"I don't know, you have a pocket Wizard, look it up" said my coworker Joe when I asked him a media reference question. What do we do with those powerful smartphone super computers in our pockets anyway?
That depends on who is using the smartphone....... breaking the screen or not.... finger fumble. Perhaps glass is not the best screen material for something that can be easily fumbled.... Smartphones are amazing information tools with versatile use cases that span whole sectors of possibilities. Think of how the cameras in smartphones are destroying the markets for digital cameras.
My current pocket wizard is a Galaxy Note 3, and it shoot really nice images & videos. Wrapped up in a polymer protective case with a 9H glass screen protector cover over the display, I ruggedized the mostly plastic construction to give it protection from the real world (my lunch box). I installed wireless charging in the back with a QI ravpower sticker. A new battery was recently installed to improve run time. I plan to switch platforms with a new iPhone SE 128Gb later this year, tired of the huge phone format and an android OS that I can not be upgraded to the current version.
No Headphone Jack in iPhone 7
Right now I have ear buds plugged into the "training wheel" iPod Touch 4th gen. (Wifi-MID), and cringe at the idea of a phone without a headphone jack! I sometimes like to plug earbuds into my phone, or plug my phone into my car stereo with a 3.5mm stereo patch cable. Non- of our cars have bluetooth music capabilities, not even my 2014 Honda CR-z ex. (only bluetooth phone feature).
I think the iPhone SE is better than the iPhone 7 because of the stronger design, compact 1 hand friendly form factor & plenty of performance. I was playing with Meg's iPhone for a few minutes the other day & found that it was able to perform 5 different app updates in mere seconds, blistering fast compared to my iPad 2 or iPod Touch 4. I had originally planned to make the iPhone 5 my first smartphone but ended up going with a Galaxy Note 2 for the AMOLED screen & pen that could be used to draw on the screen! I put that phone in an Otterbox & ended up selling it to Amazon for $55.
Lithium Ion Limits Wireless Earbud Performance
Rechargeable headphones (another things to charge.... annoying). I find the idea of wireless ear buds obtuse given the state of battery technology today (poor single charge run time) due to the limitations of lithium ion batteries. Wireless headphones or earbuds do have a unique value of if you are trying to listen to music while on the bus, on the go, moving, running, hiking or doing activities like yard work where the cord to wired headphones/ earbuds can because easily tangled up with what you are doing.
Cellular RF Cancer Questions
I make sparing use of my smartphone, skeptical of its RF tower transceiver energy impacts on DNA, the hiding of this information by the BIG 4 wireless carriers who's ITU sponsored research came up with the SAR rating system. By publishing their SAR rating they are legally able to offload responsibility since you were warned with a standardized scientific unit measurement rating of radiation exposure, even though the general public has no ideas what a low or high SAR rating consists of. Smoke & Mirrors to keep everyone confused, deliberately! The truth is that CW wave voice calls in worst cast reception scinereors gives rise to highly localized tissue heating, protein denaturing and probably DNA damage from bond energy cleavage activation where the RF activates chemical dislocations in the DNA of stem cells, giving rise to cancer. This is speculative to suggest that the radiation between towers and phones is carcinogenic in nature. I apply the precautionary principle and assume that it is more hazardous than you might be persuaded to think of as totally harmless by wireless companies and the colluded governments & legal frameworks in which they operates their services.
RF Data : Experiencing Music
Thinking about the ceramic iWatch caused me to think a lot more about RF propagation through materials, signal strength & fidelity of my devices, my wifi network, bluetooth devices and the way I interact with these things. I am streaming Pandora through my iPod Touch into my ears via cheap earbud speakers right now, the data comes from a Pandora Server, through Comcast Coaxial modulation into a broadband modem, into a TP On Hub wifi router, into the antenna of the iPod, though its DAC into the wires of the Earbuds, where the analog modulation of the the wires wrapped around a magnetic causes the connected speaker cone material to modulate, moving air gas pressure waves that causes sounds (music) to enter my ears, where specialized cells covert the movement of hearing sensory input into signals electrochemical signals that my brain is able to enjoy as music! The magic of sensory experience in the brain exists on a scope worthy of a library of information.
