The Indestructible Smartphone: Why It Could Be Closer Than You Think

first_imgThe Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces As Geek.com wrote at the time:If someone accidentally drops his or her phone, the always-on accelerometer will detect that it’s falling too quickly and will deploy the miniature airbags to cushion a potential impact with the ground or floor. Other possibilities suggest puffing out streams of gas to slow down the fall, or using springs instead of airbags.Right.The Insurance OptionFinally, instead of protecting the phone itself, another option is to protect against financial losses from a ruined phone. Extended warranties such as Apple Care are popular, if costly, for example. Other options include insurance plans from mobile carriers. These typically cost around $10 per month and – unfortunately – carry a steep deductible. But since replacing a brand new smartphone without a contract can cost $600 or more, these options may make sense for some consumers. And you don’t have to wait for a technology breakthrough.Lead image courtesy of Sony Mobile. Image of iPhone dunked in water from Liquipel. Image of smartphone airbag patent via the USPTO.  Tags:#smartphone A smartphone is probably the most advanced piece of technology most people own. We take these devices with us everywhere, we use them all the time. Odds are high we will drop them – onto the floor, into water or even onto hard pavement. Even if you got the phone for free with a contract, this tiny slip-up could cost you hundreds of dollars to replace or repair the device. (See also My Week With Android, Or Why I’m Buying An iPhone 5.)Meet The Indestructible SmartphoneIt doesn’t have to be that way. Several companies are already working on building much more rugged smartphones.At this year’s CES trade show in Las Vegas, for example, Sony demonstrated its “waterproof” Xperia Z. According to Sony, the Xperia Z can survive in up to 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.Sprint, meanwhile, has just introduced the Kyocera Torque, which it calls the “splashproof, drop-proof smartphone that can handle all of the elements of your rugged world.” According to Sprint, its drop tests were from a maximum height of 5 feet, 9 inches. Kyocera is even using Bear Grylls, of Man vs Wild fame, to promote the ruggedness of the device. The company claims the Torque meets IP67 ratings for dust and water immersion and Military Standard 810G for dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, low pressure, solar radiation, salt fog, humidity and immersion in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. Phew!The problem, of course, is that kind of protection often makes the devices too bulky, too heavy and too costly – and many of these ruggedized smartphones may not include the latest hardware. They may also be not terribly attractive.The Torque, for example, weights 5.9 ounces – compared to the iPhone 5’s 3.9 ounces – and is wrapped inside a thick, greyish rubber casing. In its review of the Torque – despite being impressed with its ability to withstand “pretty brutal treatment” – AllThingsD was disappointed in the device’s speed and camera:The Torque’s five-megapixel, rear-facing camera was disappointing. It was slow to fire up. I took more than a dozen photos in various settings — natural light, indoor light and darker scenes with and without flash — and all of the photos came out a little grainy.  Meet Graphene: Tougher Technology On The WaySoon, however, thanks to the “wonder material” graphene, light, attractive, smash-proof and waterproof smartphones could become commonplace. According to the BBC, graphene could enable:Mobile phones that fold, razor-thin handsets powered by flexible batteries or see-through solar panels built directly into a colourful screen.  The BBC notes that single-atom-thick sheets of graphene: Conduct electricity better than copper, has strength greater than steel and also shows extraordinary elasticity. So great is its potential that in 2010 its discoverers Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov were awarded the Nobel prize for Physics.Graphene is durable, see-through and available – it comes from highly abundant graphite. The problem is both cost and graphene’s current inability to practically control microelectronics as robustly as silicon can. This has not stopped Samsung, Nokia and IBM from investing heavily in the material. How To Protect Your Existing PhoneUntil graphene and other materials, such as nanobites, can succeed in the market, smartphone owners will have choose between bulk and vulnerability. Bumpers and protective cases certainly help make phones more rugged, for example, but add size and weight. And they typically don’t help protect against water damage.For that, there’s a new service called Liquipel, which made a, er, splash, at last month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Liquipel offers after-market waterproofing for smartphones and tablets.  As the company notes:Liquipel applies a very thin layer of a water repelling substance on all the surfaces of the object, by exposing them to a gas in a special chamber. Because the substance is gaseous, it can trickle into every corner of the device, thus ensuring total protection. The best thing about it is the fact that all ports, like USB or audio, remain accessible and functional.While customers must currently mail in their device to the treatment, the company says it is rolling out “LiquiPod” machines at various retail locations.Smartphone Airbags?Surprisingly, one of the more outrageous methods to protect smartphones was developed by Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos. In 2012, Bezos and Amazon VP Greg Heart were awarded a patent for a “smartphone airbag system.”center_img What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts brian s halllast_img read more

