Author Archive: Martha Lee

tropical space combines perforated clay brick + concrete for NDC house in vietnam

tropical space combines perforated clay brick + concrete for NDC house in vietnam

in the façade of the NDC house, vietnamese architecture firm tropical space has applied its trademark clay bricks in a perforated arrangement, extruded from a concrete base. located in district 1, the central urban district of ho chi minh city, vietnam, the 300 sqm residence expands in four levels, comprising a double-height ground floor, a mezzanine, and two upper floors where more private spaces are located.

 tropical space combines perforated clay brick + concrete for NDC house in vietnamall images by quang dam

tropical space has also used elements of the clay brick and concrete exterior within the residence, combined with solid wood surfaces and details, and a terrazzo floor. the perforated façade is used to bring enough natural light and air inside without compromising privacy, while it also encloses an outdoor terrace at the top floor. pieces of furniture in solid wood create a warm, cozy atmosphere within the different rooms, complemented by plenty of greenery. the kitchen, dining room and living room are located on the ground floor, a second living room occupies the mezzanine, and bedrooms are placed on the two upper floors.

 tropical space combines perforated clay brick + concrete for NDC house in vietnam

project info:

name: NDC house

architect: tropical space co.,ltd

team: nguyen hai long, tran thi ngu ngon, nguyen anh duc, nguyen thi thuy, trinh thanh tu

location: district 1, ho chi minh city, vietnam

site area: 80 square meters

building area: 300 square meters

levels: 4 (1 ground floor, 1 mezzanine, 2 floor)

sofia lekka angelopoulou I designboom

jun 24, 2019

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Old wine in new bottles? U.S. economic plans for Palestinians recall past efforts

Old wine in new bottles? U.S. economic plans for Palestinians recall past efforts

JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) – Several major projects in U.S. President Donald Trump’s $50 billion economic blueprint for Israeli-Palestinian peace mirror previous proposals stalled by conflict, analysts said on Sunday.

Palestinian women stand next to the counter of an Israeli official at the Israeli side of Erez crossing, on the border with Gaza June 23, 2019. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

The plan, spearheaded by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, calls for the creation of a global investment fund to boost the Palestinian and neighboring Arab state economies with some 179 infrastructure and business projects.

Shaul Arieli, a former Israeli peace negotiator, said many were not new.

“Most of the plans have already been presented under the Obama administration,” said Arieli, now an analyst at the Economic Cooperation Foundation think-tank that advocates for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In an interview with Reuters, Kushner said the plan’s authors had studied why previous peace efforts had failed in formulating a fresh initiative.

“We tried to take the good things they did and then come up with a new approach to try to bring this forward,” he said.

The plan, presented in a slick 40-page document, aims to cut the Palestinian poverty rate in half and double the amount of drinkable water in the Palestinian territories but some of the ideas require Israeli agreement and have been knocking around for decades.

“Even by the lowest threshold of anticipation – offering innovative economic prospects – this plan fails to impress,” said Tareq Baconi, an analyst with the International Crisis Group.

The Trump administration’s decision to release the economic portion of its peace plan without any discussion of political solutions has prompted a mixture of derision and exasperation among Arab politicians and commentators.

However, Mohammad Abu Jayyab, a Palestinian economist in Gaza, said the plan might still work.

“Chances of it getting implemented are there: the Gulf money and the influential American policy and the regional satisfaction to achieve common interests,” he said.

Proposed projects include:

GAZA-WEST BANK CORRIDOR, VIA ISRAEL

Under the plan, a proposed $5 billion transportation corridor – a highway and possibly a rail link – would be built between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, crossing Israel.

Gaza and the West Bank are around 35km apart at their closest point. However, they are divided not just by geography but by long-standing and bitter divisions between President Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA), whose power base is in the West Bank, and the PA’s Islamist rival, Hamas, which controls Gaza

A 47km long “safe passage” through Israel between Gaza and the Hebron in the West Bank was envisaged by interim peace deals in the 1990s. Proposals included railroads, tunnels, elevated roads and a monorail.

But the ideas went nowhere, stymied by political upheaval and bloodshed, three wars between Israel and Hamas and the collapse of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in 2014.

“There are two areas with Palestinians in them. They have been saying for many years, ‘let us pass, we can’t pass through roadblocks every day, give us a different logistic infrastructure’,” Israeli cabinet minister Tzachi Hanegbi said on Sunday.

“It will be relevant, and I definitely think it should be relevant, when Gaza ceases to be a pro-Iranian realm of terror. That means, it is not relevant now nor in the foreseeable future,” he told Israel Radio.

But Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas put the blame back at the doors of Israel and the United States.

“If Israel had not obstructed the Oslo Accords, the corridor would have been established. America is reinventing the wheel. Those agreements are already there,” he said in Ramallah on Sunday.

The plan also entails upgrading facilities at key crossing points along Gaza’s border, including with Egypt. Citing security concerns, Egypt has often kept its Rafah crossing closed, cutting off Gaza’s main gateway to the world.

POWER PLANTS

The Kushner plan proposes a $590 million upgrade to Gaza’s sole power plant. The enclave has suffered for years from unreliable electrical supply, with daily, prolonged blackouts the norm. Within a year of the project’s implementation, Palestinians in Gaza would receive at least 16 hours of electricity per day.

Before the proposal’s publication, Qatar was already in talks with Israeli officials about building a new power line from Israel to Gaza, which the Gulf nation would help to fund. The new line would provide 100 megawatts to Gaza, which currently gets a total of 120 megawatts from Israel, short of the 500 megawatts to 600 megawatts that Palestinians say the blockaded enclave needs.

The Kushner plan also includes $1.2 billion in loans and private sector financing for gas-fired power plants in Hebron and Jenin in the West Bank.

    The Palestine Investment Fund (PIF), which is the PA’s sovereign fund, is the lead investor in an ongoing initiative to build a power plant in Jenin. PIF says the power plant requires $600 million in capital, which matches the figure quoted in the Trump team’s proposal.

    A cornerstone was laid for the project in late 2016 and PIF and its partners have issued bids for the plant’s construction.  According to documents reviewed by Reuters, project shareholders will finance $180 million, with “$420 million from international development and finance institutions”.

