ByMarlon McDonald, writer at Creators.co
Umm... are you going to drink that Skooma?
Marlon McDonald

Feeling a little empty after this year's sensational CES extravaganza? Not to worry, because Future Tech is on hand to help steady the nerves of all you gadget-hounds out there.

In this instalment we'll be looking at a recently revealed Microsoft patent for a foldable phablet, Nvidia's leaked Nintendo Switch competitor and smartdevice batteries that come complete with fire extinguishing technology. Yep, this is alright!

Microsoft Patents A Foldable Phone That's Also A Tablet

[Credit: Microsoft]
[Credit: Microsoft]

Yep, you read correctly. In a similar vein to Lenovo's incredible line of Yoga smartdevices—that can be folded into varying positions to suit different situations—Microsoft is currently attempting to patent a device that transforms from a phone into a tablet with a simple fold.

[Credit: Microsoft]
[Credit: Microsoft]

Not far removed from Microsoft's stunning Surface Book 2-in-1 laptop, and its outstanding hinge, the patent—found by MSPoweruser—features flexible hinges which connect the varying parts of the device together, allowing it to take on multiple form factors like a tablet or a tent mode, which would be incredible for multiplayer games.

Dat hinge tho... [Credit: Microsoft]
Dat hinge tho... [Credit: Microsoft]

Thanks to the ever increasing rate of technological advancements in the last years, it's surprising that foldable phones aren't already on the market, what with Sharp's almost infinitely malleable free-form display technology. But take this with a pinch of salt, reader, because you can imagine how many devices Microsoft patent that never reach the consumer.

[Credit: Microsoft]
[Credit: Microsoft]

I guess the success of this technology depends on how well Samsung and LG's foldable smartphones fare in the market when they release later this year.

Nvidia Shield Portable 2.0 Could Have Been The Nintendo Switch Of PC Gaming

Second-generation Shield Portable [Credit: Nvidia]
Second-generation Shield Portable [Credit: Nvidia]

Does anyone remember the Nvidia Shield? Nope? Oh, we've got a "kinda" in the back! I guess that's fair. Before Nvidia carted the Shield branding around for any old thing, like set-top Android TV boxes that also play games, or tablet PCs, the Shield was actually a handheld gaming device that... basically looked like a mix between a tablet, an controller and a legit future clam. Hashtag futureclam.

First-generation Shield [Credit: Nvidia]
First-generation Shield [Credit: Nvidia]

It's fair to say that the Shield Portable didn't exactly set the market alight, though it had a 720p screen and the ability to stream PC games via Nvidia's GeForce NOW streaming platform. Its high price range ($299 at launch) and lack of software rendered it a rather pricey niche product. Not to mention it's pretty damn ugly too, with huge bezels and clunky plastic jutting out from its facade.

But as this freshly uncovered Federal Communications Commission listing prove the second coming of the Shield Portable could have been an interesting and attractive proposition with its sleeker design. And I say 'could have been' because Lord knows whether it will actually be releasing.

Second-generation Shield Portable [Credit: Nvidia]
Second-generation Shield Portable [Credit: Nvidia]

Just like the Nintendo Switch, Shield Portable uses a custom Tegra processor, which would have made it the most powerful Android device on the market. But I'm guessing Nvidia hedged their bets on the pulling power of Nintendo as a means to finally claw their way into the console market, because their Android gaming devices are kinda Shielding them from making a profit.

Smartdevice Batteries Now Come With Built-In Fire Extinguishers

[Credit: crushader/Reddit]
[Credit: crushader/Reddit]

Which is definitely one of the greatest innovations of the year so far, right? Especially after the debacle that was Samsung's exploding Galaxy Note 7 from back in the pocketfire that was 2016. Researchers at Stanford University have created a lithium-ion battery that majestically contains a flame-retardant triphenyl phosphate.

If the battery's temperature was to go above 150C (302F), the triphenyl phosphate, which is sat inside a little shell residing within the battery fluid, is released by the shell melting and coats the electrolytes in the cooling solution. In tests, fires caused by batteries were said to have been extinguished in 0.4 seconds. Now how badass is that? And somewhere Samsung is currently fishing quarters out of its pockets.

And that's all the we have for today. Make sure to keep them eyes peeled for Now Loading's perusal through the innovative and insane ideas and technology of tomorrow!

(Sources: BBC, The Verge, FCC)

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