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First look: Oppo Find X and its pop-out camera

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Oppo Find XOppo’s Find X.YouTube/Unbox Therapy

  • Chinese phone maker Oppo has got a unique answer to the ugly front camera notch.
  • Its new Find X phone features a motorised pop-out camera.
  • It’s an eye-catching innovation, but the potential drawbacks are obvious.

It was a shock in 2017 when the iPhone X arrived with a beautiful, near full-screen display, marred by a weird black notch.

Bezel-free displays are difficult for phone makers to pull off, because the front-facing camera has to be housed somewhere. In Apple’s case, it’s housed in the notch.

Apple audaciously leaned into the notch, telling the public it embraced what was clearly a design compromise and aggressively marketing the iPhone X as a full-screen display.

Such is the luxe power of the iPhone that Android phone makers actually copied the notch into their own full-screen designs. The OnePlus 6 had a notch, as did the Huawei P20 Pro, and the LG G7 ThinQ.

But one massive Chinese phone manufacturer called Oppo has broken away from the pack and come up with its own solution.

Read more: A massive Chinese phone company that outsmarted Apple in China and India is now heading to the West

Oppo officially launched in the UK last month, finally introducing its high-end Find X flagship to the British market for £799 ($1,000).

Business Insider had about ten minutes with the Find X, and found it fairly obviously inspired by the iPhone X and its successors. The name, the Find X’s OLED display, and software features like Portrait Mode all showed Apple-like touches.

The Find X has a crazy pop-out camera which means there’s no notch on the display

But there was one feature that was distinctly un-Apple, and that was the Find X’s solution to the notch.

Oppo’s solution was to put the front-facing camera in a motorised pop-out section that automatically opens when you press the camera button. The camera isn’t just for photos and selfies, but for 3D facial recognition and O-Moji, Oppo’s take on Apple’s Animoji.

Here’s the pop-out camera in action — watch the top of the phone:

The camera appears on its own shelf, and disappears again as soon as you click away from the camera. The movement is surprisingly subtle and evidently designed to be as smooth and unobtrusive as possible.

Here it is from behind, courtesy of YouTuber Marques Brownlee:

And here’s how it looks as you’re taking a photo:

Oppo Find X photo modeThe popped-out camera is subtle, but you can see it at the top of the phone.Shona Ghosh/Business Insider

It’s hard to tell how hardy this motorised gimmick is. The phone isn’t waterproof, so it isn’t clear what would happen if any liquid fell into the slight gap between the camera array and the main smartphone body. Likewise, it’s hard to tell whether the mechanism might break if any dust or particles get caught up in it.

With so little time with the Find X, we couldn’t test the pop-up camera’s durability by, for example, dropping it from a height.

And a final practical consideration: how do you buy a protective smartphone cover if the phone keeps changing size?

Oppo Find XMarques Brownlee/YouTube/Shona Ghosh

In an in-depth review of the phone, TechRadar noted the mechanism takes a full second to unfurl and that might slow over time.

The sliding drawer also has a tendency to collect pocket lint and dust, which we assume isn’t particularly healthy for the handset when it slides back in,” the reviewers wrote. “When extended, it also feels a little spongey, offering moderate resistance but a little wobble when handled.”

The pop-out camera is certainly eye-catching. At the very least might help Oppo stand out in the crowded UK market, where the iPhone reigns king. While Oppo dominates in Asia, along with its sister companies Vivo and OnePlus, it’s still relatively unknown in the West.

Cute as the pop-out is, we’re struggling to see it ending the reign of the notch in 2019.

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

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