    Even if the project is fully financed and built, it cannot be operated without a gas supply, which requires Israeli approval, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

GAZA DESALINATION PLANT

The U.S. plan calls for channeling “significant investments” into infrastructure to increase water supply in Gaza, including desalination facilities aiming to double the amount of potable water available to Palestinians, per capita, within five years.

The Palestinian Water Authority, in partnership with international institutions including the European Commission (EC), the European Investment Bank, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Islamic Development Bank and World Bank, has already prepared a comprehensive and integrated investment program for the Gaza central desalination plant.

    In 2018, the EU said it had received €456 million in international financial support for the project.

Work still has not been carried out, but the EC noted in April “substantial progress” in ongoing discussions between the PA and Israel on the entry of building materials to Gaza. Israel maintains tight controls on Gaza imports, saying some material might be used to build weapons.

GAZA MARINE GAS FIELD

The Trump team’s proposals include $1 billion in grants, loans and private sector financing for the development of a natural gas field offshore of Gaza. The gas field is currently fully-owned by the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF).

    PIF estimates the field’s development would cost $1 billion, which matches the figure quoted in the Trump team’s proposal.

    Plans to develop the field have been put off several times over the past decade due to Palestinian political disputes and conflict with Israel, as well as economic factors, analysts say.

Slideshow (11 Images)

    In 2018, Shell relinquished the 55 percent stake in the field that it took over as part of its acquisition of BG Group in 2016, after struggling to find a buyer. PIF then became the field’s sole owner. It is searching for an operator and buyer for a 45 percent stake.

    Gaza Marine, located about 30 km (20 miles) off the Gaza coast between the giant gas fields Leviathan and Zohr, respectively in Israeli and Egyptian waters, is estimated to hold over 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

    Gaza Marine has long been seen as an opportunity for the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority to join the eastern Mediterranean gas bonanza.

Reporting by Maayan Lubell and Jeffrey Heller in Jerusalem, Rami Ayyub in Ramallah and Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza. Editing by Carmel Crimmins

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Pay what you want for an awesome eBook bundle of Arduino projects!

Pay what you want for an awesome eBook bundle of Arduino projects!

The easiest way to get into hobby robotics is to learn how to create and code your projects using Arduino. You can learn and follow along with starter projects right at home even if you’re new to coding or robotics. You just need the right reading material to teach and inspire you with fun Internet of Things projects

Teach yourself basic robotics with these arduino eBooks!

Right now, Windows Central Digital Offers has a pay what you want deal available for the The Complete Arduino eBook Bundle. Instead of paying $41 for each eBook individually, you can get all six available ebooks just by paying more than the average price — currently around $15 right now! If you’ve always been interested in circuity and creating your own electronic and robotic builds, now is the time to take the plunge.

If you pay less than the average — even just $1 — you’ll get Python Programming for Arduino, a 400-page book that introduces you to how Python and arduinos can be used to create all sorts of great IoT projects. The rest of the books are unlocked by beating the average price, and for around $15 that’s a great deal:

  • Mastering Arduino
  • Building Smart Drones with ESP98266 & Arduino
  • Arduino for Kids
  • Internet of Things with Arduino Cookbook
  • Arduino Wearable Projects

You might be inspired Just from reading those those titles. If you were, then you need to get this bundle today!

Become an Arduino pro now!

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Hooks-Based WebGL Library for React

Hooks-Based WebGL Library for React

Hooks-based WebGL library for React

This library is experimental.

npm install @react-vertex/core

I started working on this to try out hooks and learn more about WebGL. It quickly got out of hand. There’s a lot to do still. It’s unlikely to be truly stable for production applications until late 2019.

If you have some WebGL/GLSL chops or experience with 3D engines and would like to help out, drop a line in the issues.

Documentation and Examples

All the demos on the site are in the demos folder

What’s been built

  • Scene renderer using React Reconciler
  • Scene graph which handles matrix multiplication
  • Basic lighting system (only point lights so far)
  • Orbit camera and controls
  • Hooks for geometries and materials
  • Dat Gui like dev controls and scene helpers

Roadmap

  • Particle Systems / GPGPU
  • WebGL2 w/ Fallback
  • Use quaternions for rotations
  • Optimize matrix calculations
  • More lighting options
  • Better materials and shaders
  • Events/raycasting
  • Scene shadows
  • Composite effects
  • Improve camera options
  • Tests

CodeSandbox

Keep in mind these sandboxes run in “development” mode and, just like for React, that makes a significant difference in performance for this library.

Packages:

@react-vertex/core

license
bundlephobia
npm version

React components, renderer and hooks for React Vertex.

npm install @react-vertex/core

Documentation for Core

@react-vertex/geometry-hooks

license
bundlephobia
npm version

React hooks for working with geometries in React Vertex.

npm install @react-vertex/geometry-hooks

Documentation for Geometry Hooks

@react-vertex/material-hooks

license
bundlephobia
npm version

React hooks for working with materials in React Vertex.

npm install @react-vertex/material-hooks

Documentation for Material Hooks

@react-vertex/math-hooks

license
bundlephobia
npm version

React hooks for working with vectors and matrices in React Vertex. Almost all of this is gl-matrix so this adds very little to your bundle. The core also relies on gl-matrix.

npm install @react-vertex/math-hooks

Documentation for Math Hooks

@react-vertex/orbit-camera

license
bundlephobia
npm version

React hooks for a basic orbit camera and controls. Almost all of this is gl-matrix so this adds very little to your bundle. The core also relies on gl-matrix.

npm install @react-vertex/orbit-camera

Documentation for Orbit Camera

How does it work?

Inside of a component you are no longer building an HTML document. Instead, a React Vertex scene is built of four primary elements: , , and . You use the elements to build up the WebGL state used by the renderer.

