Flip the Switch

A Look Into Foldables + BONUS: Element 3D Folding Phone Concept Samples

Back when I was trying to start a tech blog, and just after Google announced support for foldables, and even before Motorola was getting in the game, I was already thinking about the next flip-phone. Now with a new version of Samsung Galaxy Fold, a highly-anticipated dual-screen phone with Microsoft Duo, and a Motorola event happening today, where should we expect this trend to go?

Read my original article here: https://r-views.com/flip-phone-future/

FOLED – which just means adding “folding” to whatever OLED means, is a term I remembered hearing on the Discovery Channel as a teenager in the early 2000’s. I remember seeing concepts about folding screens for TV’s or projectors, and even TOLED (transparent OLED) being used on windshields. It took more than 15yrs before we finally saw actual products that used these technologies. But are they any good?

I for one have never held a folding-screen device in my life. Judging from what others say, and pictures and videos that I have seen, I feel like it’s a trend that is slowly creeping in though. A famous tech personality even uses a Samsung Galaxy Fold, and actually boasts liking the product enough to be his daily-driver. The foldable phone is already out there, but its not in the hands of people who want to give it a shot.

One factor that slows that progress is the price. A normal smartphone already costs around half of renting an apartment (or in some cases the full rent). Adding another screen, a bigger battery, and I would assume “new” features too, that price is really going to go up. If a foldable-smartphone would go down to the price of an affordable Android, I believe there is nothing that would stop the regular-Joe from picking one up. In the event that these technologies would be considered part-of-the-norm, it’s very likely that it’s going to start rolling out more.

Love it or hate it too, there is also the factor of Apple, and what they think of it. From experience, Apple has never really started a trend, instead, they wait, and when the time is right, they go on the offensive with a certain kind of technology. Will Apple eventually try and go into the whole foldable-trend? Having just release a new 16″ Macbook Pro, it seems like it’s not in their radar as of yet. They do have other things to worry about as well, like a non-breaking iPad Pro, the new MacPro desktops, and maintaining their lead in the wireless-earbuds market with AirPods. But the iPhone is their flagship, their money-maker, and their inlatable-lifesaver, and if they’re not on-board to get the iPhone to fold, that’s another huge chunk of the population not getting into the new tech.

If foldables of today fail to get even the most hardcore techies, or a even just a small niche of Android users, then the idea would just die. So far, folding-phones have had a good run – Nobody is really that mad with Samsung (how can you be mad at foldables after the whole Note fiasco), and everybody knows the technology is in its infancy. It would take manufacturers, more than developers in my opinion to get the ball rolling. Why? Because smartphones, like any other gadget today, is an accessory, something to make you look cool. If plastic screens, and creases on the screen is where it all ends up, then it won’t even be fun to make ads for those. It. Won’t. Sell. Plain and simple.

———-

For now, I can only dream of a slim, and clean form-factor, no creases on the screen, and just would look and feel like a regular smartphone. That’s why I built one using Cinema4D and Element3D. As you can see in the render above, this is my ideal folding phone:

– Rubber Hinge (no creases)

– Notification Screen when folded. Think smartwatch size screen on the back.

– Edge-to-Edge Display

– More Cameras and Sensors (being that this render is over a year old, as a Pixel user, I didn’t even think of doing more cameras)

The technology, and even the experience is all new and would take quite some time to mature and actually be useful. Who needs a folding phone? Nobody can answer that, because back then, nobody even thought they needed a smartphone. What can we expect to see on the turn with this new technology? What can we see at the river? I can’t go all-in just yet – so for now, I’ll just fold.

Let me know in the comments below if you would like to see a tutorial of how to create a 3D foldable in Cinema4D, Element3D and After Effects. Also let me know what kind of features you want to see in a foldable.

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Oh Man! The Lore! Yawn…

The Mandalorian premieres today on Disney+, and like any other thing from the Star Wars franchise, people are staying up late, and already have a solid opinion of what they think of the new show. I for one give it a solid 8.7/10 – react however you want, I love the Prequels. Let’s talk about the hype, what’s kept from the original movies, and if it bored me.

—SPOILER ALERT for anything past this line—

That being said, The Mandalorian feels like everything else that Disney-StarWars has now with the franchise. It all feels, different. Different is good, but at the same time, ever since the acquisition from Disney, I always felt that it’s missing the George Lucas touch. Sure the big guy is on set for the show – he was also on set of Game of Thrones – but that doesn’t help. Disney is taking StarWars to the next far far away galaxy, and we are just going along for the ride.

