Posts Tagged ‘noise’
Woojer is a wearable mobile accessory designed to allow its wearer to feel what they’re listening to on their mobile device — via the medium of haptic feedback — rather than simply having banging tunes inserted into their earholes. It’s also being aimed at gamers who want a more immersive in-game experience, or for watching movies or other audiovisual content on a mobile device.
The Israel-based startup behind Woojer, which closed a $ 600,000 angel round earlier this year, has been developing the product since the start of 2011. It currently has a working prototype — and plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign next month to raise funding for an initial production run. If that’s successful, they hope to ship to backers in early Spring 2014.
How exactly does Woojer work? Its creators describe it as a “tactile transducer” that reproduces sound as a polyphonic vibration, allowing a haptic, noiseless element to augment the standard stereo audio the user hears via their own headphones (which plug into the Woojer box via a 3.5mm headphone jack).
Unlike some of the rival offerings in this space, such as subpac and bassAware Holster, Woojer doesn’t require the user to strap on some form of backpack or wear a special headset. (Or look like they buy all their clothes at Cyberdog.) Instead, the roughly matchbox-sized box is clipped to clothing so it rests against the body. Its low frequency vibrations then create a physical bass sensation — similar to hearing live music at a concert or cinema surround sound. Or that’s the theory.
Here’s how Woojer explains the tech — which it will be showing off next week at Pepcom in San Francisco:
The key Woojer know-how lies in the novel tactile transducer that reproduces sound as a polyphonic vibration. The device has accurate frequency response throughout the sonic and subsonic ranges. Clipped to the clothing along strategic meridian bodylines, the signal synergy convinces the brain that the whole body is exposed to high acoustic energy by the principle of “Perceptual Inference”. The device is compact, low cost, energy efficient and scalable. We have demonstrated both corded and wireless configurations.
“When playing games on smartphones or tablets with headsets the audio experience is two dimensional. With our device you ‘feel the sound’ in a similar manner when in the presence of strong speakers. Users claim it feels like being at a club or in a cinema with surround sound,” adds Woojer founder Neal Naimer.
“The Woojer device can be used in many ways — to give some simple examples: simulators, in games to provide subsonic sensation — unaudible feelings of people walking behind you, earthquakes [etc].”
Advantages over rival offerings in this space include its small size and portability; lower price (final retail price is still being decided but Naimer suggests a ballpark figure of $ 70 for two devices vs $ 300 for some rival offerings); polyphonic sound; improved latency over rivals’ so that the tactile sensation doesn’t lag the audiovisuals; and a longer play time (Woojer will be good for more than four hours of use), according to Naimer.
The startup is taking to Kickstarter to push production forward rather than attempting to partner with games or headset makers as a faster way to get to market.
“We can partner with any of the OEMs (both games and headsets) and are in touch with a number, but their decision cycle is proving to be too long for us,” Naimer told TechCrunch earlier this year, adding: “There is no real need for a formal relationship at the outset as we are backwardly compatible with all headsets and all consoles that have a standard audio jack.”
Here’s a video of Woojer’s Naimer pitching the concept earlier this year:
If you spend a bulk of your waking hours typing away at the computer, you know the value of a solid dependable keyboard. That’s especially true for software developers like Jeff Atwood, who tap away at keys for a living. Dissatisfied with the current state of keyboards, he decided to take matters into his own hands and contacted Weyman Kwong of WASD Keyboards in early 2012 to come up with his vision of the perfect one. More than a year later, and the CODE keyboard was born as the result of that collaboration. Atwood describes it as the “only simple, clean, beautiful backlit mechanical keyboard [he has] ever found.”
Not only are the keys raised and tactile, they’re equipped with Cherry MX Clear mechanical switches, which provide satisfying actuation feedback with none of that annoying clicking noise. There’s also customizable LED backlighting, 6-key USB rollover, navigation keys that double as multimedia controls, a detachable micro USB cable and easily modifiable keys for those who like custom layouts. Weighing in at 2.42 pounds, the CODE promises to be a solid piece of kit, complete with rubber coated feet and a sturdy steel plate mount. Of course, all of that comes at a cost — both the 104-key and 87-key model retails for a hefty $ 149.99 each. Still, for those who truly love the feel and functionality of a good keyboard, the CODE sounds like it’s worth the premium.
