What does the “perfect” iPhone look like? Here’s our wishlist of features ahead of the Apple iPhone 13 event





In just hours from now, the Apple crew take the stage to unveil the iPhone 13 (whether it will also feature a Mission Impossible-style intro with Tim Cook rappelling down into a secret facility with a latex mask is anyone’s guess)… and truth be told, we pretty much know what to expect from the new iPhone, from better battery life to stronger glass, perhaps a smaller (yet omnipresent) notch, better cameras, better display, better software, and possibly even satellite connectivity… thanks, not to overwhelming consumer feedback, but rather to supply chain leaks.

Apple’s approach to designing phones has always been a “we know what’s best for you” one, a stark difference from other companies like OnePlus who intently listen to their communities and design phones based on what their customers overwhelmingly want… and while that isn’t a knock on Apple, it’s resulted in a few popular features being introduced WAY longer than the competition – like wireless charging, widgets, 5G, and even bringing FaceTime to non-Apple devices LONG after Skype, Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams became popular. So, what if, for once, Apple designed an iPhone purely based on a consumer wishlist? What would a customer-feedback-driven iPhone look like? Designer Andrea Copellino has a few ideas.

Apple iPhone 13 Wishlist Andrea Copellino

Copellino’s “Peak iPhone” stays mindful of a few things. It doesn’t employ innovation for the sake of it. No waterfall displays, no folding screens, no fingerprint sensor in the Apple logo, no headphone jack to make Apple look like it’s backtracking. The elements of Copellino’s Peak iPhone are simply external hardware features that take the original iPhone experience and amplify it. There are also a few internal hardware considerations that I’d like to see in the iPhone but they aren’t any different from the stuff MKBHD always talks about, like much longer battery life, a higher refresh rate display, possibly a migration to USB-C charging, and possibly the ability to add a memory card to your iPhone.

Apple iPhone 13 Wishlist Andrea Copellino

There are a few noteworthy changes to the front and the back. The front sports a slightly elongated display, pushing the screen aspect ratio from 19.5:9 to the more generally accepted 21:9. It also does away with the notch, offering a more expansive immersive display for viewing content. While Copellino hasn’t hinted at where the front-facing camera would sit, I’d honestly be fine with a hole punch (something that is expected in the iPhone 14 next year).

Apple iPhone 13 Wishlist Andrea Copellino

While the front looks devoid of a camera, the rear comes with a mini screen that does everything from sharing notifications, messages, alerts, the time, and even acting as a viewfinder for the rear camera. This effectively means being able to use the iPhone’s superior set of cameras to click better selfies, although how one would use the camera with apps like Instagram and TikTok is something that’s yet to be determined. Nevertheless, the presence of a rear screen does three things – it lets you interact with your phone without waking the main screen, it creates a more horizontal camera bump that lets your iPhone rest on flat surfaces without rocking, and lastly, offers a functionality-driven secondary display like the ones found in folding phones… except without needing a folding display. It goes without saying that checking your clock or notifications on the smaller screen helps prolong your iPhone’s battery too.

Apple iPhone 13 Wishlist Andrea Copellino

Perhaps my favorite upgrade to the iPhone is the replacement of physical volume buttons with a touch bar. Borrowing its user interaction from the AirPods, the Peak iPhone ditches the physical volume control buttons for a touch-sensitive recessed surface that you can slide your finger on to increase or decrease the volume. It’s elegant to look at, and not to mention, takes the annoyance out of pressing the volume button 10 times or holding it in place for 10 seconds.

Apple iPhone 13 Wishlist Andrea Copellino

All in all, the Peak iPhone makes enough of a leap forward while retaining what works. The flat-edge design is still there, although the absence of the notch really makes the bezels disappear. The back’s upgrade with the screen provides enough functionality without taking away the iPhone’s ability to wirelessly charge or support MagSafe accessories. Just give us a 120Hz screen and a bigger battery and Tim Cook can officially say “This is the best iPhone we ever made” and actually mean it!