One thing that feels far, far away from the original franchise is the lack of any force-user. It’s a bit weird watching something StarWars without anybody mentioning Jedi or Sith. The “Empire” was mentioned quite a few times, but that’s about as much as we get with those force-users. I feel like that is just a matter of time before we see force-using characters though. It’s just inevitable.

The dialogue is a bit strange for me as well. I get it that there’s multiple alien languages, and even humans speaking these languages. What I didn’t like about it is how some aliens just sound like some normal English-speaking dude. No treatment, no effects, just a normal clean voice-over. I mean, if the guy looks like a fish, can we at least get some kind of treatment with the voice?

This character with a gun riding this animal – whose name I do not care to Google – is one of the culprits too. I swear he sounds like Deckard Cain from the Diablo games. One of the weirdest scenes the show has to offer is this Mandalorian fanboy – but let’s give him credit for teaching our hero how to ride that creature. I wouldn’t mind not seeing this dude again. Plus his lips weren’t that well-synced to the voiceover. I do appreciate the fact that his mask and costume and his character I suppose, are all practical effects.

On the other-hand, I love how Taika Waititi’s IG-11 comes into the show. If you watched the original trilogy, you may have seen a similar droid model, and you probably had the idea of “how can this static, awkward robot do any bounty hunting?” This show answers just that misconception, and I have to tell you it’s one of the best ways you can see a droid fight. I love R2 and 3PO for sure, but you can’t deny there’s a lot of appeal from fighting droids like K2SO and IG-11. If you’re getting a sidekick, it shouldn’t be a protocol or a trash-can – that’s just common sense.

A lot of people got excited with Werner Herzog being in the show. Though I did not know about this dude at all, his scene was one of my favorites from the pilot.

I like his scene in particular not because of him, but because we got to see some nice dialogue and script. Pedro Pascal’s voice (treated btw, so thanks) just works. A little attitude, a bit of confidence, throw in a little doubt – you can feel it even through a mask. Another thing that made this scene awesome are the Stormtroopers. I believe these troopers are from the 501st and I just have to say that they are pros. The costumes, the wear and tear on them, how they stand, its all just too cool. They’re a good reminder that this is an action world, where blasters are involved and powerful leaders call the shots. We’ve only scratched the surface, and these troopers have gone through a lot.

The Mandalorian pilot, love it or not, is a great milestone in the world that is StarWars. I sincerely hope it gets better from here. Having watched The Clone Wars, I wish they give as much time to explaining the backstory of our main character, and his home and his people. There was a flashback scene in the pilot, though we’re not yet sure if they will expound on that or leave all of it as secondary info. I am also excited for the possibility of seeing a darksaber – having that plus a lightsaber battle for this show would be insane and not really that far from happening. No need for Jedis too!

Though there are other StarWars shows (like Clone Wars and Rebels), this one (live-action) is proving to be the more popular approach in moving forward with the franchise. With more shows in the pipeline, I can only see it getting better from this point. Hopefully when Obi-Wan starts going into production, showrunners would already know what to do, fans would’ve already voiced their opinion, and we’ll have an even better show.

May the Force be with us all! No regrets about that Disney+ subscription so far!

“Bye Tim, I’m With Bill Now.”

I moved from Mac to PC.

I moved from Mac to PC. It’s been over a decade since I left my Vista-turned-XP HP computer to collect dust. Since then, I have owned two Macbook Pros, an entry level one and another fully spec’d. And both have proven to be very reliable and lasted way longer (and powered through way more renders) than I could have imagined. I put those laptops to WORK and for years they’ve been my trusty slaves. I had a good long run with my Macs but as I stared at the spinning color wheel of death one night, I knew—- it was time for an upgrade.

There is that thing we call “age”. One definition is a number that refers to how old something/someone is. The other, refers to a particular period in time, and in this case, the Age of Good Macs has passed. I have fallen back into the hands of Bill Gates. And as I gaze into this brand new Windows [PC], dreams of better render times and seamless scrubbing are now at my fingertips. See how I built my latest workstation… and you know the drill – like, subscribe, and help me kick-off this YouTube thing.

WhatIsLA? Series01

 

WhatIsLA? Series01 is a collection of digital illustrations about different meanings of LA. Some matter, some don’t. Some are relevant, most are not. But hey, I like finding different meanings in the simplest of things.

These are all available as prints and shirt at my online store so feel free to check them out!