literally is all screen. With a stunningly high screen to bezel ratio, the Oppo Find X has only pixels on its front and a slick plain surface on its back. But where are the cameras? Oh, they’re hiding within the phone. Switch on the camera app and the top of the phone slides open (you don’t need to do anything manually) to reveal a dual camera on the back, and a pretty fancy 25 megapixel camera on the front that not only clicks amazing selfies, it also works as facial recognition device… because in the quest for purity, the Find X has no fingerprint scanner either.

While the end result is a phone that’s slightly thick (and I’m honestly fine with that), it means phones finally will be all screen and that’s marvelous… but I probably would think twice before owning a Find X. As a slider phone owner (for four years) myself, I’ve learned that moving parts on tech are usually the first to fail (Oppo should have realized this with its debut phone, the N1). The slider mechanism works on its own, without needing human intervention, which on paper sounds great, but practically, it may not be such a bed of roses. Oppo says that the slider activates within milliseconds to pop open the front camera, detect your face, and unlock your phone, but if that technology were to ever fail, it means going back to using swipe patterns, or worse still… never having access to your front or back camera. The sliding mechanism also means you can never put a protective case on the Oppo Find X, which may not always be the best idea if you’re a member of the fellowship of fallen phones (it also means the phone isn’t water-resistant like every smartphone today). However, for people willing to take that chance, the Oppo Find X does look like quite a spectacular phone. It comes with up to 256Gb of storage, 8Gb of RAM, a 3730mAh battery, and it goes on sale in China today, with a global launch in the offing… and with that, do we finally say goodbye to the notch? I don’t really know, but hell the bezel-less front looks rather marvelous!

Designer: Oppo

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Image Credits: The Verge

Read More: Killing The Bezel Means Killing The Smartphone

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Belt Meets Bike Security

If you’ve ever used a u-lock to secure your bike, you know just how cumbersome it can be to carry or dangle across your handlebars while you’re riding. Designed for both security and comfort, the Litelok Gold Wearable makes it easy to carry by wrapping around your body. Simply snap it around your waist (without locking) and it will stay out of the way while you ride. When it’s time to secure, just loop your bike around any pole or other object. Litelok’s patented, flexible yet strong Boaflexicore material, which is a high-tensile metal & polymer composite, will keep your beloved bike safe and secure until you’re ready to wear it again. DO want!

Designer: Neil Barron

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An Attention-Stealing Television!

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Over the years the television has become more and more of a centerpiece within the room, its presence is almost a given and their often-vast size and bold design makes them hard to ignore. So why not draw more attention to it?

The Cube is designed to do just this! As opposed to the television resting on a TV stand, the base of the large TVtakes its position! The geometric and angular form contrasts the smooth curve of the television and is designed to emulate a sculpture on its pedestal. Its lightly brushed finish features a dramatic gradient that breaks up the flat façade. The top face slightly protrudes out of the cube and a light gently illuminates the gaps, emphasizing the subtle feature.

The Cube sits on a narrower base, giving the impression that the whole assembly is elevated off the ground, giving it a surreal element of interest that
completes the striking design.

Designers: Yves Behar of fuseproject & Samsung

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The cube’s chrome material reflects the surface around it, with black gradient at the top to make the frame look as though it floats over and fades into the plinth.

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A Swiss Army Knife for the Urban Jungle

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From the makers of the very multitool knife-gadget that took the world by storm comes an iteration of the classic Swiss Army Knife built with today’s techies in mind. They’ve named it the Jetsetter@work Alox for its file-carrying component that every working professional will appreciate. In addition to the knife’s six practical functions, it features an integrated 3.0/3.1 USB with 16G of storage. Not only can you cut, strip, and screw, but you can save your files and then pop a bottle after a hard day’s work! Get it here!

Designer: Victorinox

Click here to Buy Now: $70.00

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Spice It Just Right!

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I can’t begin to tell you how many would-be delicious dishes I’ve ruined because I over-spiced, under-spiced, or… well, just-plain-wrong-spiced them! It can be hard to get it right. That is, unless you have Spicer.

Just like the name suggests, this all-new kitchen appliance concept aims to take the guess work out of perfecting the taste of your kitchen experiments. Loaded with 20 cartridges of well-know spices, it will perfectly season whatever recipe the user selects from the smartphone app. The app and device will also assist in the process with step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow. Simply choose your meal and follow along without any annoying or time consuming measurements.

Designer: Hugo Hope-Wynne

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You can literally 3D print with your smartphone!

The ONO is a $99 3D printer, but its price tag isn’t what makes it remarkable. It’s the fact that it’s a resin-based 3D printer that uses your smartphone to print complex 3D forms!