Zirconia Ceramic Dreams
Zirconia Oxide sintered into functional shapes like watch cases, dental implants, and aerospace parts are pure awesome! Apple added Alumina (Sapphire: Aluminum Oxide) to the Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide) in order to make the ceramic case of the iWatch Watch Edition Series 2 brilliant scratch resistant bright white! These zirconia ceramics are also totally transparent to RF, meaning that a phone made of ceramic will have the ultimate RF performance! I look upon the sapphire screen of my old Kyocera with a sense of nostalgia, its weak battery rendering it functionally useless except as a dashboard for my Segway MP. (short run time per charge now, not good for a cell phone, ok as the Segway Dash). I wonder deep down why Apple was unable to make Sapphire screens for the latest iPhones.
I was dreaming of electric motors & internal combustion engines made of zirconia ceramics earlier today. How cool to make useful motive energy in something made of ceramic! What about a ceramic battery chemistry separator for next gen. super energy dense batteries? How about ceramic robots with super ultra low friction "jewel" bearings. A microwave made of Ceramic, oh no..... lol as I drink an herbal infusion out of a ceramic cup ^^
Ceramics chip when you thrash them hard enough. I have a Kyocera stay sharp paring knife in the kitchen that Meg has never chipped! Its made of Zirconia ceramic ^^ Owing to the hardness of said material, it can stay sharp up to 10x longer than the best blade steels! Only diamond knives have a sharper more enduring edge, at a price premium worthy of a billionaire toy purchase for a kitchen cutting utensil. These ceramic knives are not exactly cheap either ($10-30 each) nor is the ceramic iWatch at $1299. Dental implants made of machined, cast sintered or 3D laser printed Zirconia are also on the expensive side... Watches with jewel bearings are also not cheap, nor are ceramic sapphire windows of larger sizes! When something is hard to produce, it is usually more expensive. To make one for everyone requires 7 billion units!
Big data to have 7 billion people all shooting & uploading youtube videos with smartphones the world over. Amazing how far we have come with the microminiaturization of computer hardware starting with room sized slow limited computers of the 1960's to hand sized smartphones many orders more computationally powerful today!
I look forward to a future of functional high strength ceramic materials, where aluminum gives way to sintered aluminum oxide. I have this strange feeling that the more distant future, phones will be made entirely of polymer, dispensed by vending machines as a recyclable product where the user will return their old phone, pay a fee with their iris or smart accessory, and out will come a brand new printed on the fly all polymer rugged phone that runs for months with its built in battery. The phone printing vending machines will probably first be installed in Tokyo, Japan. I got this idea of all polymer printed smartphones from Nicholas Negroponte, who was speaking about the future of computer hardware during a talk about bridging the digital gap in developing countries.
Ceramics made of metal oxides are relatively non-reactive chemically as materials, similar to glass in this respect. I like the ideas of materials that are chemically non-reactive for their bio-safe properties. You can put acidic fluids like fresh squeezed lemon juice in a glass bottle & it will not react with the bottle, insuring absolute flavor purity. I brew my green tea directly into a ceramic cup, the hot resulting infusion remains pure & unaltered by the ceramic. The virtues of chemical inert glasses & ceramics are why I dislike plastics in many applications. Ceramics are so non-reactive that they are often used as parts of joint replacement components. Thinking of the plastic waste in the pacific ocean also causing me to feel off put about plastics. I think of the yellowing fogging over headlight covers of automobile headlights & dream of headlamp assemblies made of something more enduring, not that I want the piston pollution funk vehicles of yesteryear to survive well into the future. I actually look forward to the idea that most of the dirty burner vehicles of today will be scrapped out & recycled, replaced by cleaner technologies in the future, electric vehicles like the Tesla Model S & Nissan Leaf! The steel heavy vehicles of today are going to be replaced by composite vehicles of tomorrow, BMW leading the way with its carbon fiber composite CFRP i3 electric / range extended models. The much cooler BMW i8 also making extensive use of advanced composite materials.