At its most simple, a scene would look like:

  <camera>
    <material>
      <geometry />
    material>
  camera>

Or something like:

  <camera>
    <group>
      <material>
        <group>
          <geometry />
          <geometry />
          <geometry />
        group>
      material>
      <material>
        <group>
          <material>
            <geometry />
          material>
          <geometry />
          <geometry />
        group>
      material>
    group>
  camera>

Of course, you can create your own custom components to build up that document however you like:

  <camera>
    <group>
      <Asteroids />
      <Robots />
      {showSharks ? (
        <group>
          <Shark weapon={laserBeam} />
          <Shark weapon={laserBeam} />
        group>
      ) : null}
    group>
    <SeaBass illTempered={true} />
  camera>

The camera takes just two props that define the view (matrix) and the projection (matrix):

  <camera view={view} projection={projection}>
    <material>
      <geometry />
      <geometry />
      <geometry />
    material>
  camera>

The view and projection should be instances of gl-matrix mat4. If you already know how to work with gl-matrix then you can use whatever method you like to keep those props up to date. You can mutate the matrices and the changes will be reflected in the render.

For convenience you can use @react-vertex/math-hooks to create a static camera view:

import {
  useInvertedMatrix,
  usePerspectiveMatrix,
} from '@react-vertex/math-hooks'

function Scene() {
  const view = useInvertedMatrix(0, 0, 50)
  const projection = usePerspectiveMatrix(35, 1.0, 0.1, 1000)

  ...

  return (
    <camera view={view} projection={projection}>
      ...
    </camera>
  )

Or use @react-vertex/orbit-camera to create a dynamic camera:

import { useOrbitCamera, useOrbitControls } from '@react-vertex/orbit-camera'
import { useCanvasSize } from '@react-vertex/core'

function Scene() {
  const { width, height } = useCanvasSize()

  const camera = useOrbitCamera(55, width / height, 1, 5000)
  useOrbitControls(camera)

  ...

  return (
    <camera view={camera.view} projection={camera.projection}>
      ...
    </camera>
  )

Right now, the material nodes just take a single program prop. The program is a WebGL program returned from a hook. The nearest ancestor will define the view and projection. The renderer will set viewMatrix, modelMatrix and projectionMatrix uniforms in the program shaders. You can use @react-vertex/material-hooks for some common programs or look at the source to compose your own custom program hooks. The Phong and Lambert programs in @react-vertex/material-hooks make use of lights in the scene.

import React from 'react'
import PropTypes from 'prop-types'
import { useHex } from '@react-vertex/color-hooks'
import { useSphereElements } from '@react-vertex/geometry-hooks'
import { useBasicSolid } from '@react-vertex/material-hooks'

function Example({ position }) {
  const sphere = useSphereElements(0.75, 10, 10)
  const diffuse = useHex('#ffa500', true)
  const program = useBasicSolid(diffuse)

  return (
    <material program={program}>
      <geometry position={position} {...sphere} />
    </material>
  )
}

Example.propTypes = {
  position: PropTypes.array.isRequired,
}

export default Example

The element defines the attributes and several other parameters for drawing. You can also set the position, rotation and scale. The nearest ancestor will define what program is applied to the geometries. Probably, the easiest way to get started is to use the hooks from @react-vertex/geometry-hooks.

import React from 'react'
import { useVector3 } from '@react-vertex/math-hooks'
import { useBoxElements } from '@react-vertex/geometry-hooks'

const PI = Math.PI

function Boxes() {
  const boxElements = useBoxElements(10, 10, 10)

  const r1 = useVector3(PI / 4, PI, 0)

  const p1 = useVector3(10, 0, 0)
  const p2 = useVector3(20, 0, 0)
  const p3 = useVector3(30, 0, 0)
  const p4 = useVector3(40, 0, 0)

  return (
    <group rotation={r1}>
      <geometry position={p1} {...boxElements} />
      <geometry position={p2} {...boxElements} />
      <geometry position={p3} {...boxElements} />
      <geometry position={p4} {...boxElements} />
    </group>
  )
}

To get more control over the geometry buffers and attributes you can use some of the more low-level hooks from the @react-vertex/core:

import React, { Fragment, useMemo } from 'react'
import { useVector3 } from '@react-vertex/math-hooks'
import { useBoxGeometry } from '@react-vertex/geometry-hooks'
import { useWebGLContext, useStaticBuffer, useAttribute } from '@react-vertex/core'

function Boxes() {
  const geometry = useBoxGeometry(10, 10, 10)

  // this is what "useBoxElements" does internally...
  const gl = useWebGLContext()

  const positionBuffer = useStaticBuffer(gl, geometry.vertices, false, 'F32')
  const position = useAttribute(gl, 3, positionBuffer)

  const normalBuffer = useStaticBuffer(gl, geometry.normals, false, 'F32')
  const normal = useAttribute(gl, 3, normalBuffer)

  const uvBuffer = useStaticBuffer(gl, geometry.uvs, false, 'F32')
  const uv = useAttribute(gl, 2, uvBuffer)

  const indexBuffer = useStaticBuffer(gl, geometry.indices, true, 'U16')

  const boxElements = useMemo(
    () => ({
      index: indexBuffer,
      attributes: { position, normal, uv },
      drawElements: { mode: 'TRIANGLES', count: geometry.indices.length },
    }),
    [indexBuffer, geometry.indices.length, position, normal, uv],
  )

  const r1 = useVector3(PI / 4, PI, 0)

  const p1 = useVector3(10, 0, 0)
  const p2 = useVector3(20, 0, 0)
  const p3 = useVector3(30, 0, 0)
  const p4 = useVector3(40, 0, 0)

  return (
    <group rotation={r1}>
      <geometry position={p1} {...boxElements} />
      <geometry position={p2} {...boxElements} />
      <geometry position={p3} {...boxElements} />
      <geometry position={p4} {...boxElements} />
    </group>
  )
}

Rendering

By default nothing will be rendered. You can set the renderOnUpdate prop on the Canvas component to true to have it work something like a regular react component tree. If the scene has lots of elements or is animating constantly it’s going to make more sense to render it in more controlled way with the useRender hook.

Rendering in a loop

You can get a function to render the scene by calling useRender anywhere in a React Vertex component tree. If your scene is animating constantly, it’s probably best to have one loop right at the root of the tree that renders on each frame. You can use d3-timer to create a loop like so:

import React, { useEffect } from 'react'
import { timer } from 'd3-timer'
import { useRender } from '@react-vertex/core'

function Scene() {
  const renderScene = useRender()

  useEffect(() => {
    const timerLoop = timer(renderScene)
    return () => timerLoop.stop()
  }, [renderScene])

  ...

