1889: xkcd Phone 6

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xkcd Phone 6
We understand your privacy concerns; be assured that our phones will never store or transmit images of your face.
Title text: We understand your privacy concerns; be assured that our phones will never store or transmit images of your face.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: All features need an explanation, the version number war and title text as well. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

This is the sixth entry in the ongoing xkcd Phone series, released the day after Apple announced their new iPhone X with facial recognition features.

List of features

Front camera (centered for eye contact during video chat)
Front camera is a common feature of smartphones. The camera lens is located on the same side of the phone's case as the main screen and therefore it is possible to capture the image of the user's face looking at the screen and display the interlocutor's face on the screen simultaneously, enabling video chat. However, as the camera is usually located above the screen, a user looking at the displayed image of the other person directs his or her eyes at the center of the screen and not at the camera's lens. This is very visible on the other end of the chat as if the person talking was looking down and not in the interlocutor's face which is an uncomfortable situation for most people. For this reason, professionals involved in movie or TV-making, like actors or reporters, are trained to look straight into the camera's lens while talking, which creates impression of looking straight at the viewer's face. During a video chat, however, looking into the lens of an above-screen camera does not allow one to see the interlocutor's face clearly because it is then in the peripheral field of vision.
To solve this conundrum, Randall proposes locating the camera lens right in the middle of the screen. Therefore the user looking at the screen to see the other person's face would be also looking at the lens, creating an impression of a straight look on the other end of the chat. This is absurd since the lens would then take place of some of the center pixels of the screen, not allowing the display the center part of the captured image of the other person's face (like eyes and/or lips) which is most important for nonverbal communication. Such location of the camera lens would also likely interfere with touch-screen function. It will make other applications on the phone difficult to use, since virtually no user interface is designed to accommodate for a blind spot in the center.
Full-width rear camera
CDC partnership - phone automatically administers seasonal flu vaccine to cheek every year
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a government agency tasked with addressing public health concerns such as infectious diseases, including seasonal flu. A common way of limiting spread of an infectious disease is vaccination, which most often involves administering a specially prepared medicine via an intramuscular injection. This features implies that the phone would automatically perform such an injection once a year, by shooting a needle out of a small aperture while the user is holding the phone to his or her cheek during a call.
12-function
Most smartphones can be used for more than 12 different things.[citation needed]
Dishwasher safe
Usually a feature of plastic containers or fancy dishes. Unlikely to appear on a smartphone, though potentially useful if you need to clean your screen.
GPS transmitter
Many smartphones have a receiver for the Global Positioning System, which allows a phone to compute its position based on signals from the constellation of GPS satellites. However, a device with a "GPS transmitter" would broadcast signals that would interfere with the GPS receivers of all devices nearby
3-G acceleration
Usually, a phone is 3g compatible if it uses a certain standard ("third generation") for data transmission. However, 3-G acceleration implies the phone can accelerate at a rate or 3 times the acceleration of gravity, or approximately 30 m/s².
Portable, solar-heated
Portability is pretty much the entire point of using a mobile phone, so advertising portability is rather pointless. Solar power charging could be a very useful feature on a phone, but solar heating usually applies to plumbing, where a water tank is heated by the sun and used to supply hot water to taps. Technically, as the sun heats up everything on Earth, the phone is in fact solar heated.
Pore-cleaning strip
Something sticky on that location would be very annoying for people trying to make a call with beards.
Maximum strength
Never needs sharpening
Phones do not need to be sharpened in the first place.[citation needed] This is a feature more likely to be used in a knife advertisement or apply to a mechanical pencil, which does have the advantage of never needing to be sharpened as opposed to a normal pencil.
Can survive up to 30 minutes out of water
This is a play on the common IP-rating of water resistance, which is typically rated for submersion to a rated depth for 30 minutes. A phone which could only be used or carried for 30 minutes and then needed to be immersed in water would be rather inconvenient.
Exclusive Audubon Society app identifies birds and lets you control their flight
National Audubon Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to conservation of nature, mainly of birds, also organizing open birdwatching events. An app that identifies bird species, as for example from a photo of a bird made by the smartphone itself, would be cool. An app allowing you to control the bird's flight would be way cooler, but it is not possible at the current state of technology[citation needed] - and it would fly in the face of the Audubon Society core activity. This is a reference to drones (artificial "birds") which are often controlled by a smartphone app. This may also be a reference to xkcd 1425 Tasks, in which an app that can recognize if a bird is on camera is proposed.
Extra screen
Because of the center camera, an additional section of screen was added. This is similar to the new iPhone, which also has a few extra pixels up there.
Wireless charging port
Wireless charging has no wires, and needs no port.
Safe for ages 6 – 8 months, 10 months, 18 months – 3 years, and 12 years and older
Usually an item is deemed safe for a particular age or older, or (in the case of toys) is recommended for a particular age range. This is unusual in that it's a hodge-podge of age ranges with no apparent reason why some ages are safe and others are not.
Screen goes past the edge
An over-exaggerated version of the "edge to edge" displays in recent generations of smartphones
High thread count CPU
High thread count typically applies to bedding, not CPU threads.
Shroud of Turin-style facial transfer unlock
The Shroud of Turin is claimed to display an image of the face of Jesus Christ, appearing as if it was transferred to the cloth. Presumably, to unlock this phone, the user must press their face against it.
Fonts developed by NASA
NASA's expertise is not in fonts, and the fonts on almost all modern phones are the same.
Includes applicator
What sanitary towel packages often say.
Burns clean coal
There is a push for clean energy production as a result of increased awareness of global warming. While it may be useful for a phone to be able to produce its own energy, coal is by definition not a clean energy source because it produces carbon dioxide. The phone is not stated to have a vent for the CO2 to escape, which would technically make the coal "clean" as it is not entering the atmosphere. However, the gas is instead trapped inside the phone, which will quickly ruin it through a combination of heat and pressure.
Pre-seasoned
Pre-seasoned typically refers to cast iron cookware which is ready to use out of the box, as opposed to needing to season it with oil and heat. It can also refer to packaged meats which are ready to cook without needing to be seasoned with herbs and spices.
Broad-spectrum SPF 30
The xkcd phone somehow gives an SPF 30 level of skin protection from the sun.
College-ruled
College-ruled is a style of notebook paper having narrower lines in order to fit more text per page.
Sterile packaging
Radium backlight

