The November 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

MIT Gets in the Motion-Sensing Game

A new hands-free interface arrives.

1 min read

2010 is shaping up to be the Year of Hands-Free Controls.

Last week I blogged about a patent from Sony for a new motion-sensing videogame controller.

This comes after several months of hype/speculation about Microsoft's Project Natal:  a motion-sensing camera for the Xbox 360.

Now add BiDi to the mix.  Developed at the Massachussets Institue of Technology, BiDi is described as "an example of a new type of I/O device that possesses the ability to both capture images and display them. This thin, bidirectional screen extends the latest trend in LCD devices, which has seen the incorporation of photo-diodes into every display pixel. Using a novel optical masking technique developed at the Media Lab, the BiDi Screen can capture lightfield-like quantities, unlocking a wide array of applications from 3-D gesture interaction with CE devices, to seamless video communication."

Will gesturing be the mouse of the next decade?

I spoke about innovations in videogame interfaces on NPR Weekend Edition yesterday.  You can listen here.

The Conversation (0)

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.

Keep Reading ↓Show less