Every once in awhile I head over to Yanko Design, a Web magazine filled with conceptual designs running the gamut from technology to interior design. Most of the concepts will never make it past the rendered image stage, but every so often, I stumble upon a gem that I hope to see become an actual product one day. The "Gravity Series" phone concept is one such design.
The designers -- Lukas Doenz, Joachim Kornauth, Toni Weichselbraun, and Max Salesse -- seem enthralled with the idea of their prototype being able to "offer HD technology within the dimensions of your pocket," but what really got my attention was that their device would "allow for upgradeable components."
Not a whole lot of digital ink was dedicated to this part of the design concept, but it got us thinking nonetheless. Imagine if, like your desktop, you could swap out your mobile phone's processor for a faster chip. Or add more RAM. Or drop in a beefier GPU.
Hit the jump to ready why this might not be as far fetched as it sounds.
The problem with all-in-one (AIO) PCs is that the crammed confines don't offer the same cooling potential as a typical desktop, and so lower end components end up being used. Well, get ready to change the way you look at AIOs.
Asetek, which provides self-contained liquid cooling solutions to OEMs, has come up with a prototype all-in-one that's completely water cooled. Measuring no thicker than an iMac at 58mm, the prototype setup
consists of an Intel Core i7 920 processor and GeForce GTX 280M. The two combined consume over 200W.
As showcased in a YouTube video, Asetek hides a high-performance radiator, low noise fans, and a proprietary low-profile pump all within the vertical stand. A couple cold plates attach to the CPU and GPU, keeping the whole thing cool and potentially opening the door to high-end gaming in an AIO form factor.
Gizmodo's exclusive coverage of a certain lost/stolen iPhone prototype has made it an anathema to Apple. Those expecting a thaw any time soon can pat themselves on the back for being optimistic because reconciliation is not currently on Apple's agenda. The company that pioneered the art of selling essentially the same device in different form factors has effectively banned Gizmodo from its Worldwide Developers Conference Keynote on Monday.
“It's no surprise: Apple has not responded to our requests to attend the WWDC keynote on Monday at 10am PST,” Gizmodo Editor Brian Lam wrote in a blog post. Left high and dry by Apple, the tech blog is now beseeching those planning to attend the event to contribute “live video, audio, instant messages and high-end photographs instantly.”
We've been hearing about a dual-core Nano processor for some time now, and VIA has finally gone and built one. Currently in prototype form, VIA has been busy showing off its newest x86 part at this year's Computex show.
The new dual-core part was shown chugging along at 1.6GHz per core. According to C.J. Holthaus, a member of VIA's Centaur processor design team, it was manufactured on a 65nm process and is nearly ready for release.
"It'll be a product in about six months. This is mainly a technology demonstration," Holthaus said.
A 65nm manufacturing process isn't all that impressive at this stage in the processor game, and the final version will be built using something different. Holthaus declined to give specifics, saying only that it would use a "next-generation" technology.
This is good timing on VIA's part. Intel just recently laid out its future Atom processor strategy, which will also consist of dual-core parts and be aimed at the tablet and ultra-thin netbook space.
Yanko Design is known for conceptual products that represent outside-the-box thinking, some of which are brilliant while others are downright outlandish. We'll let you be the judge of which category the Concrete USB thumb drive falls under.
Crafted from cemet, the capacity also represents the drive's weight in grams. These would come in three varieties, including 64GB (64g), 128GB (128g), and 256GB (256g), any of which would be enough to store a whole bunch of data and smack a would-be robber across his temple if he tries to hijack your sensitive documents.
Who knows if this will ever make it to market, but if it does, be careful not to leave it dangling from your PC's USB port where gravity would take its toll.
The normally private Apple seems to be springing more leaks than ever. After that iPhone prototype leaked to GIzmodo last month, we thought we'd seen the last of the device until Mr. Jobs pulled it out of his pocket at WWDC this year. But apparently a Vietnamese site called taoviet.vn managed to score one of the prototypes. Luckily for us, they were not as kind to it as Gizmodo was. indeed, they tore it asunder.
The phone wasn't running iPhone OS, just a test routine. The screws that were on the Gizmodo unit are gone in this prototype, and the buttons seem better fabricated. Upon disassembling it, the serial numbers on the chips could be read. One reading " 339S0084" has been positively identified as the 1GHz Apple A4 chip from the iPad. Though, in the iPhone it may be underclocked to save battery life.
Many called shenanigans on this phone when it was posted, but the teardown and subsequent pics lead us to believe it's real. We don't know how seriously Vietnamese authorities take purchase of a confidential prototype (rumor is they paid $4000 for it), but maybe Jason Chen can offer them some words of warning.
Microsoft is said to have scrapped its promising Courier project, which first met the public eye in September last year, when beleaguered tech blog Gizmodo broke the news of its existence. The tablet concept prompted many aspiring tablet owners, especially those looking past the iPad, to pin their hopes on its launch.
There was never any official word regarding the possibility of a commercial launch, however, a recently published New York Times report did have the dual-screen tablet shipping by the beginning of next year. But it has now emerged that Microsoft has chosen to bid adieu to the Courier at the end of the incubation period itself.
Right now the line between ebook readers and handheld tablets have been drawn, but as time goes on, we may see the line separating the two segments start to blur. Enter Liquavista, a Dutch firm who has developed a color ebook reader that supports video and may end up including Web browsing as well.
Liquavista tapped into a technology called "electrowetting," which the company claims is up to four times more energy efficient than LCD screens. Electrowetting involves small electrical charges moving colored oil within each pixel, and also has the advantage of fast image loads. According to Liquavista, the new display can change images at up to 60 times per second, whereas current ebook readers can take up to 2 seconds to load each page.
"You certainly could see this technology in your smartphone, in your mobile phone, in your Web tablet, in your PC, in your notebook" said Guy Demuynck, head of the firm. But eventually you could see it in your home as your television screen in your living room."
Even more promising for ebook readers and other portable devices, Liquavista says electrowetting works well in sunlight.
Maximum PC isn't typically known for running Mac rumors, but since the vast majority of iPhone users also run PC's, it might interest you to know that Engadget has uncovered shots of an iPhone 4G prototype, and they are pretty convinced they are legitimate. The low-resolution photos are strikingly similar to leaked iPad shots which also turned out to be genuine, and the fact that the same iPad can be spotted in the background only serves to seal the deal. The evidence sounds pretty flimsy to me, but given that these guys deal with gadget rumors 24/7, I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.
In addition to the photos, the Engadget source also revealed a few revised hardware specs that fall in-line with expectations. They claim the device sports a high-resolution display, forward and rear facing cameras, and support for MicroSIM cards (the same type used by the iPad). Of course even if this turns out to be true, its still just a prototype that could be drastically different from the final product so take it for what it is, a promising lead. On the other hand, iPhone announcements typically happen sometime in June, suggesting that this could indeed be a fair representation of what to expect.
The pictures don't tell us much, but they do suggest now would be a bad time to run out and buy a new iPhone.
In just about every case, the smaller your notebook, the smaller the accompanying keyboard. That's great for portability, but trying to type on such a tiny plank can seriously cramp your style.
The folks over at Yanko Design have come up with a solution. It's a fold-out keyboard for laptops that, while it doesn't exist, some would argue it probably should.
The two-way fold-out design allows for a full-size keyboard to come integrated on a laptop without sacrificing portability. Curiously, however, the concept pics don't include a numpad, though if this idea were to ever take off, we'd suspect you'd see fully-fledged desktop keyboard replacements.
Plenty of more pics to spy here, then hit the jump and sound off!