LG’s Rollable TV was just the beginning. Here’s a crazy new concept of a rolling screen that can change sizes and aspect ratios

Let’s get our terminology straight right at the very beginning – the SHIFT is an adaptive rollable TV, not just a regular rollable one. That’s just a fancy way of saying that instead of having a scroll-shaped display that sits hidden inside a small chamber and unrolls to reveal itself (like LG’s Rollable TV), the SHIFT is ‘adaptive’, which means it shifts or adapts between two formats – a smaller monitor-sized display, and a larger television-sized one.

The common justification of a rolling display is to have a television that can ‘disappear’ when you don’t need it, but the SHIFT creates a new sort of format. Instead of disappearing when you don’t need it, the SHIFT’s format explores an A vs B arrangement, where you can alternate between two screen sizes, choosing a smaller one while working at your desk, and a larger one for sitting back and watching a movie. To manage this, the SHIFT uses a display that extends sideways while rotating too (the GIF above should really explain how it works), effectively being able to expand in BOTH directions. The expanded display isn’t just wider, it’s taller too because the entire display rotates 90° while rolling open (so the horizontal width of the smaller screen becomes the vertical height of the larger screen).

The justification for this ‘adaptive rolling display’ is less of a cosmetic one and more of a functional one. While LG’s Rollable TV was designed to disappear into its base so you’re not left with an ugly black rectangle on your wall when the TV’s switched off, the SWITCH doesn’t really focus on the aesthetics of a disappearing TV, but rather tries to be dually functional, as a smaller work monitor, and as a larger television/entertainment system.

In serving its work purpose, the SHIFT comes with a rather interesting design detail concealed within its form. One of the rolling elements on the SHIFT’s bezel features a swiveling webcam that can rotate to face outwards when in use, and back into its dark void when not needed. When you’re working, or even joining large video conferences, the webcam swivels out and captures you while the screen itself shape-shifts to accommodate the web layout.

A notable feature of the SHIFT’s design is also its ability to change aspect ratio. The rolling screen is natively 21:9 in its smallest and largest formats, but it fills in a lot of intermediary aspect ratios too, going to 16:9 when you’re watching widescreen content, or even 4:3 for older shows or applications that run in 4:3. If you’re using the SHIFT to run an emulation of content on your phone, the rotating display can be used in portrait mode too, and can expand ever so slightly to mimic a tablet’s aspect ratio if needed.

For all that innovation packed in a somewhat utilitarian format that aims to ‘have your cake and eat it too’, the SHIFT isn’t a utilitarian-looking appliance. On the contrary, it’s incredibly well designed, sleek, and can shapeshift between the monitor and TV mode while looking ever so classy. The screen is backed by a fabric-clad panel that houses all the electronics and elements like the SHIFT’s speakers. The backside of the fabric panel even has a cable concealer that lets you hide all the ports, so no matter whether you look at the front, the side, or the back of the SHIFT, it looks incredibly clean and sophisticated, almost with the air of Samsung’s Serif TV.

Ultimately though, the SHIFT balances multiple roles and is designed to be used in different parts of the house. Unlike its LG counterpart, which focuses solely on using the rollable technology to make the TV as sleek and nonexistent as possible, SHIFT wants to be the TV that you also use in your WFH setup as well as for binge-watching Money Heist in the living room. The TV features a wheeled easel-style base that can conveniently be pushed around the house (just avoid the carpets), and the fabric clads on the back sport a palette of home-decor-friendly colors that should easily fit into most contemporary homes or office spaces.

Designers: Seungho Ro & Junha Kam

This compact water recycling system reduces carbon footprint, lowers bills & mitigates the global water crisis

Hydraloop not only designed an award-winning water recycling product but also made an eye-opening documentary that shows you how easy it is for everyone to recycle water – stream the Brave Blue World on Netflix for an unfiltered story on water and climate change! This water recycling system looks like a slim closet and can be used in any building or home, anytime. Hydraloop was presented at both CES 2020 and CES 2021 where it received notable attention for being one of the most innovative designs in the sustainability, eco-design, and smart energy categories.