Designer: Andrea Copellino

Apple iPhone 13 Wishlist Andrea Copellino

This wireless power bank ditches bulk for a slim build and attaches to your smartphone via micro-suction cups!

Wireless Power Bank with Suction Cups

Adsorb is a wireless power bank that attaches to the back of your smartphone with micro-suction cups and replaces the bulky design of current power banks with a slimmer build.

Charging our smartphones while we’re out is always an uphill battle. You either have to ask the waiter or bartender if they have a charging cable or available outlet for yours. Your only other option is a bulky power bank that weighs and measures three times the weight and size of your phone, which is no fun carrying around. Alas, we need that juice. Slimming down its bulk and outfitting it with silicone suction cups to attach to your smartphone, industrial designer Wenjie Zheng gave the classic power bank a much-needed makeover, calling it Adsorb.

Wireless Power Bank with Suction Cups

Wireless Power Bank with Suction Cups

In conceptualizing Adsorb, Zheng hoped to swap out the conventional power bank’s heavyweight and large size for a much slimmer power bank that attaches to the back of your smartphone, requiring no wires for operation. Since we tend to use power banks only when we’re desperate for battery–like when we’re at 1% but need to seal that uber ride before the screen goes dark–Zheng cut down the size and output of the power bank to allow for a slimmer build.

Wireless Power Bank with Suction Cups

Wireless Power Bank with Suction Cups

In conceptualizing Adsorb, Zheng also aimed to give the power bank a more emotive and appealing look, ditching the industrial tech look of typical power banks for a simultaneously eye-catching and discreet final look. Without the need for wires, Adsorb attaches to the back of your smartphone via a grid of suctions, adhering to and merging with your smartphone to look like a purposeful design.

Wireless Power Bank with Suction Cups

Wireless Power Bank with Suction Cups

Adsorb was designed by Zheng to appeal to everyone, with his conceptualization showcasing an array of different colors ranging from marbled yellow, to sky blue, dual-tone orange, heather gray, and even violet. Considering the antiquated design of most power banks on the market, Zheng’s visualizes a wireless power bank that attaches to the back of your phone and rises to the quality of technology it powers up.

Designer: Wenjie Zheng

Wireless Power Bank with Suction Cups

Using micro-suction cups, Adsorb attaches to the back of your smartphone to charge it.

Wireless Power Bank with Suction Cups

Discreet by design, Adsorb blends into your smartphone like a charging case. 

Wireless Power Bank with Suction Cups

Wireless Power Bank with Suction Cups

Coming in blood orange, Zheng conceptualized an Adsorb for every taste.

Wireless Power Bank with Suction Cups

The post This wireless power bank ditches bulk for a slim build and attaches to your smartphone via micro-suction cups! first appeared on Yanko Design.

These Terrazzo Wireless Chargers look like artisanal decorative coasters that can charge your phone!

I guess these Terrazzo Wireless Chargers from Bentu Design put the tech in archi’tech’ture! Designed as a neat fusion of consumer tech and home-decor, Bentu Design’s W10 charger comes with an exterior made from Terrazzo, a unique composite of concrete with marble/ceramic/stone chips suspended within. The terrazzo exterior gives the W10 almost a coaster-like appearance, allowing it to wirelessly charge your phone while acting as a nifty little decorative element on your tabletop.

The W10 charger’s terrazzo exterior uses concrete mixed along with recycled ceramic particles, cement construction waste, quartz fragments, and other crushed stones, most of which are virtually useless. By binding these waste particles into concrete, China-based Bentu Design has perfected the art of repurposing trash and making well-designed products out of terrazzo. Bentu noticed that globalization, and an increased demand for ceramic pieces, had driven a wave of new factories in Chaozhou… creating jobs, but also dramatically increasing the amount of ceramic waste produced. The name ‘Bentu’ translates to ‘native’, as the studio focuses on understanding and using raw materials that are local.