Filed under: Peripherals
Via: Coding Horror
Source: CODE keyboards
Seen here looking suspiciously like an electric wheelchair somebody tore the seat off of and replaced with some type of space-age vibrator, a new stealth robot prepares to infiltrate my dreams and turn them into nightmares. The robot, developed by a lot of jerks at the CSIRO Autonomous Equipments Laboratory in Australia, takes benefit of background noise to understand when it can slip around quietly and undetected.
Geared up with a camera, laser scanner, notebook computer, and a sound pressure level meter, the as yet unnamed four-wheel robot has the capacity to predict how long background seems like mobile phone, cars, and animal calls will persist, permitting it to time its very own motions and seem emissions for maximum stealth.
The robotic can use its sound calculations to topics up to 160 feet away, as well as has the capacity to map terrain for shadowed areas most effectively for hiding.
I suggest, sure, but I do not care how silently it can navigate– it still stands out like a giraffe at a hippo celebration. They require to make it appear like a rock or something. Or– OR– make it look like it simply exploded and is now a smoldering piece of busted shit. I elect the 2nd one.
Thanks to Niknak and Boomsling, who agree robots shouldn’t be quiet, they ought to have sirens and flashing lights attached so they cannot sneak up on you.
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In brief order, the Sequoia supercomputer and its 1.57 million processing centers will shift to a life of top-secret analysis at the National Nuclear Protection Administration, but till that day comes, analysts are presently working to ensure its seamless operation. Most lately, a group from Stanford took the helm of Sequoia to run computational fluid dynamics simulations– a process that requires a carefully tuned balance of computation, memory and communication parts– in order to better understand engine sound from supersonic jets. As a motivating sign, the group had the ability to effectively push the CFD simulation beyond 1 million cores, which is a first of its kind and bodes effectively for the scalability of the system. This and various other examinations are presently being performed on Sequoia as part of its “shakeout” period, which allows its caretakers to much better understand the capabilities of the IBM BlueGene/Q computer. Should all go well, Sequoia is arranged to begin a life of government work in March. In the meantime, you’ll discover a couple views of the setup after the break.
Submitted under: ScienceCommentsVia: TechCrunch
Apple has a couple new patent applications this morning, spotted by AppleInsider and detailing two very useful features for mobile devices. The first is a method for detecting and adjusting noise resulting from an iPhone vibrating in silent mode, and the second is a design for auto-zooming of content based on the proximity of a user’s face to a screen to present content at the best size for reading depending on how close they are and what they’re looking at.
The vibration motor patent is intended to make silent mode on an iPhone truly silent, by eliminating the noise it can make when the phone is on a flat, hard surface and notifications come in. With a phone call, that can become a major annoyance, especially if you’re not in a position to be able to get to the phone to silence it right away. To remedy this, Apple has worked out a system where microphones or motion sensors on a device can pick up on cues that indicate a phone is making a lot of noise, and change the vibration levels and patterns to compensate and minimize rattle.
Apple covers two types of vibration motors in this patent, including the rotational model it uses in the current iPhone 5 and older models, and the linear magnetic version it implemented in the iPhone 4S and CDMA iPhone 4. Methods to compensate for excessive vibration in both are described, and Apple also addresses how to still provide notifications that will signal a user even if vibration has to be turned way down, describing visual feedback and soft audio alerts that would actually still be quieter than an iPhone rumbling on a hard table top. Already, users can set their camera flash LED to provide notifications via their iPhone’s accessibility settings, which is one way to get around having either an audible or vibration alert signal.
The other patent filing that turned up today describes a replacement for pinch-to-zoom, which provides a way to dynamically alter the size of content based on how close a user gets to the screen. Text and images can both be enlarged or reduced according to what a device’s camera, proximity sensor or SONAR sensor (which Apple described in a previous patent) tells the system about how far away a user’s face is. In one mode called “comfort,” the system would zoom out on content when a user gets close to the screen, and enlarge it when they back further way, making it more convenient and easier to read in each situation. In another mode, called “zoom,” the action is reversed, which could come in handy for more visual content, like if you’re surveying a full painting at a distance, and then move in close for a look at some particular detail.
If executed well, this could come in handy as a replacement or supplement for the pinch-to-zoom gesture on small-screened devices especially, where zooming in and out is a constant, repetitive process, especially when viewing web content and trying to navigate full web sites not optimized for mobile. Both the zooming and the vibration alert patent show Apple’s attention to the finer details of the smartphone user experience, and while neither of these designs may ever make it to market, you can tell Apple’s aware of where its devices (and smartphones in general) offer opportunities to significantly improve a user’s enjoyment of their phone.
