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CES: Now for a foldable phone – and tablet

Hot on the heels of LG’s roll-up TV announcement, Royole has announced a foldable phone, which turns into a tablet.

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The Royole FlexPai is the world’s first commercially-available, foldable smartphone with a flexible screen. The device can be used either folded or unfolded, giving it the portability of a smartphone as well as the screen size of a high-definition tablet. 

“The Royole FlexPai foldable smartphone provides mobile phone users with a revolutionary, different experience compared to traditional phones,” said Dr. Bill Liu, CEO of Royole. “It perfectly solves the contradiction between the high-definition large-screen experience and portability, which introduces a new dimension to the human-machine interface. The phone’s design will change the consumer electronics industry, as well as the way people interact with and perceive their world.”

Royole says it is staying true to its mission of combining art and technology, the device is elegantly designed with multiple form factors. When unfolded, it supports split-screen mode and multi-tasking, as well as dragging-and-dropping resources across apps. This enables it to share the features of a computer, and provides larger video-watching and gaming experiences.

When folded, the device supports dual screen mode on the front and back of the device. Users can also get notifications on the edge screen side bar, which can be used to manage calls, messages, and other apps that may disturb day-to-day usage.

The screen is one complete, fully flexible display. It has passed tests that bend and twist the device over 200 000 times. The device can also be folded at different angles. On the software side, its Android-based Water OS automatically adapts different viewing modes for different folding angles and user scenarios, such as taking photos, watching video, gaming, and more.

The device uses Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8-series flagship System-on-Chip, which includes a powerful AI chip. Its camera set-up is made up of a 20-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 16-megapixel wide-angle lens. Fast-charge is powered by Royole’s proprietary Ro-Charge technology, which delivers a speed increase of 40% compared to traditional charging. Other features include a MicroSD card expansion slot, fingerprint sensor, USB-C charging, and stereo speakers.

Royole’s flexible displays are produced at the company’s new quasi-G6 mass production campus in Shenzhen, China. It is a 100% self-designed, R&D and manufacturing facility, with a total investment of around $1.7-billion and a claimed production capability of more than 50-million fully flexible display units per year.

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CES: Most useless gadgets

The worst gadgets of CES also deserve their moment of infamy, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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It’s fairly easy to choose the best new gadgets launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Most lists – and there are many – highlight the LG roll-up TV, the Samsung modular TV, the Royole foldable phone, the impossible burger, and the walking car.

But what about the voice assisted bed, the smart baby dining table, the self-driving suitcase and the robot that does nothing? In their current renditions, they sum up what is not only bad about technology, but how technology for its own sake quickly leads us down the rabbit hole of waste and futility.

The following pick of the worst of CES may well be a thinly veneered attempt at mockery, but it is also intended as a caution against getting caught up in hype and justification of pointless technology.

1. DUX voice-assisted bed

The single most useless product launched at CES this year must surely be a bed with Alexa voice control built in. No, not to control the bed itself, but to manage the smart home features with which Alexa and other smart speakers are associated. Or that any smartphone with Siri or Google Assistant could handle. Swedish luxury bedmaker DUX thinks it’s a good idea to manage smart lights, TV, security and air conditioning through the bed itself. Just don’t say Alexa’s “wake word” in your sleep.

2. Smart Baby Dining Table 

Ironically, the runner-up comes from a brand that also makes smart beds: China’s 37 Degree Smart Home. Self-described as “the world’s first smart furniture brand that is transforming technology into furniture”, it outdid itself with a Smart Baby Dining Table. This isa baby feeding table with a removable dining chair that contains a weight detector and adjustable camera, to make children’s weight and temperature visible to parents via the brand’s app. Score one for hands-off parenting.

Click here to read about smart diapers, self-driving suitcases, laundry folders, and bad robot companions.

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CES: Language tech means no more “lost in translation”

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Talking to strangers in foreign countries just got a lot easier with recent advancements in translation technology. Last week, major companies and small startups alike showed the CES technology expo in Las Vegas how well their translation worked at live translation.

Most existing translation apps, like Bixby and Siri Translate, are still in their infancy with live speech translation, which brings about the need for dedicated solutions like these technologies:

Babel’s AIcorrect pocket translator

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The AIcorrect Translator, developed by Beijing-based Babel Technology, attracted attention as the linguistic king of the show. As an advanced application of AI technology in consumer technology, the pocket translator deals with problems in cross-linguistic communication. 

It supports real-time mutual translation in multiple situations between Chinese/English and 30 other languages, including Japanese, Korean, Thai, French, Russian and Spanish. A significant differentiator is that major languages like English being further divided into accents. The translation quality reaches as high as 96%.

It has a touch screen, where transcription and audio translation are shown at the same time. Lei Guan, CEO of Babel Technology, said: “As a Chinese pathfinder in the field of AI, we designed the device in hoping that hundreds of millions of people can have access to it and carry out cross-linguistic communication all barrier-free.” 

Click here to read about the Pilot, Travis, Pocketalk, Google and Zoi translators.

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