The terrazzo W10 chargers come in 4 colors – white, green, blue, or orange, with ceramic and quartz particles randomly suspended in the concrete. The natural beauty of this randomness makes each X10 unique and one-of-a-kind. Under its bespoke speckled exterior, sits a Qi-compatible charging coil, available in 5, 7.5, and even 10W outputs, and the coil connects to a power source via a discreet USB-C plug located in the charger’s side. Each W10 measures 10mm in thickness, and weighs a mere 210 grams. It’s pretty enough to be mistaken for a coaster, although I’d probably ask you to caution your guests against placing any hot cups filled with coffee/tea on them. There’s no clarity on whether the X10 is waterproof, although I kind of hope it is!

Not only is the X10 made from recycled ceramic/stone scrap, it’s also designed to be repurposed/recycled too. After the wireless charger’s service life is over, the internal circuit board and electronic components can be extracted by gently breaking apart the terrazzo shell. The shell itself can be smashed into chunks and reused in another terrazzo piece, giving it a fresh life altogether. Moreover, to reinforce the X10’s sustainable approach, the wireless charger even comes in fully recycled all-paper packaging.

Designer: Bentu Design

BlackBerry Passport 2 concept images emerge, sporting iconic physical QWERTY keyboard + a dual-lens main camera





It seems like the ‘berry still has some juice left in it! The Passport 2 concept builds on the successful 2014 BlackBerry Passport, and does what BlackBerry does best… provide a uniquely different smartphone experience that’s characterized by that beautiful QWERTY keyboard.

For everyone who thought BlackBerry was done and dusted, 2020’s been a pretty interesting year for the company. Chinese giant TCL no longer holds the rights to manufacture BlackBerry phones, and since August of last year, the Canadian smartphone company has been partnering with American brand OnwardMobility to keep the BlackBerry name alive. While both companies have been pretty mum about what’s in the pipeline, Ts Designer and LetsGoDigital have been cooking up some concepts based on the fragments of news they’ve gathered from press releases and company statements. Meet the Passport 2, a conceptual Android-running BlackBerry phone with a 4.5-inch touchscreen display, a physical keyboard, and a 5G chip on the inside.

I have to admit that seeing a new BlackBerry does give me a bit of nostalgia. I’ve never been a fan of touchscreen keyboards, and that’s a complaint that BlackBerry and I have always had in common; although BlackBerry phones have an archetype, and it’s safe to say that the archetype isn’t really popular anymore. However, there are still probably some people who would prefer a BlackBerry in 2021, and I’d venture a guess that the Passport 2 concept is targeted firmly towards them. LetsGoDigital reports that the Passport 2 is envisioned as BlackBerry’s first 5G-ready phone, with a waterproof exterior and Android OS interior. The overall aesthetic of the phone hasn’t deviated too much from BlackBerry’s signature style, and it looks every bit like the Passport from 2014, although with a slicker design featuring a slimmer upper bezel, gold accents around the sides and the keyboard, and a nifty dual-lens camera on the back… you know, to keep the customer happy!

Sadly though, the Passport 2, as exciting as it may look, is just a fan-made concept for now. OnwardMobility and BlackBerry are definitely working on a 5G Android phone according to reports, and I’ll be pretty happy if it looks even half as good as this!

Designer: Ts Designer for LetsGoDigital

Images via LetsGoDigital

Want to build your own folding phone? Royole’s DIY flexible display kit lets you experiment with foldable tech

From the company that created the world’s first folding phone comes an open-source kit to help anyone build their own products with flexible displays!

Royole has shown an incredible ability to find the right niche and pivot at the right time with their technological offerings. The company arguably built the first-ever flexible smartphone – the FlexPai – outpacing even Samsung, and their RoKit now aims at helping democratize the fully flexible display (FFD), so creatives and designers can tinker with it, building their own products too.

