CESAsia 2015: Highlights From Day Two
Photo: Stephen Cass

Here are a few more items that stood out from the gaggle of gadgets on display. Whether they make their retail debut in their current form or are subsumed in other devices, they are poised to change the way we relate to electronics.

Slamtec Zeus


At first glance, this looks like the kind information display to be found in shopping malls and airports the world over, but it’s actually a mobile robot from local Shanghai firm Slamtec. The robot can navigate itself around a room (and people) autonomously, and in this configuration—with the display screens—it’s intended to act as a customer assistance robot for large stores.  All of the navigation intelligence and motive power is the base which allows users to replace upper portion for different tasks, including telepresence and (you guessed it) robot butler.

Nod On Soft Remote


ID-RF, a French division of Altyor Group with it’s manufacturing based in Shanghai, has developed a smart-home line of products called Nod On. There some examples of the soft remote from that line, which is a moveable switch that controls things like smart plugs wirelessly—without any batteries. It harvests all the energy it needs from the mechanical motion that occurs when a human presses one of its four buttons. The range is 30 meters indoors, 80 meters outdoors. A Nod On starter kit, which comes with a soft remote and two smart plugs, costs $129.

Photos: Stephen Cass

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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

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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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