With Manchester City Out The New Champions League Favorite Is …

It’s hard to predict whether Ajax pups like de Jong, de Ligt and van de Beek will go on to have the kinds of long, fruitful careers their elder countrymen did, but there’s little doubt that they’ve cemented themselves as club legends. They’ve made Ajax relevant again. Now all that’s left for them to do is to make Ajax champions again.Check out our latest soccer predictions. Eight days ago, the FiveThirtyEight Soccer Power Index (SPI) gave Manchester City the best chance to win the Champions League. On Wednesday, Manchester City crashed out of the competition in spectacular fashion, conceding three goals at home to Premier League rival Tottenham Hotspur. The series finished 4-4 on aggregate, but Spurs get to play on because of the competition’s away-goals rule. Remember all that talk about City winning the historic quadruple? That’s all over now.Pep Guardiola’s Sky Blues got off to a quick start, grabbing the lead via a strike from Raheem Sterling in the game’s fourth minute. Sterling’s goal canceled out Tottenham’s 1-0 aggregate lead, and the tilt was on. But it wasn’t long before Son Heung-min struck to give the lead back to Spurs, and it wasn’t long before he struck again. At that point it looked like City was doomed, but then they stormed back, scoring twice to tilt things back in their favor. Spurs were not done, however, and got the series-winning goal from unlikely hero Fernando Llorente in the 73rd minute. They still had to survive some end-of-the-game drama: City scored what appeared to be the winning goal, but VAR ruled that forward Sergio Aguero was offside in the buildup, and Tottenham was on to the semifinals to face Ajax.1At the sight of the goal, a blissful Guardiola sprinted down the touchline like a man possessed. After the VAR ruling, a doleful Guardiola looked as though he’d just been given a bad diagnosis. Bring on the memes.City is out, but the favorites to win the whole thing still hail from Northern England. According to our SPI, Liverpool has the best chance to conquer Europe. The Reds followed up their very professional 2-0 win over Porto at Anfield last week with a very professional 4-1 win over Porto at Estadio de Dragao on Wednesday. Porto needed to score at least two goals to send the series to extra time — and at least three to win it outright — and the first 35 minutes of the match reflected that: Porto completed twice as many passes in the attacking third as did its opponents from Merseyside en route to outshooting them 14 to 3.But then Liverpool scored a goal in the 26th minute, and it was all but in the bag for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Eder Militao, future center back for Real Madrid, scored a late goal for Porto, but it was merely consolation. And Liverpool’s reward for its 6-1 aggregate victory? A date with Barcelona in the semifinals.Speaking of the Catalonians, they made relatively light work of Manchester United in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. Lionel Messi did Lionel Messi things at Camp Nou, scoring twice from outside the box — one shot with his left foot, the other with his weaker right — in a matter of four minutes. The first was vintage Messi, a left-footed effort driven low that curled past the outstretched body of Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea and into the bottom left corner of the goal. The second was less spectacular, a speculative effort that de Gea whiffed on uncharacteristically. Gift or not, the goal put Messi two clear at the top of the Champions League Golden Boot race. A goal in the 61st minute from old United foe Philippe Coutinho put the series out of reach for the Mancs. And now the soccer world can salivate over a Messi-vs.-Salah showdown in the semifinals.If the result in Barcelona felt like a forgone conclusion, the result in Turin felt like anything but. Ajax’s 2-1 Tuesday win (3-2 aggregate) marked a sort of long-fermented revenge: In April 1997, the last time the Dutch giants played in the Champions League semifinals — a month before the team’s current best player, Frenkie de Jong, was born — they were eviscerated by Juventus, losing by an aggregate score of 6-2. That Ajax team featured club and country legends Edwin van der Sar, Frank de Boer, Marc Overmars and Danny Blind,2Danny Blind is the father of current Ajax star Daley Blind. but Lucky Ajax wasn’t very lucky on that occasion.This time around, Ajax took the game to Juventus from the opening whistle, a strategy that should have stunned exactly no one who watched the team embarrass Real Madrid last month. Total shots and shots on target were nearly equal Tuesday in Turin, but Ajax created more big chances and completed a higher percentage of passes in the attacking third than Juventus. Crucially, the Dutchmen didn’t panic when Cristiano Ronaldo scored to give the Italians the lead in the 28th minute. They kept pressing, kept playing on the front foot, and midfielder Donny van de Beek bagged an equalizer just six minutes later. And even after it took the lead on a header from team captain Matthijs de Ligt in the 67th minute, Ajax didn’t sit back. The side smelled blood and attempted more passes inside the penalty area in the final 23 minutes plus stoppage time than its opponents. Ajax could have scored a couple more — and now it has a 16 percent chance in our SPI model to win the whole thing, up significantly from before the quarterfinal’s second leg. read more

Tropical Depression to form in a few days

first_img Tropical Watch with three systems being monitored Related Items:tropical depression Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Weekend Weather Watch – storms and general TCI weather for weekend Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 17 Aug 2015 – We are watching a system which the Natl Hurricane Center believes will develop several hundred miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. It is expected the system will be a tropical depression by midweek as it moves west at 15mph. System becomes Tropical Storm Dannylast_img read more