This means you could practically build your own folding smartphone (like how Scotty Allen’s been trying make his own folding iPhone). Royole’s even showcased an example of what they would make and it looks rather impressive. A baton-shaped device with a rolled-up on the inside and a massive camera facing outwards. Sort of like unscrolling a parchment, the display rolls outwards. It isn’t a folding phone in strict terms (it’s more of a rolling phone), but the idea Royole is getting at is that with their kit, you can now prototype something absolutely absurd; something that even Apple, Google, Samsung, or Microsoft is too scared to make!

The RoKit comes packaged in a pretty impressive aluminum briefcase (scroll for the images below), containing everything you need to bring your unique tech idea to life. The upper part of the briefcase houses Royole’s 3rd Generation Cicada Wing 7.8-inch fully flexible touch-sensitive display, while the lower half of the briefcase contains a development motherboard running Android 10, an HDMI adapter (in case you want to connect your flexible display to an existing computer like a Raspberry Pi, smartphone, laptop, or any other gadget), and a bunch of power cables for good measure.

The idea behind the RoKit, says Royole Founder and CEO Dr. Bill Liu, is to “invite every industry to imagine and design with flexibility in mind, unfolding new possibilities for creators and accelerating the development of flexible solutions in all walks of life.” Envisioned as the world’s first open platform flexible electronics development kit, the RoKit allows other creators to do exactly what Royole did with the FlexPai in 2018 – create electronic products that the world has never seen before.

For now, the RoKit is available for purchase on the Royole website in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and China. Priced at $959, it definitely isn’t cheap, although one could make the case that it’s just about affordable for being able to test out and prototype a product before you actually develop it with mass-produced flexible displays.

Designer: Royole

Royole just launched a DIY ‘Flexible Display Kit’ to help anyone build and prototype folding tech products!

From the company that created the world’s first folding phone comes an open-source kit to help anyone build their own products with flexible displays!

Royole has shown an incredible ability to find the right niche and pivot at the right time with their technological offerings. The company arguably built the first-ever flexible smartphone – the FlexPai – outpacing even Samsung, and their RoKit now aims at helping democratize the fully flexible display (FFD), so creatives and designers can tinker with it, building their own products too.

The kit comes packaged in a pretty impressive aluminum briefcase, containing everything you need to bring your unique tech idea to life. The upper part of the briefcase houses Royole’s 3rd Generation Cicada Wing 7.8-inch fully flexible touch-sensitive display, while the lower half of the briefcase contains a development motherboard running Android 10, an HDMI adapter (in case you want to connect your flexible display to an existing computer like a Raspberry Pi, smartphone, laptop, or any other gadget), and a bunch of power cables for good measure.

The idea behind the RoKit, says Royole Founder and CEO Dr. Bill Liu, is to “invite every industry to imagine and design with flexibility in mind, unfolding new possibilities for creators and accelerating the development of flexible solutions in all walks of life.” Envisioned as the world’s first open platform flexible electronics development kit, the RoKit allows other creators to do exactly what Royole did with the FlexPai in 2018 – create electronic products that the world has never seen before.

To show how limitless their flexible displays can be, Royole’s even created a few conceptual products that highlight exactly how folding screens can make products sleeker, smaller, and better. The examples include (as shown below) handheld gimbals/cameras with slide-out displays, a slick monolithic computer that transitions magically from keyboard to screen (I wonder where they got that idea from), and even a helmet with a rear display that contours perfectly to the shape of the head, allowing you to communicate efficiently with drivers behind you.

For now, the RoKit is available for purchase on the Royole website in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and China. Priced at $959, it definitely isn’t cheap, although one could make the case that it’s just about affordable for being able to test out and prototype a product before you actually develop it with mass-produced flexible displays.