Short variation: These two battery-powered bluetooth speakers are the first modern-day boomboxes created by the freshly produced subsidiary Logitech UE. Acquired in 2008, Ultimate Ears is prominent for its in-ear screens made use of by lots of artists in concert, not for its speakers. Also though the Logitech UE Mobile Boombox is restricted, it is no surprise given the entry-level prices. The real surprise originates from the big brother, the Logitech UE Boombox.
Logitech UE Boombox
- 2 woofers, 2 tweeters and four passive radiators
- Bluetooth (A2DP profile) and 3.5 mm audio output
- 6-hour rechargeable battery
- 4.4 lbs (2kg)
- MSRP: $ 250
- Logitech UE Product Page
- Precise and very gratifying noise
- Extremely effective performance for this size
- Bass-heavy sound profile, ideal for partying
- Bass-heavy sound profile, wearing down with some tracks
- No audio cable in the box
When it comes to selecting the right speaker for your demands, it ’ s frequently an extremely personal option due to appear profiles, music tastes and opposite niceties. The Logitech UE Boombox doesn ’ t modification the regulation, and it will certainly be difficult to offer a definitive conclusion for that product.
Initially, design and functions are less controversial. With a smooth grille and a rubberized lower 3rd, the unit looks both strong and sophisticated. The handle at the leading makes it very easy to pick the boombox up. However at 4.4 pounds (2kg), you might only prefer to hold it in your backyard or in yet another space. Compared with additional designs, such as the Huge Jambox, this boombox is fairly big and you ought to leave it in your house.
The big rubberized volume buttons on one side are unmissable. On the additional side, you locate the on/off switch, a Bluetooth pairing button, the 3.5 mm audio output and the power socket.
Combining the boombox with an iPhone, an Android 4.0 phone and a Mac was extremely easy. The A2DP audio profile guarantees that a huge number of devices will certainly work. It ’ s even easier in iOS 6 with the Bluetooth settings now front and center in the Settings application. With an iPhone 4, audio didn ’ t drop even with roughly 30 feet of distance between the two devices in an office environment.
Yet, as audiophiles will certainly see you, A2DP is not ideal for audio fidelity. The audio is very first compressed on the phone or tablet utilizing SBC, or optionally AAC or MP3. For instance, iOS now supports AAC up to 128 kb/s in addition to SBC, which is quite reasonable. In addition, reencoding a lossy track, such as a tune got in the iTunes Store or streamed in Spotify, with a lossy codec is one of the worst thing to do for sound quality. It ’ s like taking a picture of an image.
It still seemed really good, specifically when you contrast it to using the interior speaker of your smartphone. But you absolutely lose sound clearness in the greater and lower ends of the audio spectrum. That ’ s why Logitech UE should have put an audio cable in the box. It ’ s a high-end speaker.
Discussing audio spectrum, the Boombox is plainly skewed to reduced mids and basses. I typically utilize really neutral equipment, such as studio tracking headphones (Sony MDR-7506). It is more noticeable when playing some tunes, especially electronic music tracks with a deep and clean beat. Additional times, it makes the track more delightful. However when it ruins a timeless, you have no choice but to skip the track.
Yet, as the name recommends, the Boombox was meant to produce booms. If you intend to use it to party, to fill a congested room with a sound that is pleasurable to listen to, then it is the right option.
We have a Jawbone Big Jambox in the office. When playing the very same tune on the 2 units, there was no space for discussion. The Logitech UE Boombox is the clear winner, with a much clearer and richer noise than the minimal Huge Jambox. The Boombox is much larger, however $ 50 less expensive than the Huge Jambox. Picking Logitech ’ s speaker is a no-brainer if you are not constrained by size.
Logitech UE Mobile Boombox
- Compact speaker
- Bluetooth (A2DP profile) and 3.5 mm audio output
- 10-hour micro USB chargeable battery
- MSRP: $ 100
- Logitech UE Item Web page
- Extremely very easy to hold around
- Better sound than the speaker of your smartphone
- Perfect for podcasts
- Not very effective
Don ’ t anticipate any magic from this Mobile Boombox. It is an economical speaker to throw in your bag when you are going to the beach, the park or hiking. You don ’ t get a whole lot of information, particularly with messy and tough to render tracks. However if you really have to listen to music with a speaker in those scenarios, the Mobile Boombox is a great flexible option.