The discovery of the phosphorescent element radium sparked a brief fad in which some watch makers painted watch faces or hands with the substance so the time could be read at night. However, it was eventually realized that regular exposure to radium could result in radiation poisoning, particularly for the workers assembling and painting the watches. A radium-based backlight would therefore be both potentially dangerous (especially for an object carried on one's person much of the time) but also largely useless, as the phosphorescence of radium is rather dim compared to conventional phone back lights.


4K pixels (50×80)
This refers to having 4,000 pixels in the screen in total, rather than a screen width of ~4000 pixels. TV's advertised as "4K" are typically up to 4096 × 2160 pixels, or 8.8 million pixels. That would be outstanding for a cell phone whereas 4,000 pixels total would be horrendous. As a comparison, the old Commodore VIC-20 with a resolution of 176 × 184 would have over 8 times the pixels of this phone. It is however quite close to the screen resolution of the sturdy Nokia 3310, boasting a total of 4032 pixels positioned 84 × 48.

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
[A smartphone is shown, the screen is slightly wider than the case, in the middle is a photo lens, and at the right bottom a small extra part is added to the screen.]
[On top a bracket ranges nearly over the entire width of the case. The text reads:]
Full-width rear camera
[The label at the photo lens is:]
Front camera (centered for eye contact during video chat)
[The label on the extra part says:]
Extra screen
[At the bottom below the case a label reads:]
Wireless charging port
[The labels left to the phone are:]
4k pixels (50x80)
Radium backlight
Sterile packaging
College-ruled
Broad spectrum SPF 30
Pre-seasoned
Burns clean coal
Includes applicator
Fonts developed by NASA
Shroud of turn-style facial transfer unlock
High thread count CPU
Screen goes past the edge
Safe for ages 6-8 months, 10 months, 18 months-3 years, and 12 years and older
[The labels right to the phone are:]
CDC partnership: Phone automatically administers seasonal flu vaccine to check every year
12-function
Dishwasher safe
GPS transmitter
3-G acceleration
Portable, solar-heated
Pore-cleaning strip
Maximum strength
Never needs sharpening
Can survive up to 30 minutes out of water
Exclusive Audubon Society app identifies birds and lets you control their flight
[Text below the phone:]
Introducing
The XKCD PHONE 6, VIII, 10, X, 26, and 1876
We didn't start this nonconsecutive version number war, but we will not lose it.™®©º
comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!