The tiny printer comes with a vertically lifting platform, a resin bath, and a dedicated space for a smartphone. Just select a 3D file on the Ono app and place the smartphone in its dedicated space below the resin bath and the ONO printer and smartphone work in conjunction to create complex, yet beautiful 3D prints. The ONO uses resin based printing tech, that relies on a bath filled with a special photosensitive liquid resin that cures with light. The light comes from the smartphone screen, which displays cross-sections of the 3D file in black and white, while the resin cures against the platform. Working frame by frame, layer by layer, the smartphone flashes images that cure the resin in the desired shape of the 3D file you wanted to print. Just simply pull the model off the vertical platform and rinse in a bowl of water and voila! Your print is ready!

The ONO is great for small projects and prototypes. Given that it works using a smartphone screen, the ONO printer’s printing framework is roughly the size of your smartphone screen, so any 3D model bigger than that isn’t quite possible on the ONO, but its compelling price tag is what makes it really attractive. Besides, it uses liquid resins to print files, which results in incredibly smooth and glossy surfaces and lesser wastage of materials!

Designers: Filippo Moroni & Pietro Gabriele.

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Blackberry’s new concept phone is perfect for their target audience

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The Blackberry has always maintained its reputation of being the ideal businessman’s phone. It’s handy and useful, comes with all the apps you need to stay productive, doesn’t distract with games or social apps, is quite secure, and until the touchscreen trend took over, it had its own qwerty keyboard that made typing out emails on the phone a literal breeze… however, somewhere down the line Blackberry followed the bandwagon and got lost among bigger players. The Blackberry Network concept hopes to change that by once again, being built to do exactly what it’s good at.

The BB Network isn’t a phone, its your enterprise communication solution. Build explicitly and rather well for all your office needs, the BB Network is your go-to device for everything related to work. It comes in a size that’s small enough to get the job done while occupying as less space as possible. Built to work as the RFID card that you would use to swipe into our out of your office, the BB Network is exactly that size too, and can be hung around from your neck or clipped to your pocket, much like your office ID. It’s even optimized to work keeping your office schedule and needs in mind, giving you access to your tasks, reminders, mails, flight tickets, etc. all accessible from within the home screen. The phone also comes with BBM Hub, Blackberry’s answer to Slack, and and its own payments gateway that allows you to use your phone as a payment card. Another great feature is the Network’s Meeting Mode, a mode that lets your phone focus only on functionality, silencing all calls and notifications while you’re in a meeting. Putting your phone in the Meeting Mode also turns your phone into a multimedia device, allowing you to use it as a digital pointer, and to control presentations directly from within your phone.

Blackberry’s strength has always been its appeal to a particular target audience. Rather than pandering to the consumer market, BB Network does what Microsoft did a long time ago… stay true to the ever-demanding, yet loyal world of business and enterprise!

Designers: Anish Shakthi, Phaniram Lalpet, Kamaljeet Kaur, Raghavendra Rao & Prateyush Das.

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It’s 2018. Bone Conduction Earphones still suck.

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“No Bass, No Good” said a skeptic as he walked away from the stall that was displaying earphones sporting bone-conduction technology at CES Asia 2018. Bone conduction earphones work without sitting inside your ear. Instead, they rest in front of your ear, on your temporal bone, right under your temples. The earphones don’t “play” the music, but rather, relay vibrations to the bone, sending them directly to your brain, rather than through your ear canal. Why would someone go through that headache, you say? Bone conduction technology is supposedly the next best thing for audio. It feeds sounds to the wearer without blocking their ears, which mean two things. A. You can hear everything around you just fine, so a bone-conduction earpiece would work wonders for say a jogger, who wants to listen to the music, but without blocking their ears, so they can hear if a cycle is approaching them from behind, or if there’s a car speeding towards them while they cross the road. Benefit B. is that since they don’t exercise your eardrums, bone-conduction tech is actually better for your ears, and can even be worn by people with eardrum-based hearing disabilities. That’s the rosy promise of bone-conducting tech, but its track record has been rather poor.

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There were 3 companies at CES Asia this year displaying bone-conduction technology. The most popular being Aftershokz, a company that has gone from strength to strength, selling audio wearables, and even managed to land the CES Innovation Award for their latest offering, the Trekz Air. The other two were relatively smaller players. One, competing with Aftershokz, and another that managed to weave their bone-conducting earpieces into sunglasses, so you’ve got a nice pair of shades that play music to you while you cut out the sun’s glare and look cool while doing it.