Designer: Royole

These fidget-friendly strips stick to your gadgets for discreetly relieving stress





Each of us has a different way of reacting during stress and anxiety or when under pressure or in a conversation. While most people are overly composed, some of us tend to fidget around – biting on a pen cap, shaking the legs, moving around in the chair, or doing what not! Though it is customary to fidget, your constant movement can be distracting and annoying to people everywhere. Enter Fidget Strips; designed primarily to provide the fidgeting hands a light rubbing, scratching the surface; these strips are essentially unnoticeable to others.

There are many types of sensory toys, fidget spinners on the market that have been helpful to people – children and adults – in coping with their fidgeting habit. However, suppose you typically fidget with your fingers. In that case, these colorful and different textured Fidget Strips will provide you satisfying feeling without distracting those around you in a board meeting, office cubicle, classroom, or even when traveling back home.

Unlike the other sensory toys that are noticeable and make noise, Fidget Strips offer a quiet way for you to satiate your urge to fidget. Made from durable material and employing strong adhesive on the back, the strips can stick fittingly to a smooth surface. Once stuck in place, you can gently touch, rub, or scratch them with your fingertips whenever you feel fidgety.

The Fidget Strips can stick to smartphones, laptops, tablets, notebooks, tables, armchairs, or any other smooth surface for your convenience. These are offered in two textures – satin and rough – to meet different requirement sets. The rough textured strips have a rubbery feel that one can scratch or rub on, whereas the satin finish is more like a snuggly blanket you can touch and feel for relaxation.

Measuring an inch wide and about 4-inches in length, these non-intrusive strips allow you to manage and control fidgeting without leaving a mark on the surface it is adhered to. Interestingly, the strips are reusable, so you can easily remove one from the laptop and stick it to the phone’s back if needed. The Fidget Strips are offered in black, blue-green, and yellow-red colors and patterns for visual stimulation in addition to their tactile simulation.

The easy-to-maintain strips can be wiped clean with a damp cloth, and they come in a pack of five, priced at $9.99. So when you need to focus under stress, come up on top in anxiety, just touch or scratch over the Fidget Strips and instantly restore the feeling of calm without worrying about being judged while fidgeting. No one’s going to notice that constant movement anymore!

Designer: Fidget Strips

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Completely absurd patent by Vivo shows a smartphone with its own built-in tiny drone camera





What will they think of next? A smartphone that can 3D print?? (Okay scratch that, that would actually be pretty awesome)

Just last week (Friday to be specific), LetsGoDigital uncovered this rather outrageous patent filed by Chinese phone manufacturer Vivo at the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) showcasing a phone with its own drone camera. Sort of like how Marvel superhero Falcon had his own flying sidekick ‘Redwing’, Vivo’s phone had its own mini-drone that could pop out on command and click photos at you from any vantage point.

Sliding cameras on smartphones aren’t new, although Vivo’s concept takes it a couple of notches ahead. The patent shows a phone with a massive pop-out tray on the front. Within it, sits a tiny drone (sort of like the Air Selfie Drone from AirPix but smaller) with four propellers and a bunch of cameras and sensors. Fire your camera app and the tray instantly pops out and the drone takes off. A front-facing camera on the drone’s body lets you click photos (either of yourself or of landscapes) from a variety of vantage points, going above and beyond what your smartphone camera and your outstretched hand can do. Given how small drones, it isn’t entirely an idea I can actually dismiss… although what would Vivo’s marketing team call it? A Dronephone? A Smartdrone? A Phdrone?!

Practicality aside, the tech isn’t too far-fetched. The drone fits right into the phone’s slightly thick body, and comes with dual portrait-mode cameras on the top (that directly face you when the tray pops out), a main camera on the front (that works as the drone’s eyes), and IR sensors on the left and right that help the drone detect and avoid objects. The presence of cameras on the drone mean Vivo’s smartphone doesn’t need any cameras at all. This means no front-facing camera and a clean notch-less hole-punch-less display, as well as no massive camera bump on the back. The smartphone is a complete monolith of glass, metal, and screen, punctuated by a charging port and a set of buttons. The drone tray sits flush against the phone when closed, and pops up only when you fire up the camera app. (I’m assuming the app has drone controllers built in too)

