Natal Coming Soon? Or Not-At-All?

Buzz builds over the impending release of Microsoft's motion-sensing Xbox camera.

1 min read

Lots of buzz and speculation online today over the release of Microsoft's Project Natal - the motion-sensing cam shown at the E3 videogame convention. 

Gamespot has a good piece that investigates the rumors of a possible 2010 launch.  Considering that the Microsoft exec tells Gamespot that "we are not even halfway through the current console generation life cycle," my guess is that 2010 may be premature.  But really that doesn't matter too much now does it?   Project Natal exists  as a working prototype - I played it - and that means we can already start thinking about what this means for next generaiton interface.

Also, it's worth noting that Microsoft isn't alone in this pursuit.   A company called Canesta is also showing 3-D vision cameras, and you can get a look at how this may change the battle over TV remotes here.

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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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