Rendering when camera updates

If you want to render when the camera moves. You can do something like the below example. If you look at the “Tuna Wireframe” example, it updates when the camera changes and ALSO sets the renderOnUpdate prop on the canvas to true to make sure it renders when the controls in the scene update. If you are creating more of an app that has less frequent state updates and mainly responding to user input that’s a pretty efficient way to approach it.

import React, { useEffect } from 'react'
import { useRender, useCanvasSize } from '@react-vertex/core'
import { useOrbitCamera, useOrbitControls } from '@react-vertex/orbit-camera'

function Scene() {
  const { width, height } = useCanvasSize()

  const renderScene = useRender()

  const camera = useOrbitCamera(55, width / height, 1, 5000)
  useOrbitControls(camera)

  useEffect(() => {
    renderScene()
    camera.addListener(renderScene)
    return () => camera.removeListener(renderScene)
  }, [camera, renderScene])

  ...

Running the repo locally

git clone [email protected]:sghall/react-vertex.git
cd react-vertex
npm install && npm run dev

// You may need to bootstrap lerna as well
npx lerna bootstrap

Adding a demo

First, note that the root of the repo is a nextjs app. There’s a pages folder and a static folder and so on. There’s a babel.config.js at the root of the repo that aliases the packages so you can use them directly from source in the demos.

Steps:

  1. Probably easiest to copy an existing demo in the demos folder and give it a new name (something short and sweet that is at least vaguely descriptive). Pro-tip: Get the existing demo running at the new location and THEN add your demo code.

  2. Add a page (copy an existing) to the pages folder using the convention demo-my-demo.js (this a static site with no dynamic pages that the reason for the “demo-” prefix). All of the code should be in the demos folder so someone can see the whole thing without hunting around and copy it to their environment etc. So just make a minimal page pointing to your demo. See the existing pages for an example.

  3. Add your demo to demosList in the docs/config.js so it will appear on the sidebar menu.

  4. Then (if you have already run npm install) type npm run dev to start developing.

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Feds Say Hamas Supporter Conducted Instagram Poll On Bombing Trump Tower

Feds Say Hamas Supporter Conducted Instagram Poll On Bombing Trump Tower

FBI agents arrested a 20-year-old from New Jersey on Wednesday who they say posted a poll on Instagram stories asking whether he should bomb Trump Tower in New York City.

Federal authorities charged Jonathan Xie with two counts of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization as well as two false statement charges and a count of transmitting a threat.

Xie, the feds allege, donated to Hamas, lied on an application to enlist in the Army, and threatened supporters of Israel. 

The 20-year-old evidently came to the FBI’s attention after someone he spoke with in an online group chat informed the bureau that Xie was posting about his desire to harm supporters of Israel. The FBI, according to an affidavit, identified his Instagram and YouTube account, where he posted videos from a number of extremist groups. 

The feds said Xie recored a Instagram Live video (which was recorded by another user) in which he wore a black ski mask and said he was against “Zionism” and the “neo-liberal establishment,” said he would join Hamas if he “could find a way” and displayed a Hamas flag and handgun. “I’m gonna go to the [expletive] pro-Israel march and I’m going to shoot everybody,” he allegedly said.

The FBI obtained firearms registration records associated with Xie’s parents and Moneygram records indicating that Xie donated to Hamas through an online website. He also evidently posted an Instagram story about his donation back in December:



Xie, the feds charge, communicated with an individual in Palestine about his donation. He also posted extensively on Instagram about his plans to join the Army and “learn how to kill” and go “lone wolf” to stop “Jewish [interests].”

Xie also sent instructions and photos through Instagram to an undercover FBI employee on how to donate to Hamas, the feds say.  

The FBI monitored Xie when he visited New York City last month, where he posted photos of Trump Tower. “I want to bomb Trump Tower,” he wrote in one past before conducting a poll asking “Should I bomb Trump Tower,” which included a bomb emoji over a photo of the building. He also allegedly wrote in an Instagram chat that Trump “should be hung from the gallows!” 

Xie will appear in federal court in Newark on Wednesday afternoon.

The criminal complaint is embedded below.

REAL LIFE. REAL NEWS. REAL VOICES.

Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.

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This magical metamaterial could revolutionize car safety and save lives

This magical metamaterial could revolutionize car safety and save lives

By Jesus Diaz3 minute Read

Scientists at the University of Washington have created a new shock absorption metamaterial that uses origami to completely absorb a hard impact and transform that crushing force into a gentle pull. The findings have potential implications in everything, from delivering packages via drones to landing spaceships.

According to one of the research authors—UW associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics Jinkyu Yang—”if you were wearing a football helmet made of this material and something hit the helmet, you’d never feel that hit on your head.” In fact, by the time the impact energy reaches you, he says, it has been transformed from a crushing push to a light pull.

[Image: courtesy University of Washington]

When you see it in action, it looks like magic. The idea of using a shape that can transform pushing forces into pulling forces is impossibly counterintuitive—something the researchers admit themselves.

The secret is the metamaterial’s geometry. “Metamaterials are like Lego,” Yang said in a press release. “You can make all types of structures by repeating a single type of building block, or unit cell as we call it. Depending on how you design your unit cell, you can create a material with unique mechanical properties that are unprecedented in nature.”

The UW research—published today in the journal Science Advances—got inspiration from origami to create 20 of these flexible unit cells, using a laser-cutting plotter to create physical models of a geometric shape they developed using computer simulations.

Then they put together the segments in a long truss. Each of the segments in the metamaterial then acts as a “folding crease,” which has the capability of softening an impact as it travels through the truss. In fact, as the shock advances through each segment, the segment before it bounces part of the energy back, pulling the next segment until the chain eventually dissipates the push force generating a soft draw instead.

Scientists then tested their initial computer models with the physical model by applying a compression force, recording the behavior using six GoPro cameras filming in slow-motion. And indeed, it worked exactly as the simulation predicted, turning compression forces into pull forces.