Thinking about the history of Lotus, and Chapman's comments about how making a vehicle lighter makes it better, improving cornering, braking performance, acceleration and driving dynamics, all without making the engine bigger or more powerful. They make the windows of cars out of glass not plastic for good reason. Glass holds up well, with better long term translucent clarity, very important for the windows of cars being piloted by humans with eyesight. I know that computers will be driving all the cars in the future, that windows will take on different roles in future vehicles as a result. I look upon the lens of the rear view camera on my Honda and know that "seeing" will take on new meanings as automakers integrate more sensors & information technologies for sizzle features that sell recycled designs. You have to compel someone on a deeply emotional level to dump so much hard earned money into a rapidly depreciating machine (most vehicles). The real world is hard on functional systems, viewing vehicles as a system of systems of many materials & devices integrated into a unified platform (model).
It will be interesting to see how aluminum displaces steel in automotive manufacturing, lighting more fuel efficient versions of vehicles like the new Ford F150, some 700lb lighter because of aluminum. I also cringe at the idea of getting into an accident in an aluminum vehicle, given the associate repair costs (far higher than steel). Aluminum is a very unforgiving material to repair. Its a stiff, light & somewhat brittle metal when compared to far more ductile easier to repair steel. Lotus for example avoided the problems with welding aluminum by gluing together the aluminum structures that comprise the Elise model using high strength epoxy adhesives! The Tesla Model S' line is made mostly of aluminum, and repairing a Model S from a car accident has proved the difficulties & increased costs of auto body repairs on aluminum intensive vehicles. I believe that CFRP is the better way forward, especially made mostly of carbon with the least amount of polymer binder. Echoes of the McLaren F1 construction video dance happily in my memory!
Apple builds the computer hardware using machined aluminum unibody techniques that made nicer MacBooks & iMac's possible. The over-zealous thin aluminum designs gave rise to the bend-gate issues in the iPhone 6 & 6S. Apple corrected the iPhone 7 case with reinforcements that resist bend & twisting forces. The iPhone 5 designs was far stronger, given its boxy edge shape (stiffer) and smaller body (less bending leverage forces). When you make a phone larger & thinner, the materials have to be enhanced to keep the phone from breaking in half easily. Watch a youtube video of people easily breaking iPhone 6's with their hands. Trying to do the same think with an iPhone 5, 5S or 5SE is not nearly as easy. The iPhone 7 holds up much better in bend tests than the iPhone 6 or 6S.
You might wonder what Tesla & Apple have in common : Aluminum & Information Technology! Both companies are also working on Autopilot technology! This gives me great pause to think about the roles that information technologies are playing into our lives today, the smartphones we carry, the LTE connections that connect us to each other in novel & ever new ways. Its interesting to see Youtube emerging as the dominate video platform over cable TV. Information technology is the future because it enables people to connect to more ideas in more ways, connecting customers to businesses with ever greater precision & efficiency. When people are able to connect to powerful ideas more quickly, then the ideas spread with greater speed to more people in more places, accelerating technological advancement, cultural change & social evolution. The ideas of mankind, our philosophies, constantly changing as we learn new ideas from each other, youtube, books, on our smartphones and other IT platforms, like the huge touchscreen in the dash of every Model S!
Ceramic batteries being developed by Apple can be cut in half without a safety problem. This compared favorable to current lithium ion batteries that prone to catching fire if mechanically damaged. Samsung & Apple both had battery issues with lithium ion failure, the Note 7 from Samsung was so prone to catching fire that they were all recalled & removed from the global space. Apple's iPhone 6S shipped with batteries that were prone to failing relatively quickly. Lithium ion batteries using liquid electrolytes are box of compromises. The limitations of lithium ion can be seen in their short cycle life when 100% charged regularly, rapid capacity loss when charged to 100% regularly, sensitivity to being punctured, heated or exposed to water, and general fade in performance from cycle & calendar life. Most smartphone batteries only hold up well for about 1 to 3 years. Many people do not care about this short lithium ion life, wanting to upgrade their phones for other reasons before the battery fade sets in. Ceramic batteries offer enhanced safety, enhanced cycling performance, and enhanced long term durability.
Industry insiders claim that Apple is making the case of the iPhone 8 out of ceramic, probably only the highest end model that will sell with a price premium. Apple is also said to be working on replacing the glass screen protector with a sapphire window in the iPhone 8. The iPhone 8 is also likely to sport OLED screen technology that uses less power than the outgoing LCD tech used on current iPhones. Apple may even go the way of integrating micro-LED displays in their next Series 3 iWatch. It will be very interesting to see how ceramic play a role as materials in future Apple products!