Only 0.014% of the total amount of water on earth is fresh and available. It is one of the most misused natural resources and with the increasing global population, we have to use it in the most efficient way possible and make sure we don’t dry out our planet. Four billion people are already facing severe water scarcity and by 2035 40% of the world’s population could experience serious water stress. By 2050 the water demand is projected to grow by 55%, including a 400% rise in manufacturing water demand – to be able to meet the needs of almost 10 billion people in the next two decades, we need to take important steps right now that can save up to 95% of your shower and bath water alone and enables you to reuse up to 85% of the total in-house water. So even on an individual level, you can add your drop to the ocean and make a positive impact.

Hydraloop’s goal is to create compact recycling systems that can be used at offices, hotels, apartment buildings, homes, and anywhere else with running water – they want to make it easy for everyone to recycle water without having to go through complicated machinery or expensive infrastructure upgrades. It collects water from washing machines, bathtubs, showers, and air conditioning systems. This water is then cleaned and disinfected using their technology to make it reusable keeping in mind that treated gray water should not be directly used to drink to cook. It can be re-used for toilet flushing, washing machines, garden irrigation, and topping up swimming pools which can save up to 45% on tap water and 45% on sewage emission with recycled water. The system is easy to install, completely automatic, self-cleaning, and doesn’t use any filters or chemicals.

Hydraloop’s systems are powered by electricity and uses an extensive six-step process – sedimentation, flotation, dissolved air flotation, enforced skimming aerobic bioreactor, and a UV light disinfection. The latest Hydraloop (H600) can recycle about 260 gallons of water per day for homes and small businesses. “The easiest way to recycle water is to clean it right where you use it – decentralized. By recycling at the source we can make an impact on the global water crisis,” says the team which is why they designed the appliance to be used in any space. If you have a larger company or setting, the Cascade offers commercial-grade, water-recycling capabilities for your needs. Hydraloop future proofs buildings by increasing their value, lowering the running expenses for water as well as energy, and reduces carbon footprint by 6%. It makes any home or business less dependant on the grid while making it easier to live sustainably. Hydraloop is also contributing towards four of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – clean water and sanitization, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, as well as climate action.

Designer: Hydraloop Systems BV

Unveiled at CES 2021, the world’s first robot dog with decentralized AI does everything but walk on water!

Robot dogs have come a long way since Sega Toys’ Poo-Chi hit the scene. I still remember the day I got my Poo-Chi, whose digital bark soon turned into what sounded like a chain-smoking robot’s panic signal. Since its debut in 2000, Poo-Chi, along with many other robotic dog products have seen some major modifications and upgrades. Today, the world’s first decentralized AI robotic dog has been unveiled at CES 2021 by KODA Inc. Designed to offer both emotional companionship and practical, physical support, KODA, Inc.’s DAI robotic dog “is the perfect combination of function and performance,” as CEO of KODA, Inc., Emma Russell puts it.

Unlike the Poo-Chi, who couldn’t even hold its note singing “Ode to Joy,” KODA, Inc.’s robotic dog comes with four 3-D cameras, a single 13-megapixel front-facing camera, an ergonomic structure that incorporates realistic dog-like features such as a purely aesthetic tail, 14 high-torque motors with two on the neck offering full-range mobility for activities like climbing the stairs or trudging through snow, along with an 11 Teraflop processing unit. Since KODA, Inc. is dedicated to providing technology-based solutions to help people with everyday problems, either chronic or otherwise, the secure blockchain network of KODA robot-dogs is closely monitored and cross-checked for consistent and effective AI improvements. For instance, a KODA, Inc. robot-dog in Detroit might be the first to slip on a patch of ice, but thanks to a “futureproof,” supercomputing network, robot-dogs who find their home in a warmer climate will know not to slip on a patch of ice even if the dog’s home ground temperature might never call for one.

The development of decentralized artificial intelligence is integral to the success of robot-operated emotional and physical support products. Decentralized AI essentially equips the built-in software with the ability to solve the reasoning, planning, learning, and decision-making problems that centralized artificial intelligence does not compute. By endowing the robotic dog with Decentralized AI technological capabilities, KODA, Inc. provides a robotic, smart companion that can offer care and guidance for several different purposes including but not limited to, simple companionship, walking guidance for blind users, protective services as a tech-savvy guard dog, or KODA, Inc.’s robotic dog can operate as an animalistic personal assistant capable of solving ordinarily complex issues.