Discussion

For 'Never Needs Sharpening' I thought it was an implication that the screen that goes past the edge is sharp, but does not need the user to sharpen it. A sharp screen that extends past the edge is, naturally, an extremely inconvenient feature. 141.101.76.28 21:10, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

I tried to access http://xkcd.com/MDCCCLXXXIX but I got a "CDIV NOT FOVND" error.Taibhse (talk) 14:38, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

1876 is the year of Alexander Graham Bell's telephone patent US174465 "Improvement in telegraphy" and the "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you." transmission.--Laverock (talk) 15:31, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

Maybe "SPF 30" refers to how easily the phone becomes sunburned, rather than to how much protection the phone provides to you. 162.158.63.16 15:40, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

"... the phone cannot be ... inserted ... [in]to something else." Is it wrong that I know a website that disproves this? These Are Not The Comments You Are Looking For (talk)

"Never Needs Sharpening," while applicable to pencils, is more likely a reference to those crappy knives often hocked in infomercials. See the TvTropes entry of the same name: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NeverNeedsSharpening 172.68.133.222 16:38, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

The promotional material for xkdc Phone 5 said they refused to skip numbers!--Laverock (talk) 17:18, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

Did anyone else notice that the title text contradicts with one of the main design features of the phone? Having a front camera in the middle of the screen specifically for video calling, then claiming that the phone never transmits images of the user's face (or even restricting the phone's software/hardware such that it cannot transmit images of the user's face) is somewhat of a contradiction. 162.158.154.61 17:20, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

"We didn't start this war" reminiscent of War for the Planet of the Apes tagline? 108.162.215.238 17:25, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

I thought it might have been a small reference to "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel? See also comics 1775 and 1794. --108.162.219.88 11:17, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

The "camera in the middle of the screen" is (hopefully) not too far away: [1] [2] Sysin (talk) 19:21, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

º or o or ° or ˚?

Which one is it at the end of the trademarked (and registered to be so), copyrighted tagline?

(Currently it's transcribed as º.)

--Das-g (talk) 20:09, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure it's the degree symbol ° because the letter before is a C for copyright or Celsius. Open the original 2x picture and you can see there is no underline like here: º. Thanks for this question. --Dgbrt (talk) 20:35, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
What's the future?

iPhone 8 followed by 9 then 10 and 11? And the phablet iPhone X followed by XI and XII? That X is pronounced ten. And what number will the next xkcd phone use (besides the 7)? --Dgbrt (talk) 21:12, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

The iPhone X is not a Phablet. It is "smaller" than the iPhone 8 Plus (see https://www.apple.com/iphone/compare/) and only slightly larger than the iPhone 8. And they're calling it the iPhone X (ten) because it is a step forward. Presumably the next phone will be the 11, unless they choose to go with a digit after the X, following OSX's approach. --Rand (talk) 22:18, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
Phablet was wrong, but that's what I've found at the first documentations. But for sure the next phone will not be 11, probably again two products, maybe then 9 and XL... --Dgbrt (talk) 23:39, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
I'm wondering if the iphone is meant to be the Iphone "Ex" or "Ten" - a la OSX (which should be OS Ten, not Oh Es Ex) 162.158.154.55 07:27, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
Citation needed

Is this template still that funny that it's worth to mention it more often then the existing numbers of Google Chrome versions? I say this isn't funny anymore for a long time[citation needed]. --Dgbrt (talk) 21:31, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

Non-consecutive numbers joke

The joke in the title text is that Apple just jumped from iPhone 8 to iPhone 10.

The joke needs to be explained somewhere in the text. Dgbrt reverted my edit in such a way that the joke is no longer explained.