In this computer simulation, red represents the pushing force shock wave. The blue shows the pull force. You can see how the red transforms into blue as it travels through the metamaterial. [Image: courtesy University of Washington]

The way the unit cells fold is crucial, according to research coauthor Yasuhiro Miyazawa, who is completing an aeronautics and astronautics doctorate at the University of Washington: “[The origami] unit cell softens the force it feels when someone pushes on it, and it accentuates the tension that follows as the cell returns to its normal shape.”

The applications are countless: “Impact is a problem we encounter on a daily basis, and our system provides a completely new approach to reducing its effects,” Yang said.

In the future, the system could be used to soften the landing of packages delivered by drones, if you built the origami segments right on the packaging itself. The system could also be used in car bumpers to soften the impact of car accidents and, according to Yang, save lives.

Yang also points out that you could also make the same structures out of composite materials for greater strength and larger objects. You could actually apply this technology to landing systems, the team says, like the ones needed to send rovers to Mars or providing soft landing for SpaceX spaceships without having to use so much energy in the return.

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The best sewing shears you can buy

The best sewing shears you can buy

Insider Picks writes about products and services to help you navigate when shopping online. Insider Inc. receives a commission from our affiliate partners when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

  • Sewing shears are essential instruments for cutting smoothly, efficiently, and precisely through fabric and notions (items used in sewing).
  • They are never to be used as regular household scissors.
  • Heavy-duty Gingher 8-inch Knife Edge Dressmaker’s Shears slice through fabric smoothly and precisely with sharp steel blades.

As anyone who sews will tell you, tools for cutting are invaluable. You need the best ones to ensure precision cutting and shaping of fabric pieces. Excellent cutting utensils get me through the preparations, to the stage I enjoy the most: assembling pieces to construct the final product. I’ve made clothes, costumes, appliance covers, signs, and even my wedding dress, and I couldn’t have done it without high-quality cutting implements.

But before you grab your regular scissors (the ones lying around the house to cut paper, string, tape, etc.), stop! If you plan to sew (or already sew but could upgrade your toolkit), make your life a lot easier and invest in shears designed for cutting fabric.

Although similar, scissors and shears are not the same. Scissors have blades up to 6 inches in length and two symmetrical holes for the thumb and a finger. Shears wield blades that are often longer than 6 (often 7) inches and honed to a “knife edge” to slice through layers of fabric. Shears’ handles are asymmetrical, with a small round opening for the thumb and a larger oblong opening for a few fingers. Often angled or bent, the handles are designed for operating the blades comfortably, so that there’s enough leverage to slice through layers of fabric while on a flat surface — all with accuracy and without cramping or fatigue. Believe me, when you spend hours cutting fabric, you and your hands will appreciate high-quality shears designed for sewing.

When building your sewing toolbox, consider obtaining some or all the following shear types:

  • Straight: Have straight blades for cutting out pieces of fabric according to patterns and slicing through notions (e.g., trim, ribbon, bias tape, binding).
  • Pinking: Have saw-toothed, serrated blades for cutting fabric and creating a zigzag edge to help prevent or at least minimize fraying (e.g., on seam allowance edges).
  • Serrated: Have blades with very fine teeth that won’t damage, but grip and hold slippery and delicate fabric for accurate, even cuts. If you plan to avoid high-end delicate fabrics (like I have), perhaps you can skip this type.
  • Left-handed: If you are a lefty, seek out sewing shears that are designed for left-handed users – with reversed blades (i.e., the top blade is on the left) so you don’t feel like you are pushing them apart as you try to cut. The reversed blade orientation is essential for slicing through (not just folding) material effectively and being able to see where you are cutting, while you are cutting. Also, the handles are shaped to fit left hands comfortably.

When examining any type of shear, look for quality construction, with features like:

  • Steel blades: Most are made of rust-resistant, durable stainless steel. Blades of high-carbon steel are harder, stronger, sharper, and better at retaining a sharp edge. The downside is that uncoated high-carbon steel isn’t rust resistant.
  • Screw assembly: The blades should be connected by a screw that enables the blades to be adjusted and separated completely for cleaning.
  • Handle design: Ergonomic handles molded for comfort and grip are important; some models (plastic or rubber) are softer than others (metal).
  • Weight: Some people (e.g., with arthritis) like lightweight shears for control and ease while others prefer medium- or heavy-weight shears for greater stability and leverage.

After you purchase new shears, heed this one last piece of advice: Do not use on non-fabric items. You’ll make them dull very quickly. Mark them as sewing shears only (tie a ribbon around the handles) or even hide them so no one mistakenly uses them to cut paper, hair, and other household items.

Here are the best sewing shears you can buy in 2019:

Keep scrolling to read more about our top picks.


Amazon

Expertly crafted and sharp, Gingher 8-inch Knife Edge Dressmaker’s Shears slice through fabric with precision and strength.

Known for its fine tailoring, Italy is also the birthplace of the Gingher 8-inch Knife Edge Dressmaker’s Shears. Hot-drop forged from high-carbon cutlery steel and then double-plated with chrome and nickel, these shears are ground and polished for a gorgeous yet durable appearance and sharp edges. The “tension point” or screw joint holding the 4-inch blades together are hand-tuned to ensure durability as well as the right fit for performance.

Described by Suzy Quilts as “reliable and traditional,” these shears are heavy-duty and look pretty conventional with metal handles that most users describe as comfortable and stronger than plastic handles. From the top of the blade all the way through the tip, they cut material with precision and force. You can carve out pieces according to patterns, maneuver around curves, and trim seams.

You also can cut long, clean lines and large swaths of fabric with ease. One Amazon reviewer says the Gingher 8-inch Knife Edge Dressmaker’s Shears “move through fabric like a hot knife on soft butter” and many agreed.

Mostcraft rates it “best for most users” and says it slices through “through double layered, thick upholstery fabric effortlessly, saving lots of time and frustration.” An Amazon customer used it to cut “through four layers of quilted material with ease.” The bent handle helps hold fabric flat on a surface for smooth, efficient, and comfortable cutting. An included nylon sheath protects the blades when they’re not in use.

Weighing about 8 ounces, the Gingher 8-inch Knife Edge Dressmaker’s Shears are a bit on the heavy side for sewing shears, which many people like for leverage and stability in cutting. On the other hand, Best Fabric Review Zone felt the shears are “too heavy,” and a few Amazon users felt they couldn’t use them for long periods of time without tiring the hand.

