Air Hockey 2.0

Engineering a classic arcade game for the digital generation.

1 min read

Arcades have been struggling to survive ever since the Playstation Nation booted up to higher quailty gaming experiences at home. 

Improving the arcade experience has been hit or miss.

So-called location-based games - those big machines that simulate, say, surfing or motorcycling - charge a premium for the kind of immersive experience you can't get in your living room (even with a Wii).  With the exception of Dance Dance Revolution, a boogie-by-numbers phenomenon that successfully made the precipitous leap from Japan to the U.S., however, we have yet to see an arcade game spark a Pac-Man sensation for a new generation.

Now Sega seems to be taking a more retro approach by re-enginnering one classic arcade experience - air hockey. has a preview and video of one of these new machines.  Yes, you still play with a puck and paddle, but there's a whole lot more happening on the responsive, video playfield.   Here's a look.  Maybe there's no room to improve on some games after all.


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Deep Learning Could Bring the Concert Experience Home

The century-old quest for truly realistic sound production is finally paying off

12 min read
Image containing multiple aspects such as instruments and left and right open hands.
Stuart Bradford

Now that recorded sound has become ubiquitous, we hardly think about it. From our smartphones, smart speakers, TVs, radios, disc players, and car sound systems, it’s an enduring and enjoyable presence in our lives. In 2017, a survey by the polling firm Nielsen suggested that some 90 percent of the U.S. population listens to music regularly and that, on average, they do so 32 hours per week.

Behind this free-flowing pleasure are enormous industries applying technology to the long-standing goal of reproducing sound with the greatest possible realism. From Edison’s phonograph and the horn speakers of the 1880s, successive generations of engineers in pursuit of this ideal invented and exploited countless technologies: triode vacuum tubes, dynamic loudspeakers, magnetic phonograph cartridges, solid-state amplifier circuits in scores of different topologies, electrostatic speakers, optical discs, stereo, and surround sound. And over the past five decades, digital technologies, like audio compression and streaming, have transformed the music industry.

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