Samsung unveils foldable phone prototype
The South Korean tech company unveiled its new Infinity Flex display and other product upgrades at a developers conference on Wednesday.
- Samsung has been developing a flexible, foldable smartphone for years.
- The prototype unveiled Wednesday isn't quite the finished product some had hoped to see, but it offered a glimpse at how its long-awaited foldable phone will work when released, likely in 2019.
- Samsung also announced other device upgrades, including a new user interface and changes to its virtual assistant Bixby.
Samsung unveiled a prototype of its new flexible display and other product upgrades at its annual developers conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.
The South Korean tech giant didn't introduce a finished foldable smartphone, despite recent rumors, but Samsung did briefly display a prototype device with the company's new Infinity Flex display, along with several other displays that will be available soon: the Infinity U, V and O displays.
The foldable prototype is, essentially, a tablet when open and a regular smartphone when folded. It features an exterior display on which users can make calls and use apps when the device is folded, as well as a larger 7.3-inch display that can be used when the phone is opened up.
It's designed to be folded and unfolded repeatedly hundreds of thousands of times without any degradation, said Justin Denison, Samsung's senior vice president of mobile product marketing. He added that Samsung will be ready to start mass production of the Infinity Flex display in coming months.
In a seemingly choreographed announcement at Android Developer Summit on Wednesday, Google said it would begin offering a new "Foldables" support category for Android devices. Dave Burke, Google's vice president of engineering, said Google is "enhancing Android to take advantage of this new form factor with as little work as necessary."
On Tuesday, a little-known company called Royole released a foldable smartphone, dubbed the FlexPai. The developer model of the phone is on sale for $1,318.
Bixby, Galaxy Home and other announcements
Samsung also announced several upcoming updates to its devices and Bixby, the company's virtual assistant.
- Bixby will soon be available on more devices and in five new languages
- Samsung's Bixby Developer Studio will soon provide developers with open access to the digital assistant.
- New 'Multi-active window' feature will allow the use of up to three apps simultaneously
- Samsung announced a new user interface called One UI, which promises a cleaner, simpler design and user experience. An open beta program is scheduled to begin this month.
- Samsung smart TVs will soon offer the option to be voice-controlled.
- The Galaxy Home, a digital assistant and sound system that Samsung says it is the "only AI speaker that intuitively moves a wave of sound directly toward you when you ask it to," will be able to integrate with Spotify when the device is released.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.
- Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
- The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
- The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.
- The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
- Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
- Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.