The Gingher 8-inch Knife Edge Dressmaker’s Shears has garnered accolades from Best Reviews, Best Reviews Guide, Sewing From Home, Suzy Quilts, Mostcraft, Best Fabric Review Zone, Eco-globe, and Mary Janes and Galoshes. Among more than 1,800 Amazon reviewers, they received an average rating of 4.8 out of five stars.

Pros: Sharp and dependable, smooth precision cutting, able to slice through multiple layers of fabrics

Cons: A bit heavy

Buy Gingher 8-inch Knife Edge Dressmaker’s Shears on Amazon for $17

Buy on Amazon for $17.00


Amazon

A great deal, the Singer 8.5-inch ProSeries Scissors is highly affordable and effective in cutting through multiple layers of fabric.

Famous for sewing machines, Singer extends its fine brand quality to other sewing tools, including the Singer 8.5-inch ProSeries Scissors. Constructed of stainless steel, these shears have tempered blades — grounded on both sides for sharpness, smoothness in cutting, and longevity. The blades end in an ultra-fine tip for precise pattern and detail work. Singer states that each pair is inspected and hand-tested to ensure quality; the shears come with a lifetime guarantee.

With bent handles that are ergonomic, soft, and rubber-padded, these shears are comfortable to grip and use. Lightweight and easy to maneuver, they’re great for sewers with arthritic hands or who just prefer working with lighter shears. They can be a little tight when new, but loosen up with use. Sewing From Home notes that both right-hand and left-handed people can operate the Singer 8.5-inch ProSeries Scissors; several Amazon lefties confirmed this.

Although highly affordable, these shears are no slouch in terms of performance. Sewing From Home describes them as “very effective at cutting through tough fabrics.” Eco-globe says the Singer 8.5-inch ProSeries Scissors as “extremely strong, being able to cut through up to 20 sheets of paper or 6 sheets of cardboard” yet “ideal for precision cutting.” One Amazon user “cut through 16 layers of fabric. My mom, sisters, and I made rag rugs where we needed many small pieces of fabric. I folded sheets, doubled over, up to eight times!”

The shears slice cleanly through various fabrics that — as I and many sewers can attest — do not lend themselves to clean cuts, like stretchy knits (e.g., t-shirt fabric), fleece, and denim. Although I think it would be sacrilegious to use these shears on anything but fabric or notions, apparently they are good for working on crafts. Sewing From Home named this model one of “Best All-Around Sewing Scissors” and many Amazon reviewers raved about using them in their crafting.

Pros: Very affordable and effective, comfortable handle, smooth and clean cutting

Cons: Can’t be sharpened, not the most durable

Buy Singer 8.5-inch ProSeries Scissors on Amazon for $8.25

Buy on Amazon for $8.25


Amazon

Finish off raw edges and prevent fraying with Pinking Shears by P. LOTOR. These shears are sharp, easy to use, and versatile.

I can’t resist using pinking shears to trim seam allowances for a “finished” look before ironing them flat. Do you want clean (not ragged) edges that resist fraying? Then grab a pair of pinking shears, preferably Pinking Shears by P. LOTOR. Measuring 9.3 inches in total length, they have 4.6-inch-long stainless steel blades joined by a ball-bearing joint for smooth operation. They can be a little tight or stiff initially; oiling or greasing the joint will help, but be careful not to get grease or oil on your fabric.

Sharp and strong, these shears are great for trimming raw edges and leaving a zigzag pattern that helps prevent (but doesn’t completely stop) the fabric from unraveling. Like most pinking shears, the Pinking Shears by P. LOTOR are large (relative to the more streamlined straight shears) and might not be the best for fine-detail cutting. Nonetheless, they cut very well through a couple layers of light-to-medium-weight fabric and heavy material like felt. Sew Kit Kit writes that they “cut your fabric with crisp[ness] and in one long stroke.” One Amazon user says they “cut through two layers of heavy corduroy like a hot knife in butter.”

Again, I shudder at the use of sewing shears on non-fabric items, but Sew Kit Kit describes the Pinking Shears by P. LOTOR as multipurpose scissors that can be used on paper, thin plastic, and other materials for crafting projects. And again, many Amazon users confirmed this and use the shears as crafting scissors. One person even claimed to use it on very thin metal; I think that has to make the shears dull, but you do you.

The Pinking Shears by P. LOTOR have comfortable, roomy soft-grip handles. Supposedly ambidextrous (i.e., designed for left- and right-handed users), some left-handed customers reported they didn’t work as well. Weighing about 5.6 ounces, they are the right weight and heft for most people.

The Pinking Shears by P. LOTOR was ranked the top pick on Suzy Quilts and Sew Kit Kit; they snagged the second highest rank on Best Reviews Guide. Among more than 750 Amazon reviewers, these shears earned 4.3 out of 5 stars.

Pros: Sharp, versatile, compatible for right-handed and left-handed users

Cons: Heavy for some, a little stiff at first, not comfortable for all lefties

Buy Pinking Shears by P. LOTOR on Amazon for $12.99

Buy on Amazon for $12.99

The best serrated scissors


Amazon

Fine fabrics deserve a fine touch. Havel’s 8-inch Serrated Fabric Scissors holds them securely for clean cutting.

Working with extremely thin, light, and slippery fabric can be frustrating: try cutting material that keeps sliding through the blades. What you want is a pair of serrated shears. Havel’s 8-inch Serrated Fabric Scissors have stainless-steel blades with fine teeth that hold the fabric in place while it’s being cut. Although pinking shears also have serrated blades, the serrations on these scissors are extremely tiny in order to grip slippery fabric gently.

One Amazon customer describes the experience of using the Havel’s 8-inch Serrated Fabric Scissors like this: They “pull the fabric in to cut, unlike regular scissors that push the fabric out.” As a sewer myself, I understand what this person is describing. Normally, as you cut through fabric, you feel like you’re separating the fabric into two pieces that fall to the sides. Serrated scissors do the opposite so you don’t feel like you are dropping or skimming along the fabric.

While the serrated blades grip fabric for a straight cut, they also provide security and flexibility “when cutting around shapes” as one Amazon wrote. That versatility is very important since anyone who sews knows that carving curves is when any fabric tends to slip, resulting in less precise cuts. These shears work on shiny fabrics like satin and even vinyl.

