The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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CES 2012: Playing Asteroids With Just My Eyes

I checked out Tobii’s interactive gaze technology at the Consumer Electronics Show

1 min read

A number of companies at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show demonstrated alternatives to traditional computer and television controls, replacing the mouse or remote with voice, hand, or, in the case of Tobii Technology, eye. Tobii’s gaze tracking technology was surprisingly responsive—I lost this game of asteroids quickly not because the eye tracking software slipped up, but because I simply got overwhelmed by the number of targets coming at me. Guess I need a little more practice.

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