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Intel, Nokia Aim for 3-D in Smartphones

Pair pushing technologies for their MeeGo operating system, not necessarily Intel's Atom

3 min read

24 August 2010—Intel and Nokia will bring interactive 3-D environments to mobile phones through a collaboration with the University of Oulu in Finland, the companies said Monday. "3-D and virtual worlds really have the potential to revolutionize mobile and Internet users’ experiences," says Mika Setälä, Nokia’s director of industry alliances. "Consumers definitely will feel more involved and more engaged when they’re using these technologies."

The recent popularity of 3-D movies, such as Avatar, the growth in broadband capable of handling the high data rates necessary, and increased use of location-based applications for cellphones promise a lot of potential for mobile apps that let users collaborate in virtual environments, says Heikki Huomo, director of the Center for Internet Excellence at the University of Oulu, where about two dozen researchers in the joint project will be based. He envisions multiuser 3-D games, virtual business meetings, or professional training programs based on the technology. One near-term application might be a home control system that would allow a user to adjust home heating and lighting through a 3-D display on the phone. Huomo says 3-D could provide a new type of user interface analogous to the switch from typing commands to clicking icons on PCs.

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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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