Amazon reviewers like that the Havel’s 8-inch Serrated Fabric Scissors are sharp, easy to use, and lightweight (great for arthritic hands). They also are sharp, stay sharp, and cut smoothly all the way to the tip. And, these shears come with a convenient blade cover.

Havel’s 8-inch Serrated Fabric Scissors are among the top picks on Mary Janes and Galoshes.

Pros: Lightweight, effective in holding and cutting slippery fabric

Cons: Not great for left-handed users

Buy Havel’s 8-inch Serrated Fabric Scissors on Amazon for $16.54

Buy on Amazon for $16.54


Amazon

This left-handed version of our overall best sewing shears offers the same great features: artisanal craftsmanship, exquisite sharpness, and precise, smooth cutting.

Sewing shears that are designed exclusively and effectively for left-handed users isn’t easy to find (I would know, as I’m a leftie sewer), but Gingher 8-Inch Left-handed Knife Edge Bent Trimmers fits the bill. This pair is a true left-handed cutting instrument.

Made in Italy, they’re hot-drop forged from high-carbon cutlery steel and double-plated with chrome and nickel. Ground and polished for durability and sharpness, these shears cut through multiple layers. Sound familiar? It’s pretty similar to the left-handed version of our overall favorite.

The Gingher 8-Inch Left-handed Knife Edge Bent Trimmers cut into the fabric with ease. It has a bent handle that lets you cut fabric lying flat on a table smoothly, efficiently, and comfortably.

These shears are “Best Scissors for Lefties” on MostCraft and earned the second-highest ranking in DIY Projects‘ review dedicated to left-handed scissors.

More than 200 Amazon users rated it an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 89% awarding it 5 stars. Weighing about 8 ounces, the Gingher 8-Inch Left-handed Knife Edge Bent Trimmers are on the heavy side for shears, which many people like but some find too heavy.

Two other complaints from Amazon customers were that the included nylon sheath is shaped for right-handed shears (thus useless for left-handed shears) and Gingher’s signature tin with a molded inset for holding shears is not included.

Pros: True left-handed design, comfortable, sharp, strong

Cons: Heavy for some

Buy Gingher 8-Inch Left-handed Knife Edge Bent Trimmers on Amazon for $25.49

Buy on Amazon for $25.49

Subscribe to our newsletter. Find all the best offers at our Coupons page. Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected]

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Tesla on course to make record deliveries in second quarter, leaked Musk e-mail says – The Globe and Mail

Tesla on course to make record deliveries in second quarter, leaked Musk e-mail says – The Globe and Mail

Tesla is on course to deliver a record number of cars in the second quarter, according to an internal email from CEO Elon Musk to staff.

David Zalubowski/The Associated Press

Tesla Inc is on course to deliver a record number of cars in the second quarter, beating the 90,700 it sent to customers in the final quarter of last year, according to an internal e-mail from Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk to staff.

Musk’s e-mail, widely posted on social media and authenticated for Reuters by a source familiar with the matter, also said the company had on average produced 900 Model 3 cars per day this week, bringing it closer to a target of 7,000 per week.

Tesla shares were up about 1 per cent after a volatile opening. They rose on the Reuters confirmation of the email, which appeared to counter concerns that demand was dropping after a first-quarter drop in sales.

Shares this week have traded at their lowest since late 2016 and were down for six consecutive sessions.

The communication is one of the first about sales by Musk following an agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that requires a securities lawyer to review his tweets and other communications that have material information.

Demand for Tesla’s Model 3 sedan and other cars has moved to the top of investors’ list of worries after the company reported slack first-quarter demand against a backdrop of U.S.-China trade tensions.

Musk’s focus on cost-cutting has underscored broader concerns about whether Tesla has enough cash to fund its operations while it tries to turn a profit.

In the email sent late on Wednesday, Musk said the company had racked up over 50,000 net new orders this quarter as of Tuesday.

“It’s the usual Elon Musk scheme: spread positive mood with good news. Elon is a marketing man, but the Tesla reality is sobering,” Nord LB analyst Frank Schwope said.

Tesla declined to comment on whether the email to staff required review under the agreement or if it had been reviewed. The SEC had sued Musk for fraud over his use of Twitter.

The April settlement called for “the pre-approval of an experienced securities lawyer employed by the company of any written communication” for topics including “production numbers or sales or delivery numbers (whether actual, forecasted or projected) that have not been previously published via pre-approved written communications issued by the company.”

Jay Dubow, former branch chief in the SEC’s enforcement division and a partner with Pepper Hamilton LLP, said, “If Musk made the communication publicly, then I believe it needs to be approved in advance by the company consistent with the settlement agreement. If the email was internal only, and was leaked, that is likely outside of the SEC’s settlement.”

Tesla had reported a 31 per cent fall in first-quarter deliveries and had warned that profit would be delayed until the latter half of the year as it struggled with shipments of Model 3 to China and Europe due to longer transit time.

The car maker is building a factory in China to produce Model 3 in the world’s largest auto market and to escape a rise in tariffs on cars imported from the United States.

“While we are critical of Tesla’s execution, we think people have been way too eager to assume the worst case scenario,” said Roth Capital analyst Craig Irwin, who has a “neutral” rating on the stock.

“Tesla is the EV industry leader for a reason, and we expect the company to remain successful.”

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Physicists take a step closer to building a graphene-based topological insulator

Physicists take a step closer to building a graphene-based topological insulator

Physicists take a step closer to building a graphene-based topological insulator
Andrea Young. Credit: SONIA FERNANDEZ

In 2005, condensed matter physicists Charles Kane and Eugene Mele considered the fate of graphene at low temperatures. Their work led to the discovery of a new state of matter dubbed a “topological insulator,” which would usher in a new era of materials science.

“A topological insulator is a material that is an insulator in its interior but is highly conducting on its surface,” said UC Santa Barbara assistant physics professor Andrea Young. In two-dimensions, an ideal topological insulator would have “ballistic” conductance at its edges, Young explained, meaning that electrons traveling through the region would encounter zero resistance.