Designer: KODA, Inc.

Meet the Box, a sustainable and safe alternative to cardboard packaging that can be reused for a 1000 times!

The year of the pandemic has changed the way people use e-commerce – online shopping figures have scaled new pinnacles, meaning there is an abundance of packaging waste ending up in landfills. Cardboard has its own merits as a packaging material but the amount of waste it generates is inseparable. Thankfully then, there is a Berlin-based brand dubbed LivingPackets, which has conceived an ingenious solution to minimize waste associated with shipping.

The company has designed an alternative to cardboard boxes and it’s simply called ‘The Box.’ Four years in development, it was again revealed at the CES 2021 with some improvements. The Box is a sustainable option for the e-commerce industry and can allegedly be used to ship up to 1000 times. In contrast, cardboard boxes have a single life from point of packaging to the point of delivery. If the municipality at the location of delivery recycles, the cardboard gets a new lease of life; else it goes waste and injures the environment. In addition to the sustainability aspect, the neatly designed ‘Box’ is equivalent to approximately two shoe boxes and it can be used to ship a large number of commodities. Interestingly, the Box can even fold flat to ship important documents or a laptop. Traditionally sending an important paper by mail/courier is not at all safe – you cannot be sure how it’s being handled on the way – and you have to rely simply on the logistics company’s tracking mechanism to know where your parcel has reached.

The Box is going to revolutionize this when it is mass-produced toward May this year. The inventive box comes embedded with GPS to allow the sender/receiver to track the package from point A to B and everywhere in between in real-time using a dedicated app on a smart device. Simply place the item inside the Box, close it, enter the destination, and the onboard e-ink display will double as a traditional print label to update its journey status.

LivingPackets’ Box is currently in beta testing with partner companies, which include e-commerce stores, logistics, and even insurance companies. To ensure the commodity in the package is safe – not just because it is trackable – also safe in transit, the Box features temperature and shock sensors. There is also a provision to include a camera inside in the future, which would allow people to keep an eye on the product they’re shipping within the Box packaging.

Since this packaging solution seems too good to be true, most of us would instantly count it out for being expensive and for the elite only. However, the environmentally friendly and innovative Box is pretty affordable, in fact, the company wants to keep the costs as low as traditional cardboard packaging. At the end of the life cycle, the Box will be repaired and refurbished to “be used additional 1000 times” LivingPackets claims. Proposing to eliminate up to 90-percent of carbon dioxide emissions, the Box has a holding mechanism within, which means not just the cardboard is replaced, the air-filled bubbled plastic, Styrofoam, etc. used to secure products inside the packaging box are also eliminated. Now that’s fab – I can’t wait to see this new package land at my doorsteps one fine morning!

Designer: LivingPackets

 

Samsung just debuted the Galaxy SmartTag, a portable Bluetooth tracker for your keys or wallet

Launched as a part of Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event running simultaneously with the CES 2021 showcase, the Galaxy SmartTags are Samsung’s take on object-trackers and are the company’s way of showing their intention of capturing the tracker market before Apple launches their own speculated ‘AirTags’. The Galaxy SmartTag is a tiny tracker that runs on BLE and works exclusively with Samsung Galaxy phones (a pretty strong ecosystem lock-in), allowing the phone and tracker to play their version of hot-and-cold to locate each other. In short, a proximity meter appears on the Samsung phone and the closer you approach the tracker, the higher the reading on the meter.

The Galaxy Tag runs on BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) and fits on your keychain, in your wallet, or even in your laptop bag. It pairs with the smartphone via Samsung’s SmartThings app, which can show its last known location on a map as well as the proximity meter when you’re actively searching for the tag. Conversely, you can make the tag emit a beep or chime too, to help give you a sense of direction. The Galaxy SmartTags are no different from the Tile or Chipolo trackers in their functionality (although they do look slightly thicker in the image). Strangely enough, they’re only compatible with Samsung Galaxy devices, and whether that’s a decision to the benefit or detriment of Samsung will only be evident when the $29.99 tracker begins shipping on the 29th of January. Your move next, Apple!

