Folding Smartphones

What is the Real Need For a Folding Smartphone?

The folding smartphone is already in its second generation, despite the fact that the first has not had a great commercial reception. The mobile industry is going through a difficult time. It is compared to previous years, a good golden decade, since the iPhone appeared in 2007. In the following years, sales did not stop growing, in many cases with solid double digits. But for some years they have slowed down and even stagnated. And precisely this situation is one of the most significant to explain the launch of a folding smartphone.

Folding Smartphones

But the truth is that the electronic industry works this way. Especially on smartphones, where manufacturers have become accustomed to very high renewal rates. Sometimes a mobile-only lasts us a year or two, at most. So when sales have threatened to slow down, elements have always appeared to propel them. This mission was first entrusted to the performance of the processors. Then to connectivity, with 4G, increasing the size of the screen and improving the camera.

At the moment, the creation of a folding smartphone and 5G connectivity is the great arguments to stimulate sales. But do we users need a mobile that can be folded?

The advantages of a folding smartphone are in its double functionality. The idea is that the device can be used as a mobile (folded) for a large part of the tasks. These, of course, include calls, but also a quick reading of the mail or news, check social networks, WhatsApp messages, find an address in the maps application or listen to a podcast. However, for more time-consuming tasks, such as watching videos, reading long articles or a PDF, or going through the photo gallery, the deployed mode would be used.

Waiting for the Folding

A good string of manufacturers has released their own folding models. The last ones that have been noticed have been the Galaxy Z Flip and the Huawei Mate Xs. Two bets are somewhat more moderate than the initials of these brands. And is that brands now seek more utility, reaching the public, than general admiration.

They are smaller in size, making them more manageable. The delicate part of the fold has evolved, which will save users trouble. But again the question arises whether they are really necessary. And there are mainly two uses that manufacturers see.

One of them is the professional one and perhaps it is where the folding smartphone comes in first. In some jobs, having a device that serves as a tablet is essential. It happens with commercials who travel to make presentations or show catalogues to customers on-site. And in many other areas, a screen like a tablet is desirable, to examine graphics, read the documentation at ease or manage email more comfortably. It is possible to think that in some of these cases a folding smartphone acts as a mobile and a tablet in the future.

Regarding the consumer market, the need that manufacturers have sensed in users – or that they have contributed to creating – is the viewing of series and movies or simply content with a narrative quality edition on the smartphone. Some already watch series on their phones, but the truth is that platforms like Netflix or HBO invite you to watch their content on a larger screen. It is commonly accepted that a YouTube video is consumed on mobile, but for a series, a movie – even for a video of a Youtuber with good production and narrative substance – more inches are sought. And the folding ones could arrive to fulfil this function.

Laser Tag

Laser Tag and the Evolution of the Experience

What started out as a combat simulation intended for the military in the United States in the 70s and 80s, has now become a hobby that has spread to many other places around the world.

Laser Tag

There is some confusion to distinguish the Laser Tag from Paintball, and even from Airsoft. All three are shooting games in which you must beat your rivals along with your teammates. But, beyond this general concept, there are many differences between them. In this article, we aim to explain what the Laser Tag consists of, and what the technology behind it is to make it work.

What Does it Consist of?

First of all, what is the Laser Tag? Also known as Laser Combat or Laser Game, as their names indicate, it is a sports game that simulates a confrontation between two teams. Players have a weapon whose projectiles are infrared rays and with which they must hit opponents.

Each one has a series of receivers that count the successes and add points. As in most competitive games, the side with the most points during the game wins.

What started out as a combat simulation intended for the military in the United States in the 70s and 80s, has now become a hobby that has spread to many other places around the world. Especially because of its similarity to Paintball, which we mentioned at the beginning, and its great advantage over it for children, since there is no impact of balls and, therefore, there is no risk of it hurting or staining.

Likewise, the Laser Tag can be developed both outdoors and indoors, although it is usually located in closed spaces, conveniently set with dark lights, corners and palisades from which to cover yourself. The scenarios, as we can deduce with so many possibilities, are of fundamental importance in the game, and much of the fun depends on them.

What Material is Used?

To play, you need a Laser Tag weapon, which is usually either a smaller pistol or a submachine gun. It is an intelligent and electronic weapon that, in addition to shooting infrared rays, has a small LED screen that lights up when you hit a shot; and a speaker, which also announces the target, so you have no doubts.

You also need a vest equipped with Laser Tag technology. Their peculiarity is that they have built-in various sensors, which receive infrared rays and light up and warn when someone is right. Thus, both one and the other find out. These points are spread throughout the body. One at shoulder and chest height; another one further down, in the gut area. The third is located on the back, and the fourth is on the same gun.

Droplet-Based Electricity Generator

New Droplet-Based Electricity Generator

A team of scientists from Hong Kong has created an electric generator based on water droplets and capable of lighting 100 LED bulbs. At the City University of Hong Kong, they have found a system to obtain energy in an original way. It is an electric generator based on water drops. It is nothing more than the result of one of the many investigations aimed at alleviating the energy crisis.

Droplet-Based Electricity Generator

Still, it is an experimental project. And despite the success of the results, there is still time to create a real system that works efficiently. A drop of water can generate energy through the triboelectric effect (by contact between materials, such as rubbing). However, the energy conversion is really low.

The Hong Kong team of scientists has improved this conversion ratio. Its drop-based electric generator reaches 50.1 W per square meter. And this is thousands of times more than other similar devices. The difference is marked by the introduction of a field-effect transistor, a transistor that uses an electric field to control the conductivity of a channel.

Scientists have verified that a drop of 100 microliters (being a microliter equivalent to one-millionth of a litre) with a drop of 15 centimetres can generate a voltage of more than 140 V. This power can generate light enough to light 100 LED bulbs.

Research at the City University of Hong Kong is interesting because it involves taking advantage of an existing phenomenon. This is actually the philosophy of renewable energy as a whole. Solar takes advantage of the impact of the sun’s rays, while wind takes advantage of the spontaneous blowing of the winds. The drop-based electric generator could act to collect rain. Although it could also do it with stored water.

Passive Power Generation

However, there are also other wasted forms of energy. They are a type of energy that does not come from nature. We, humans, generate it with our activity. At the moment, these are experimental projects, as is the case with the electric generator based on drops.

One of the most striking cases is the concept of a gym capable of harnessing kinetic energy. There are many people who come to these centres to train daily. They run on the treadmill, they do elliptical or bicycle. All of these machines could be connected to a generator. This would make the transformation from kinetic energy to electricity. It is estimated that a user could generate between 50 and 150 watts in a 30-minute workout.

But there are also other examples. Traffic could be exploited with a speed bump, the compression of which bypassing the wheels of a car would help move pulleys connected to a generator. But it is that our walking could also generate electricity. A composition of materials that compress when polarized has been tried to be attached to the base of a shoe. By generating a potential difference, it is possible to take advantage of the charge to obtain energy.