The October 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

Two Speakers Are Better Than 5.1

A better grasp of how a brain interprets the ears' input led to virtual surround, in which two speakers sound like many more

10 min read
Two Speakers Are Better Than 5.1

They are out there now, and more are coming: DVD players, television sets, set-top boxes, and receivers that include virtual surround technologies. Found under brand names such as TruSurround from SRS Labs and N-2-2 from Spatializer, these technologies envelop even those who are space, wiring, or speaker challenged in sound appearing to come from the front, rear, and sides.

Speakers and amps and wires—oh my!

Keep reading...Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

AI’s Grandmaster Status Overshadows Chess Scandal

Magnus Carlsen-Hans Niemann controversy underscores humans’ perpetual underdog role

4 min read
Two men playing chess

Magnus Carlsen [left] and Hans Niemann compete during the 2022 Sinquefield Cup at the Saint Louis Chess Club.

Crystal Fuller/Saint Louis Chess Club

Last week Magnus Carlsen, the world chess champion, directly accused Hans Niemann, a U.S. grandmaster, of cheating during their game at the Sinquefield Cup, in St. Louis, Mo. He thus made plain an accusation he had been hinting at for weeks.

Carlsen has so far provided no evidence to back up his charge, nor has he specified how the cheating took place. Everyone agrees, however, that if there was cheating, then it must have involved computers, because nothing else could dismay Carlsen, whose rating of 2856 is higher than that of any other player. And everyone seems to have chosen sides.

Keep Reading ↓Show less

IHMC’s Nadia Is a Versatile Humanoid Teammate

This robust research platform is still humble enough to teleoperate

7 min read
Several different views of a headless black humanoid robot demonstrating its flexibility
IHMC

The Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) is well known in bipedal robotics circles for teaching very complex humanoid robots to walk. Since 2015, IHMC has been home to a Boston Dynamics Atlas (the DRC version) as well as a NASA Valkyrie, and significant progress has been made on advancing these platforms toward reliable mobility and manipulation. But fundamentally, we’re talking about some very old hardware here. And there just aren’t a lot of good replacement options (available to researchers, anyway) when it comes to humanoids with human-comparable strength, speed, and flexibility.

Several years ago, IHMC decided that it was high time to build their own robot from scratch, and in 2019, we saw some very cool plastic concepts of Nadia—a humanoid designed from the ground up to perform useful tasks at human speed in human environments. After 16 (!) experimental plastic versions, Nadia is now a real robot, and it already looks pretty impressive.

Keep Reading ↓Show less
{"imageShortcodeIds":[]}

Get the Rohde & Schwarz EMI White Paper

Learn how to measure and reduce common mode electromagnetic interference (EMI) in electric drive installations

1 min read
Rohde & Schwarz

Nowadays, electric machines are often driven by power electronic converters. Even though the use of converters brings with it a variety of advantages, common mode (CM) signals are a frequent problem in many installations. Common mode voltages induced by the converter drive common mode currents damage the motor bearings over time and significantly reduce the lifetime of the drive.

Download this free whitepaper now!

Keep Reading ↓Show less