Sennheiser Records 3D Audio Thriller with New Smart Headset

Today’s personal video viewing elevates the need for immersive sound. Sennheiser has created a plug-and-play solution with its new prosumer-priced 3D AMBEO Smart Headset, which was recently used for “Final Stop” — a Sennheiser-sponsored short video billed as “a 3D audio thriller.” Shot on an iPhone with a professional crew, “Final Stop” leverages horror soundscapes made affordably possible by the Apogee-fueled headset. Sennheiser introduced the device last year under the AMBEO brand as a personal binaural recording headset. Continue reading Sennheiser Records 3D Audio Thriller with New Smart Headset

HTC Beefs Up Resolution and Adds Headphones to Vive Pro

HTC’s new Vive Pro VR headset made a major splash this week in Las Vegas and received notable Best of CES awards, including the Best Gaming Product from Engadget and the Best VR/AR award from The Verge. HTC added built-in headphones to this version and increased the resolution of the dual-OLED displays 78 percent to 2,880 x 1,600 (1,400 x 1,600 per eye). The headphones offer spatial audio support, but no noise-canceling functionality. HTC added dual microphones and dual front-facing cameras, which should attract developers. Continue reading HTC Beefs Up Resolution and Adds Headphones to Vive Pro

Magic Leap Reveals AR Headset, Its First Step to End Reality

Magic Leap finally came out with Magic Leap One, its long-anticipated augmented reality headset. The goggles are dubbed Lightwear, powered by the Lightpack, a small computer that the user mounts on her hip. The two-piece AR device is “engineered to be lightweight and comfortable for hours of exploration,” says the company, noting that it combines its Digital Lightfield technology with environment mapping, precision tracking and soundfield audio. Magic Leap founder Rony Abovitz adds that the device also has a powerful CPU and GPU. Continue reading Magic Leap Reveals AR Headset, Its First Step to End Reality

Samsung Integrates Viv Labs Tech into AI Assistant Bixby 2.0

Today, Samsung’s AI assistant Bixby can respond to a few commands and interact with a few apps and services. However, the new Bixby 2.0 will integrate technology from Viv Labs, which Samsung acquired a year ago for $215 million. Viv co-creators Adam Cheyer and Dag Kittlaus previously created Siri prior to being acquired by Apple. Bixby 2.0, which will be available on devices including Samsung Smart TVs and Family Hub refrigerators, will be able to interact with more services and in a more sophisticated manner. Continue reading Samsung Integrates Viv Labs Tech into AI Assistant Bixby 2.0

Samsung’s 360 Round: 4K Camera Live-Streams 3D for VR

At the Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco this week, the company showcased its 360 Round video camera, which captures 360-degree 4K video that can be live-streamed or recorded. The camera, with 17 lenses, is slated for release in Q4. Samsung Electronics vice president Taeyoung Kim says the company is also developing a new version of mobile VR technology with a controller that offers six degrees of freedom (6DOF) and inside-out tracking. Samsung released its Gear VR headset in 2014, which offers three degrees of freedom. Continue reading Samsung’s 360 Round: 4K Camera Live-Streams 3D for VR

Samson Reveals Tiny Solution for Smartphone Audio at CES

While smartphones have massively shrunk the size of a credible video camera, sound has lagged behind until now. At CES 2017, New York-based Samson Technologies introduced its soon-to-be-released Go Mic Mobile system, featuring an absolutely tiny onboard professional two-channel wireless microphone receiver that attaches to a smartphone and operates the 2.4GHx band with 100 feet of operable range. It automatically selects the clearest operating channel with uncompressed, low latency audio transmission to avoid audio sync issues. Continue reading Samson Reveals Tiny Solution for Smartphone Audio at CES

CES: Wearables Sporting New Capabilities in Maturing Market

Eighty-four million wearables were sold in 2015, and experts are predicting the market will grow to 245 million by 2019. That means that, once again, CES 2017 will be the venue to check out the latest commercially available products and the newest technologies that will power wearables of the future. MEMS and sensors are key to wearables’ capabilities and, Karen Lightman, executive director of the MEMS Industry Group, says CES 2017 will showcase some “exciting” new wearables features. Continue reading CES: Wearables Sporting New Capabilities in Maturing Market

Sonos-Amazon Partnership Highlights Need for Improved Mics

Since Amazon debuted Echo in 2014, digital tinkerers have been creating hacks to connect Amazon’s speakers to Sonos’ better speakers. Now, Sonos has introduced a system, developed with Amazon, to let users do just that. With a limited beta test version available this year, the system will be released widely in 2017. This partnership highlights a larger problem in audio technology: digital assistants from Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft are being held back by limitations in microphone technology. Continue reading Sonos-Amazon Partnership Highlights Need for Improved Mics

NAB 2016: Sphericam and Liquid Cinema Look to Advance VR

Two companies at last week’s NAB Show, Sphericam and Liquid Cinema, are making interesting contributions to the advancement of VR Cinema. Sphericam is preparing to launch a 6-sensor, 4-microphone spherical camera the size of a baseball into the prosumer market. The camera can internally stitch at 30 fps and, with an attached PC, output 60 fps live video. Liquid Cinema has developed a comprehensive yet simple-to-use software package for editing VR footage, adding effects, and, most interestingly, re-establishing the director’s intent for where viewers should look at cut-points within the video. Continue reading NAB 2016: Sphericam and Liquid Cinema Look to Advance VR

Mics, Sensors, Natural Language Combine for New ‘Earables’

Audio is finally getting attention as an important component of wearables. Microphone companies are integrating MEMS and sensors to create a new category of “earables.” “Fitness bands and smartwatches have dominated thus far, as a source for sensor data,” says TechKnowledge Strategies principal analyst Mike Feibus, who moderated a panel on the topic at the MEMS and Sensors conference at CES. He identified the user interface — in this case, voice — as having the effectiveness to make earables marketable and profitable. Continue reading Mics, Sensors, Natural Language Combine for New ‘Earables’

Nokia’s Revival with Alcatel-Lucent Takeover, OZO VR Camera

On November 30, Nokia introduced its OZO virtual reality camera in Los Angeles. The camera, aimed at professional content creators, features eight 2K-by-2K-resolution cameras, with lenses capable of a 195-degree field of view and spaced at the same distance as between human eyes, as well as eight microphones for 3D audio capture. Weighing 10 pounds and expected to cost $50,000, the OZO is capable of full 360-degree stereoscopic video in real time and its output is compatible with existing VR headsets

Continue reading Nokia’s Revival with Alcatel-Lucent Takeover, OZO VR Camera

Amazon’s New $199 Echo Speaker Interacts with Shoppers

Users can listen to music through Amazon’s new Echo speakers, but more importantly, this new device listens to users as well. Similar to Siri, users can ask the Echo speakers (which go by the name Alexa) about the weather, news, math problems, definitions, and anything else that can be looked up on Wikipedia. They can also set timers and make shopping lists. Someday those shopping lists may make it possible for Amazon to create an online ordering service through voice commands. Continue reading Amazon’s New $199 Echo Speaker Interacts with Shoppers

SoundSight Unveils Headphones That Feature Live Streaming

SoundSight has designed wireless smart headphones that include a built-in 1080p camera, six microphones, voice control, and a six-axis gyroscope and accelerometer. The device uses Bluetooth that enables live-streaming video from the wearer’s perspective. The user can also edit recorded footage using an app on iOS or Android devices before sharing it on social media. Editing options include adding music, filters, effects and recording controls. Continue reading SoundSight Unveils Headphones That Feature Live Streaming