While Microsoft's motion-sensing cam - code-named Project Natal - has been garnering buzz, Sony isn't staying out of the hive.  Here's a video of a new 360 degree 3D image display from the company.  Gamers are already imagining what kind of new experiences can be rendered with such a device - as if it's the holographic chess board from Star Wars made real.  Between innovations like this and Natal (and of course the Wii and iPhone), the game industry is going through a period of explosive transformation.  Slowly but surely, the whole idea of the screen is breaking apart.  Gaming is becoming more immersive, more fluid, more mobile.  The Holodeck- the virtual world imagined in Star Trek - may be closer than it seems.

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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
Blue

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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