Ironically, while Kane and Mele’s work would lead to the discovery of topological insulating behavior in a wide variety of , their original prediction—of a topological insulator in —has remained unrealized.

At the heart of the trouble is spin-orbit coupling—a weak effect in which the spin of the electron interacts with its orbital motion aroun the nucleus. Critical to all , spin-orbit coupling is exceptionally weak in graphene, so that any topological insulating behavior is drowned out by other effects arising from the surface on which the graphene is supported.

“The weak spin-orbit coupling in graphene is a great pity,” said postdoctoral researcher Joshua Island, because in practice things haven’t really worked out that well for topological insulators in two dimensions. “The two dimensional topological insulators known to date are disordered and not very easy to work with,” Island said. The conductance at the edges tends to diminish rapidly with the distance the electrons travel, suggesting it is far from ballistic. Realizing a topological insulator in graphene, an otherwise highly perfect two dimensional material, could provide a basis for low-dissipation ballistic electrical circuits or form the material substrate for topologically protected quantum bits.

Now, in work published in the journal Nature, Island, Young and their collaborators have found a way to turn graphene into a topological insulator (TI). “The goal of the project was to increase or enhance the spin-orbit coupling in graphene,” lead author Island said, adding that attempts have been made over the years with limited success. “A way to do this is to put a material that has a very large spin-orbit coupling in close proximity with the graphene. The hope was that by doing that your graphene electrons will take on this property of the underlying material,” he explained.

The material of choice? After studying several possibilities, the researchers settled on a transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD), consisting of the transition metal tungsten and the chalcogen selenium. Similar to graphene, tungsten diselenide comes in two-dimensional monolayers, bound together by van der Waals forces, which are relatively weak and distance-dependent interactions between atoms or molecules. Unlike graphene, however, the heavier atoms of the TMD lead to stronger spin-orbit coupling. The resulting device feature’s graphene’s ballistic electron conductance imbued with the strong spin-orbit coupling from the nearby TMD layer.

“We did see a very clear enhancement of that spin-orbit coupling,” Island said.

“By adding spin-orbit coupling of just the right type, Joshua was able to find that this in fact leads to a new phase which is almost topologically insulating,” Young said. In the original idea, he explained, the topological insulator consisted of a monolayer of graphene with a strong coupling.

“We had to use a trick only available in graphene multilayers to create the right type of ,” Young explained about their experiment, which used a graphene bilayer. “And so you get something that approximates two topological insulators stacked on top of each other.” Functionally, however, Island’s device performs as well as other known 2-D topological insulators—the all-important edge states propagate for at least several microns, much longer than in other known TI materials.

Furthermore, according to Young, this work is one step closer to building an actual topological insulator with graphene. “Theoretical work has since shown that a graphene trilayer, fabricated in the same way, would lead to a true topological insulator.”

Most importantly, the devices realized by Island and Young can be easily tuned between a topological insulating phase and a regular , which does not have conducting edge states.

“You can route these perfect conductors around wherever you want,” he said, “And that’s something nobody’s been able to do with other materials.”



More information:
Spin–orbit-driven band inversion in bilayer graphene by the van der Waals proximity effect, Nature (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1304-2 , https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1304-2

Citation:
Physicists take a step closer to building a graphene-based topological insulator (2019, June 12)
retrieved 21 June 2019
from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-physicists-closer-graphene-based-topological-insulator.html

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Apple building a FOLDING iPhone…

Apple building a FOLDING iPhone…

APPLE could be developing a FOLDING iPhone with a flexible screen, newly unearthed patent documents show.

The tech giant has submitted a patent showing a double-folding screen that can be bent backwards or folded inward from either end.

 An Apple patent document shows the design for a multiple folding device

4

An Apple patent document shows the design for a multiple folding deviceCredit: Apple

 A design shows what the possible folding iPhone could look like

4

A design shows what the possible folding iPhone could look likeCredit: www.foldable.news

​Could the Apple iPhone 11 be a foldable ​mobile phone?

It suggests the device could fold to be the size of a phone – but also open up to act as a tablet.

Huawei, Samsung and Lenovo have all launched foldable devices since Apple submitted its prototype last year.

The patent documents – found by Apple Patently – claim ownership of single and multiple-folding designs.

In the application, 37 drawings illustrate technical features and folding configurations.

 The patent shows a screen that can fold in multiple directions

4

The patent shows a screen that can fold in multiple directionsCredit: Apple

The folding mechanism appears to work via a hinge that rotates to allow the screen to fold in on itself.

It can also open up to a 90 degree and a 180 degree angle, the patent claims.

The screen can also fold into a triangular shape – suggesting that two people opposite each other can view content at the same time.

 Apple's patent filing shows a screen able to unfold to 90 degrees and 180 degrees

4

Apple’s patent filing shows a screen able to unfold to 90 degrees and 180 degreesCredit: Apple

Samsung unveil new foldable smart phone the Galaxy Fold

Speculating about possible designs, Patently Apple reported: “The flexible cover layer may be formed from a ceramic material (e.g., glass, strengthened glass, sapphire, zirconia) to provide some measure of protection for the flexible display from impact or other potential damaging contact.

“The flexible cover layer may also provide structural support for the display along both the folded and non-folded regions of the device.

“As used herein, a cover layer may also be referred to as a cover sheet or simply as a cover.

“In general, a foldable electronic device can be folded to accommodate a variety of form factors.

“For example, a foldable electronic device may be used in an unfolded configuration to allow use of an entire display area.”

Xiaomi tablet with foldable screen is revealed in leaked hands-on video

The apparent tech breakthrough could be rolled out to multiple Apple devices – including the iPad, MacBook and Apple Watch.

It comes after a previous patent by Apple titled ‘Flexible Display Devices’ was filed on October 12th, 2018

Designs have been transformed into convincing pictures showing how the product would look by Dutch industrial designer Roy Gilsing.

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It is unclear whether Apple actually plans to develop the folding device.

The Sun Online has reached out to the firm for comment.

It comes after Samsung recalled its £1,800 Samsung Galaxy Fold in April after early units being tested by gadget reviewers broke.

Chinese firm Royale beats Apple and Samsung in race to release ‘world’s first’ FOLDABLE phone with the Flexpai



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