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I casually walked to the Aftershokz pop-up stall, seeing massive posters of a man wearing the Trekz Air, looking positively dapper and athletic at the same time. Below him was a display area with earphones for the public to try… So I slipped one on. I immediately connected the Trekz Air to my phone, playing music I was familiar with, so I had a proper point of reference. I couldn’t hear anything. All I could feel was the earphones buzzing against my temples. “Sir, the environment here is too loud, if you want to hear the music, you need to cover your ears to block out external sound”, said a helper. This, I believe is the biggest flaw of bone-conducting earphones. The promise is that bone-conduction tech is supposed to deliver sound directly to the audio canal without relying on the eardrum, and yet, it failed to do so because my eardrum was picking up external noise, which sort of defeats the purpose of the bone-conducting earphones. You’re supposed to hear the music ALONG WITH the noise, not have the music drowned out by it. I indulged the helper by plugging my ears with my fingers to listen to the music, and the quality was just about OK. The earphones sit rather loosely on your temples, so when they vibrate, you end up losing a major part of the low-end of the music, or the bass. That’s a heavy blow too, considering humans CRAVE bass. It’s the first sort of sounds we hear in the womb, as the mother’s heart beats, creating a bass-like thud that the baby picks up on and recognizes in the future. Listening to audio without bass is like drinking wine but not feeling the buzz. It was enough for me, and several others to put the earphones down, stating that the technology was good on paper, but didn’t match up in reality.

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The problem with bone-conducting earphones is the way they’re built, to be honest. They’re made in a one-size-fits-all sort of format, as they sit on your ears, pressing rather loosely on your temples. These vibrating units tend to leak sound too, which mean that someone sitting right beside you on the subway can probably hear everything you’re listening to. These earphones need to be designed radically differently, in a way that allows them to press against your bone much more effectively than the current method. They also need to be able to stand up to external sounds, because no one wants to have to block their ears to hear the music. If the promise is that music and ambient noise (no matter how loud) can coexist, then it definitely must live up to that ideal. I decided to buy a pair of Aftershokz bone-conducting earphones myself back in 2015 and promptly sent them back the next day because they didn’t deliver on their promise. It’s a little disheartening to see that three years later, people are still walking away from the earphones saying “No Bass, No Good”… but that is probably the most accurate feedback ever.

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Tech for Cleaner Kid Mits

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Growing up as a kid who loved playing in the dirt, my mom would’ve killed for a gadget like this! Simply titled “Safeguard,” this smart soap dispenser makes hand-washing a fun activity for kids while teaching them the importance of hygiene.

While a 20-second timer counts down, an interactive projection is cast directly from the dispenser around the rinsing area to entertain and simultaneously instruct little ones on the proper way to wash. It’s presented in the form of a fun germ-zapping game children will look forward to playing. Better yet, parents can keep an eye on progress and thoroughness through a dedicated smart app on their phone!

Designer: Michael Morath

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The Fitness Wearable That’s Replacing the Human Fitness Trainer

It’s rare when a product does a job so well you don’t need a human expert around. If anything AI has indicated that there’s still a long way to go before it replaces humans. Stories written by machine learning algorithms are far from comparable to those written by humans, so when a product comes along that replaces the need for a trained human entirely, it’s worth noticing.

Sitting quietly inside your shoe, gathering data from 32 sensors on the underside of each of your feet, the RUNVI is a smart insole insert that comes with an AI that not only gathers data, but accurately assimilates it and gives you feedback on your run. Working in real-time, while giving not only visual but audio feedback, the RUNVI is your digital coach, being able to analyze your run from head to toe, and not only give you feedback to improve your technique but also being able to craft a routine that works the best for you.

A smart insole that fits inside any existing running shoe, the RUNVI comes with the sensor embedded insole, and a plug-in wearable that captures data from the sensors, sending it to your phone/watch/earphones in real time. It measures basic metrics like distance, duration, pace, calories, but also goes ahead to calculate much more advanced metrics like cadence, power, foot-strike pattern, impact, gait, and asymmetry. The RUNVI doesn’t just calculate how far you’ve run or how much energy you’ve expended, it even lets you know if you’re putting too much weight on one foot, or if your posture needs correcting, or if you’re in the danger of exerting yourself too much or causing an injury. Within the time frame of one single run, the RUNVI can give you real-time feedback, telling you to straighten your back or stretch your legs more, and can even craft a run-plan that’s suited to your style or fitness level. Working with much more data than a fitness band, or a fitness app, the RUNVI is much more accurate to the extent that it eliminates one’s need to have a human coach/trainer analyze your exercise technique. Its combination of 64 sensors, an incredibly smart AI algorithm, and device-based connectivity all coupled into a product that’s sleek enough to fit within your shoe without you noticing, makes RUNVI a fitness wearable that may have successfully replaced the need for human expert feedback!