Designer: Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S21 should have taken inspiration from this refreshing rollable Samsung Stick concept!

Now while this isn’t an official Samsung concept, I can’t help but really wish it was one! CES 2021 has been ruled by a myriad combination of rolling, flexible as well as transparent screens. And while that is for sure the future of technology, there is something exciting about the cubic folded form factor of this concept. Combining technologies that aren’t outside the realm of possibility, the Samsung Galaxy Stick makes perhaps the best use of a flexible display. It rolls it up into a smart, dynamic scroll, making the Samsung Galaxy Stick perhaps the most interesting smartphone concept of this season.

The scroll-esque screen is a hat-tip to Samsung’s advancements in flexible OLED displays, and when not in use, it rolls right up into the phone’s slim, hollow, wand-like body. When you need the display, it promptly comes rolling out, turning the wand into a usable smartphone, with a nifty flexible touchscreen that maintains rigidity when unfolded. The Galaxy Stick even packs a secondary slimmer display on its body, to be used for more functional elements like calls, messages, battery indicators, etc. The secondary touchscreen is permanent, showcasing notifications when the flexible screen is rolled in, and even houses an in-screen fingerprint sensor for unlocking your smartphone.

The only caveat of this piece of sheer innovative design is the fact that the Galaxy Stick packs only one primary camera on its back… a drawback that shouldn’t really be a problem, considering the Galaxy Stick sets out to solve more pressing problems, like creating a flexible-display smartphone that doesn’t crease, and that isn’t a massive brick. The rolling display format could make a pretty unique proof-of-concept. Obviously, this makes the phone incredibly vulnerable, given that the screen needs to be mounted on a delicate mechanism that helps it roll and unroll (not to mention the fact that three out of four sides of the Galaxy Stick, when opened, are an exposed OLED display with no protection). The second-most pressing problem is obviously that a smaller, more compact phone invariably means a smaller battery too, which in the case of the Galaxy Stick, isn’t enough. While phones are getting more and more powerful, batteries aren’t getting better, they’re just getting bigger… Until someone invents a more efficient and compact battery, the Galaxy Stick may remain just a concept, but don’t lose hope! Today’s concept is tomorrow’s proof-of-concept!

Designer: Pranab P Kumar

Two years in, Sony wants to bring 360 Reality Audio to the masses

At CES 2019, Sony had a glass room in its massive trade show booth. In the middle of the space was a small table with a single speaker resting on top. At first glance, I could tell the device had multiple drivers, as three were clearly visible from t...

Asus unveils ZenBook Duo OLED with a 9.5 degree titling secondary display for ultimate content creation!

Producing some of the top motherboards and gaming computers on the market today, when it comes to laptops, Asus knows how to play. Following the success of Asus’ first-generation ZenBook Duo, Asus unveiled a second-generation of models for the dual-screen laptop at CES 2021. Following the footsteps of the first-gen model, the newest Zenbook Duo models come with a dual-screen attachment that works mostly to free up the big screen for a more immersive on-screen experience.

Details run the show for the new dual-screen ZenBook Duo, which will be offered in two versions, the Pro Duo 15 OLED and the Duo 14. Both versions come with 32GB worth of storage space, but they differ when it comes to processors and graphics. Once available, the Pro Duo 15 OLED will have a 10th-gen Intel Core i9 processor, with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card, delivering 1440p display resolution. Alternatively, the Duo 14 will feature an 11th-generation Core i5 or i7 processor, and the option to include an Nvidia MX450 graphics card recommended for plenty of power and faster performance. The display screens for both laptops are touchscreen, but the Pantone-validated Pro Duo 15 OLED covers 15.6-inches, while the Duo 14 comes in at 14-inches without OLED. Pro Duo 15 OLED ensures 100% of the DCI-P3 color scale which, when compared with Adobe RGB, will expand deeper into reds and yellows. The optional tilt equips each laptop with an additional vent for airflow, improving both laptops’ general cooling systems. The screen pads can be configured with a UHD panel for a crisp and seamless transition from the main display screen and screen pad.