Now let’s argue practicality from both sides of the argument. There’s a fair amount of evidence to say that this is a terrible idea. Moving components on a smartphone are historically the first to fail – Dust gets stuck in it, components wear out, parts accidentally break. The presence of a drone would mean saying goodbye to water-resistance, and there’s also a high chance your drone can get lost or stolen, leaving you with absolutely no camera (that’s if Vivo implements something exactly like this). Not to mention the fact that it practically means the end of privacy as we know it. (Imagine hundreds and thousands of drones flying around in every public space, or worse, or a drone entering a private space).

That being said, drone photography is truly the final frontier in consumer photography. The smartphone camera is already comparable to a DSLR, so now imagine being able to point that camera from any vantage point. You could take distant selfies without selfie sticks, sunsets from inside your house, and get better photos at concerts. It’s safe to assume that the drone would have a rather small battery (given its size), but one could easily make the argument that the drone could also wirelessly charge while docked inside the phone). As far as safety and privacy go, companies could build safeguards and throttles into the drone, preventing it from flying too far from its smartphone. There’s a lot to discuss and unpack here, although at the end of the day, fair reminder – this is just a patent and it’s likely that we won’t see anything like this for at least a couple of years. It’s fun to dream though…

Designer/Visualizer: Sarang Sheth for LetsGoDigital

This concept was first published on LetsGoDigital. Click here to view the original piece.

Disassembled Gadget Art: Where Old Smartphones Go to Die

Inspired by Todd McLellan’s Things Come Apart object breakdown photography series, Kevin of Etsy shop FEIPPO carefully disassembles smartphones of yesteryear and frames all the pieces for display as wall art. I say smartphones, but he also has some classic Nokia brick phones available as well, which I’m surprised he was able to tear down at all based on how well they were assembled in the first place.

Prices range from $140 to $240 depending on the phone, and each includes all the phone’s original components, although there’s no guarantee if you reassemble all the pieces that it will work again. Still, certainly something to keep in mind in the event of an emergency.

I wonder what my grandchildren will think when they see one of these hanging in the hallway when they come to visit. ‘Whoa grandpa, what the heck is that thing?’ I imagine them asking while taking digital photos with their cybernetic eyeballs and posting them to the latest social media platform telepathically.

[via DudeIWantThat]

This smartphone-powered foldable screen creates flexible workplace anytime, anywhere!

About two years back, if you said more people would work from home than from the office, you’d probably be laughed at. We all know how things have changed professionally for each one of us during the pandemic – homes have become offices – now, as people break the shackles of working from home norm, the future of working from anywhere is becoming evident.

When such a scenario unfolds, a laptop or phone may not be enough. When the advancing digitalization has fundamentally altered the world and working from anywhere, anytime becomes a norm, the Xtend Nomadic Office will make real sense. Conceptualized to enable a “mobile, flexible and self-sufficient workplace,” the Nomadic office comprises a foldable computer screen, an adaptable privacy shield, and a modified smartphone in one complete office unit. The incredibly futuristic layout aptly called the Nomadic Office is a cutout for individuals who want to set up their private nook just about where life takes them. The foldable screen means you can transport a large display in your bag. The adaptable light and privacy shield provide spatial partition, and you have a wonderful little space to yourself, devoid of any hindrance. Even more interesting is the accompanying flat smartphone that functions as a processor and storage for the computer display that you can fold to carry wherever you want.

The smartphone and peripherals connect to the screen over Bluetooth or through the screen mirroring option. The smartphone is powered through inductive charging on the input module. At the same time, the foldable screen draws energy from ambient light, which is converted into electricity by silicone threads woven into the textile at the back of the display. The completely mobile, immensely convenient, and excessively fascinating Nomadic Office is a gimmicky replacement for the laptop with the convenience of a portable desktop.

Designer: Eva-Maria Bieli