Displays: Curves Are Back In Vogue!

Curved (convex or outside curved) black and white televisions with cathode ray tube were a common sight in the 1980s. They were neither affordable nor as stylish as they are today. The scene of colour TVs started changing by 1990s—they became more stylish, but curves still remained. And then one fine day, flat screen TVs were introduced and since then there had been no looking back. People ditched the curves for the zero-sized LCDs; and today, LED screens are hit with masses.

You can find them everywhere—in your drawing room, in the malls, in banks and other public spaces.
But, now curves are coming back
With improvements in technology, which enables manufacturing of new age displays panels in curved shape possible, we see curved displays becoming mainstream again. The only difference, however, is that they are concave (curved on the inside) rather than convex (curved on the outside like old CRT). Does this mean that we have gone backward rather than going forward? I believe no, it is a step forward as curved displays are not only aesthetically more attractive, but also more immersive when it comes to consuming TV content. Human eyes feel more comfortable watching a concave display with slight curve. The trend is just picking up with the popularity of curved TVs. But it does not end here, we have seen curved screen phone like LG G Flex, Flex 2 which have a concave curve on the display. We also have curved display wearable devices like Samsung Gear Fit which comes with convex displays, which makes it a more ergonomic fit on the wrist and feels more natural too.

It does not end here; curved displays are making an appearance on phones as well. For instance: the Galaxy Note Edge or the recent concept phone by LG that has dual edge displays on both ends.
Why this obsession for edge and curved displays?
While you may argue that it is more of a gimmick, but I feel that there is a bright future for non-flat displays. Why I say so, is because when it comes to the product design it is ergonomics that take the front seat. Samsung Gear Fit is a fine example where a fitness band has been designed with a convex display to fit perfectly on a wrist.
I would not be surprised to see tablets, smart watches and even laptops equipped with curved and edged displays to improve product usability and ergonomics. Edge displays on [r1] smartphones with extra features, controls and buttons on the side display is another good use of technology.
It’s not going to be an easy road
Like is the case with every new technology and product, curved displays would also have to overcome certain roadblocks. I believe manufacturers would have to work towards fulfilling the pricing and demand supply gap, which will arise once they become popular. We have often seen that devices that suddenly become popular fail to fulfil consumers’ demands.

Going forward, curved TVs will become more affordable and economically-viable replacement for the flat screen LCDs or LED TVs, which most of us use these days. Also the edge display on smart phones, which is an elite feature as of now, will become more affordable and common across phones. Edge displays may even find its way on tablets and laptops and enhance the functionality of these devices. With the price drops in the curved display panels, we will see them more often on the wearables like wrist bands, smart watches. Flexible and transparent displays will be the next big thing—when and how, only that remains to be seen.

Step Inside Your Isolation Pod, Worker Drone, And Be Free

Step Inside Your Isolation Pod, Worker Drone, And Be Free


This is the Orrb. The futuristic pod is just large enough for one human to sit and stare at a screen in total isolation for the sake of “wellness and learning.” It’s like one of those nap pods you might find at Google, only more private and, somehow, more alien-looking. You know you want one.

Let’s back up a second. Does any company really need isolation pods for their employees? Is working in the 21st century so downright dystopian that we literally need to hide in a shiny bubble to stay sane? What does it really do?

“[The Orrb] basically provides a sanctuary, where people can relax, recharge and work on self development,” Orrb Technology product designer and founder Lee McCormack told Wired recently. “It’s difficult for people to engage in what they’re doing if they’re not relaxed”

Well, that kind of makes sense. But whatever happened to yoga breathing and mindfulness exercise? That’s actually what the Orrb really does. You select a five, ten, or 15 minute “wellness session,” and the Orrb takes you through some simple breathing and mediation exercises to help you relax. Orrb Technologies also charges a subscription fee for the content. You could, presumably just take a nap in the damn thing, too.

A Brief History Of Emergency Alerts On Your Phone

A Brief History Of Emergency Alerts On Your Phone

As I sit here, in my calm, non-snowpocalpysed city reading Twitter, there’s one definite theme emerging from snowbound New Yorkers: alcohol is a good coping mechanism! But also, everyone is getting unsolicited alerts about the weather on their phones. Here’s why.

Although it might seem natural in a post-Yo world that your phone will tell you about emergency stuff without you asking it, the mechanism by which the government tells everyone to stay inside is relatively new.

The system is called Wireless Emergency Alert, and it’s a collaboration between a bunch of federal agencies to send you emergency messages. Surprisingly, for a project involving technology and federal cooperation, it also works pretty well! A bill was passed authorising the FCC to develop the standards for WEA in 2006, and the system has been fully operational since 2012.

Basically, WEA can send you four types of messages from a bunch of different federal agencies: extreme weather warnings, local emergencies, AMBER (child abduction) alerts, and Presidential emergency messages. (Fittingly, that means that if Russia ever declares war on the US, you’ll learn about it in a 90-character blip on your phone.)

The messages are 90 characters long, and delivered to any WEA-capable phone within a certain radius. The messages look a lot like texts, but don’t come over the normal SMS channel – rather, they’re a blanket broadcast from the cell tower. WEA messages are turned on by default, but if you mess around deep enough in your settings, you can disable them if you really want to (although you’ll never be able to block Presidential missives).

The WEA system is a big improvement over conventional emergency alert systems (read: TV and radio) because of the active nature of the alert. It’s a safe bet that you’re not checking the TV (or radio, hah) during the day, but you probably look at your phone too many times to count.

That said, the system isn’t foolproof. During one of its first major outings, a New York blizzard in November 2013, not everyone got the messages. At the time, most iPhones didn’t support WEA messages, something that Apple changed with iOS 6.

Still, even with its flaws, the WEA system is impressive. Not only is it a sterling piece of public-private-sector cooperation, but it’s one of the most comprehensive and advanced public early-warning systems in the world. Not that it’ll be much consolation to the New Yorkers trying to remember how to dig a snow cave tonight, of course.

Users Unable To See ‘Web’ On Whatsapp, Even After Updates

Users Unable To See ‘Web’ On Whatsapp, Even After Updates

We all woke up to the good news that Whatsapp has now officially come to the desktop. News reports further went on to state that the web app was friendly with Google Chrome, that your cell needed to be connected to internet, and that iOS users would have to wait for the update.

All that said, we were unable to use the web service even on Android phones.

As required, we used Google Chrome to go to the app website, and there in we had to scan a QR code from our phone to be able to use the web service.

The question, however, remained the same. How do we scan the code?

Someone suggested an update of Whatsapp through the Google Play Store. Even after we did the update, there was no way in which we could actually scan the QR code.

In short, the service is not yet available to every Whatsapp user on the Android platform. In one way, this can be justified by saying that there are more than 600 million active users, and in no way is it easy to roll out an update for everyone at once. However, with Whatsapp having a parent as big as Facebook, our expectations were certainly high.

Here is hoping that all Whatsapp users get the service soon, given that they have been waiting for this service for far too long now.

P.S Not all users are complaining like we are. Below is the screenshot of one such user who is happy to have received the update.