Designer: Daniel von Waldthausen

Click here to Buy Now: $139.00 $229.00 ($90 off)

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Say Hi To RUNVI

RUNVI is your personal digital running coach, designed to help you achieve your full running potential.

With the RUNVI SMART INSOLES, they define the next-generation of running wearables, delivering the most accurate data on the market.

They make sense of your data to produce a tailored training plan that continuously adapts to your goals, performance & progression and to deliver personalized coaching in real-time – so you get better with every run.

RUNVI improves your running technique, reduces your risk of injury, and coaches you to experience the running performance you’re truly capable of.

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What Does RUNVI Give You?

Data is gathered in the RUNVI SMART INSOLES, right where the action happens – beneath your feet.

They analyze and interpret every little detail of your running technique and overall performance, building a full profile of your running biomechanics.

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Beyond the basic key running metrics, we feature advanced running metrics, such as Cadence, Foot-Strike Pattern and Symmetry.

They bring the best of a professional running lab to your regular running shoes – making it available to you every time you run.

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Power Measurement

Power is a performance metric that’s made a breakthrough in the running world. It’s the most sophisticated way to control your running intensity.

RUNVI features power measurement, to coach you to run more efficiently. You’re given a continuous measurement during your run which will help you to run more effectively any distance and on any terrain.

Learning how to run with power will result in running better, further and faster.

Real-time Coaching

RUNVI collects and analyses your data every step of run, to drive personalized voice & audio coaching in real-time.

Just like a personal trainer, RUNVI can tell when you’re running into the risk of injury or fatigue, or when your running technique isn’t optimal.

They deliver very simple, actionable instructions to improve your technique and coach you to run better — while you run.

Coaching includes:

– Feedback on body posture, harmony and efficiency of movements
– Reduced risk of injuries
– Indications of fatigue
– Increased effectiveness of training
– Real-time updates and feedback provided by a constant measurement
– Inactivity alerts
– Determining personal limits
– Coaching content and videos

Once they start gathering enough of your data and learning more about the way you run, they can start building Artificial Intelligence – to deliver an even higher phase of accuracy, personalization, and optimization for you to experience.

Adaptive Training Plan

RUNVI features adaptive training programs based 100% on you, the goals you set, your individual running technique and your historical & real-time performances.

The training plans are dynamic, meaning they continuously optimize with your running technique and improvements.

They’ll be integrating AI and machine learning to tailor your training plan even more. The more you use RUNVI, the smarter it will get.

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Running Related Injuries

RUNVI empowers you to really get to know your body and its limits. With an improved running technique and all the knowledge that they have to offer, you can start reducing your risk of those common, yet preventable, running injuries. They aim to keep you in the game!

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Comparison

See where they race ahead of the competition.

How RUNVI Works

With each pair of RUNVI SMART INSOLES, you have 30 pressure sensors, 2 advanced accelerometers, and our unique CORE technology running across your feet. Collaborating together to communicate with the RUNVI iOS App.

RUNVI tracks your activity and stores that data in the CORE, which use BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) to send all of your data to the app. From there, you can view your performance history, your training summary, and access all of the awesome features we’ve included.

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The Smart Insole

Each insole is designed with an ergonomic shape to ensure that you have the comfort and support of a premium insole. The lightweight material of RUNVI allows you to flex and exercise with natural motion.

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Inside the insole, our CORE communicates with 15 pressure sensors (Flex PCB) to track and store your daily activity. The insole is in a default sleep mode and is only woken up when the accelerometer detects motion.

The default sleep mode helps guarantee RUNVI’s impeccable 3-week battery life – this is if you walk (not run) in the insoles all the time. Without walking in them, and leaving them in sleep mode, the battery lasts much longer.

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The Core

The removable CORE concept allows you to change the insoles while keeping the same CORE. If you have separate insoles for different shoes or purchase a replacement pair, all you have to do is change the CORE from pair to pair and your data stays the same.

The battery lasts up to 8-10 hours of intensive running, – so you have your marathon training covered!

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The iOS App

The app is where your raw activity data from the insole is analyzed and presented to you in an easy-to-use format. In the app, you can see the LIVE-VIEW, your daily activity overview, and access your training plan.

In addition, you can get real-time coaching updates through the app based off of your personal data. All of your data is available in the app, so you can access your history, set goals, and measure your progress over time.

A native Apple Watch app will be available in the future.

Click here to Buy Now: $139.00 $229.00 ($90 off)