Please fix.--Rand (talk) 22:13, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

In case anyone doubts the joke: If I type "why did a" into Google, it autofills to "why did apple skip iphone 9". A lot of people are asking this question. Randall, meanwhile, is making fun of Apple for skipping iPhone 9. --Rand (talk) 22:24, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
Here's somebody else making a similar joke at Apple's expense: http://ew.com/news/2017/09/12/in-memoriam-iphone-9/--Rand (talk) 22:26, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

OMG, iPhone 8 and iPhone X were released at the same time. There is no current phone existing which follows iPhone 8 and there may be a iPhone 9 in the future. The X is pronounced ten but that phone is not the successor of the iPhone 8. Until now Microsoft is the one company who omitted the version number 9. To claim this on Apple we still have to wait for the next phone.--Dgbrt (talk) 23:13, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

No, in order to know with certainty that Apple skipped a version number (as opposed to releasing a ten followed by a nine) we would need to wait for the next phone. In order to joke about it... well, half the internet is already making that joke: https://www.bustle.com/p/iphone-9-memes-jokes-pay-homage-to-the-forgotten-generation-2343796. And yes, Randall Munroe is also making that joke.--Rand (talk) 23:20, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
Of course people are joking. But it's still only Microsoft omitting the 9. Randall jokes about this by presenting the xkcd phone VIII, and many other names, for the same major features. --Dgbrt (talk) 23:30, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
They're joking about skipping the iPhone 9. Randall refers to nonconsecutive version numbers: that is, version numbers that skip. There's no ambiguity here. The graceful thing for you to do here would be to undo your revision, improving the language if necessary. If you're not willing to, I'll let others handle the edit warring / making the consensus clear.--Rand (talk) 00:08, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

The best I could find for what "26" is referencing in the context of version skipping is Linux kernel 2.6, which was the last in the old versioning scheme of "evens stable, odds development" before they moved to version 3.0 which used a different scheme. If you search in the context of phones the current Android API version for 8.0 Oreo is 26, but there was no version skip there. Both theories are weak, so does anyone have another idea? 173.245.51.35 14:12, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

26 could refer to the number of letters in the alphabet. The 26th letter is "Z," which seems appropriate given that the previous "number" shown is "X," as if to suggest that "Y" was skipped in a sense, or that the numbering system suddenly decided to jump to the last number in a sequence for no reason. --162.158.78.40 19:39, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

This explanation makes the most sense. iPhone X pronounced "ten" could be followed by Y, then Z. Twisting this, it becomes iPhone 26 pronounced "zee". 162.158.74.201 12:52, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

Shroud of turin style facial transfer means you'd have to press the phone against your face until somehow an impression of your face was registered, in the same way as an imprint of oils(?) from a face is left on the turin shroud. This is more amusing, and ridiculous, than the current explanation. 141.101.99.233 05:13, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

The war of nonconsecutive numbering goes back to 1999 at least, as Slackware jumped from Version 4.0 to 7.0 because other distros had been iterating version numbers quicker, and Patrick Volkerding wanted to catch up: http://www.slackware.com/faq/do_faq.php?faq=general#0 162.158.34.76 12:48, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

isn't "dishwasher safe" another waterproofing joke? one of the the reasons that Apple gave for removing all the ports (apart from "because we hate you") was to allow the phones to be sealed and therefore properly waterproof. the whole 1m/30mins thing is put into the shade by 50 degrees for 3 hours, no? --Misterstick (talk) 13:12, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

High thread count CPU

There is a therm called "CPU-Threads", which is the number of parallel processes in the CPU. (e.g. 4-Core + hyper-threading (x2) = 8 CPU-Threads) --172.68.51.136 18:45, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

Pre-seasoned

Is also used for Steaks (and some other ingredients) sold already seasoned. (Bot is less compliant with solar heating) --172.68.51.136 18:49, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

Extra screen

There are already phones with a small rectangular extra screen, although on the top instead of the bottom. e.g. LG V10, LG X screen. It is used for additional buttons and always-on notifications there. I think the first Samsung phones with edged screen also used this as a second screen with addition controls. A Screen on the bottom wouldnt be much worse.--162.158.89.205 09:33, 18 September 2017 (UTC)

I second this interpretation. There is a play on words with "extra screen" meaning either "an additional screen" or "more screen" 172.68.65.18 14:33, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
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