Some further improvements can be found in the new ZenBook Duo’s cooling system, which consists of a quieter fan and new Nvidia GPUs for more airflow and more expansive heatsinks. Just like its predecessor, however, the latest Zen Book Duo was built for functionality. The guttural undertaking of Asus’ first-generation model of the ZenBook Duo brought on 11th-generation Intel processors for faster speeds, a new Control Panel app that works to organize software and digital tools, an upgraded screen pad with UHD displays, and a slimmer finish. While only Asus’ ZenBook Duo 14 is currently available for preorder, the ZenBook Duo 15 OLED is expected for preorder come April 2021.

Designer: Asus

Both screen pads have an increased brightness of 400 nits and comprise widths just shorter than the laptops’ main display screens, coming in at 14.1-inches with a 9.5° optional tilt for the Pro Duo 15 OLED and 12.6-inches with a 7° optional tilt for the Duo 14.

The large touchpad turns into an optional Numpad.

Content Creation for Photographers

Content Creation for Video Editors

There is a new Control Panel app with a customizable dial, a slider and button decks for Adobe Creative Cloud apps.

The Razer Blade 15 vs. Alienware’s M15 and the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE

This week’s CES may have been a little more sedate than usual, but gaming laptops still made a strong showing at the virtual show, with companies like Razer, Alienware and ASUS showing off their latest portable beasts. If you’re looking to add one of...

Razer unveils world’s smartest transparent n95 face mask with UV-C sterilizing case and customizable RGB discs!

It is CES 2021 – the first-ever virtual avatar of the biggest tech event to kickstart 2021 and while most of us are excited by the influx of smart tech to improve our day to day life with the various gadgets, how can tech not handle the biggest question here – how does the newest technology affect/improve our covid infested world? 2021 promises to be the year of solutions, with vaccines rolling out with speed, while realistically, we know that face masks aren’t going anywhere. Razer, the world’s leading lifestyle accessories brand for gamers takes a dip in the face mask world with the ‘world’s smartest mask’ concept named the Project Hazel.

The face mask design is a glossy, waterproof, and scratch-resistant shell, transparent by design to allow for lip-reading, and made from recycled plastic. So far so good. The main attraction are the two circular ‘Active Ventilation’ discs that sit on the sides of your mouth and hold the reusable N95 filters that give a 95% filtration efficiency. These filters are detachable and rechargeable while giving the mask a futuristic aesthetic that goes to match the gaming setup you have with Chroma RGB LEDs. After all, every Instagram worthy gaming setup is in visual sync with each other, why should your mask not be a part of the new normal? While the public is torn between ‘take my money now’ and calling this an ‘April fools joke’ the RGB has surely caught the public’s attention. Jokes aside, if this is a feature that helps people keep their mask ‘on’ wherever they are, I am all for it. The rings can glow with the colour of your choice and the LEDs automatically detect and light up in a low light setting to illuminate your face so you can always be seen talking. How helpful is this feature, that is something we will know only once we actually try it but it does sound good in theory!

To add to the futuristic appeal of this mask, microphones and amplifiers are embedded in the ventilators that will project your voice through the mask (I wonder if I can tweak that to sound like Bane, or even say I’m Batman with credibility!). Currently, the team at Razer is working with THX sound engineers to balance the volume for optimal accessibility. Despite the tech it holds, Razer claims the mask to have a comfortable wearing experience – using a silicon guard to create a seal around your mouth and nose. The mask also boasts of adjustable ear loops to help with various face sizes. The mask is accompanied by an equally glossy and desktop-worthy wireless charging case that uses UV light to sterilize the mask while a mini display showcases icons – what they depict is unclear as of now.

Razer’s history of displaying awesome conceptual works at CES which then convert into reality gives us hope that this mask may come to life – given more tweaks and certifications from the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The mask is currently made for the masses, with no size variations or even allowances for a beard. Razer was one of the few companies worldwide that converted their manufacturing plants for the creation of surgical masks and wanting to pledge and donate up to a million surgical masks. So cross your fingers and hope that a realistic and inexpensive version of this mask is coming soon – after all, we all have cotton masks, but I’m quite sure, a more functional and aesthetic mask is something we can all do with.

Designer: Charlie Bolton of Razer