If you insist on using it in your residence, there is another use that makes it really helpful, podcasts. I hear a lot of podcasts and don ’ t use iTunes anymore, also if Apple organizes to release an entirely redesigned variation. I handle all my podcasts in Instacast on my iPhone and hear podcasts solely on my iPhone, utilizing headphones, AirPlay or the internal speaker.
You can make use of the Logitech UE Mobile Boombox to listen to podcast while doing the dishes and cooking for instance. Voices sound much better than with the interior speaker and you won ’ t have to invest a great deal of money for a kitchen speaker.
These 2 speakers are extremely capable for different uses. While you won ’ t take the Boombox with you, it will be an extremely polyvalent and delightful speaker in your residence. The Mobile Boombox, on the additional hand, can easily make an exceptional speaker to pay attention to podcasts in your kitchen area, or a correct transportable speaker for the park or the beach. I wasn ’ t really confident when turning those speakers on due to the brand. Logitech isn ’ t a famous audiophile brand. Those anxieties vanished quickly.
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Headphone designer AiAiAi and designer Yuri Suzuki have actually collaborated to create the Sound Taxi– a speaker-equipped black cab that converts London street noise into popular music. Any sort of surrounding horn blares, sirens, or background chatter are picked up by a microphone connected to the vehicle’s roof, and fed into software application developed by sound designer Mark McKeague. This program then analyzes each sample and uses Ableton Live to convert it into music. The resulting tones are then played with the Noise Taxi’s huge Indian horns, filling the streets with real-time samples based on its prompt surroundings.
The Sound Taxi invested the last couple of days travelling around London and collecting samples, prior to ending its run on Friday afternoon. Its collected …
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Audience earSmart eS110 brings its voice processing and noise suppression to low cost feature phones
Remember Audience? Sure you do. The outfit was behind the iPhone 4′s noise-canceling wizardry that would be later built directly into the 4S’ A5 heart. Now, the company has announced its earSmart eS110 advanced voice processor for feature phones. Touting “the same voice quality” as those more expensive phones that we all covet, the single microphone tech will suppress unwanted noise like cars passing by or that loud guy next to you at a bar. The eS110 offers crisp calls for both handset and speakerphone uses thanks to processors designed around how humans filter the sounds that we hear. Entry-level smartphones are targets as well and the kit’s 3.5 x 3.5mm stature should make for easy integration. Audience says that samples will be sent out to manufacturers in March and should show up in handsets by the end of the year. In search of a few more details? Hit the full PR below to find out more.
Wow. We expected a lot of news out of Mobile World Congress but who knew HTC would have so. freaking. much.
I was having trouble keeping track of it myself, so for the good of the both of us, I thought it might be fitting to bundle all this news up into something a tad more easily digestible.
And off we go…
The first thing you should know is that HTC is changing up its current branding strategy. Most notably, we have the freshly announced One series which comprises three different phones: the One X, One S, and One V. (More on those later, of course.) HTC has already stated that it would be focusing on more hero devices, rather than pushing out experimental failures like the HTC Status.
While unifying offerings under a singular flagship brand — like Galaxy, Droid, etc. — is great for brand awareness, HTC ought to be careful with the phone-specific naming. Right now we’re seeing the X, S, and V, and Chris Velazco brought up a great point in noting that there’s really no way to logically figure which phone is the “best.” I, personally, have found crazy long names (like Samsung Galaxy S II Epic Touch 4G… or whatever) incredibly annoying, but I’d rather have too much to remember than something vague that I can’t remember.
In other news, HTC has launched version 4.0 of its Sense overlay. While zero percent of the people I talk to actually enjoy vendor skins, these OEMs keep slapping them on their handsets like it’s all that matters. Luckily, Sense 4.0 doesn’t seem to bog down Android the way other skins do, and runs like a breeze on both the One X and One S (we weren’t able to see software running on the V).
The clock and weather widgets are great, as usual, but HTC really put in some extra effort on the camera front. Hardware aside, the Sense camera app can take shots at .2 seconds, meaning that in burst mode it’ll take five pictures in a second flat. There are also plenty of setting controls and fun stuff like that.
Now let’s get to the phones because I’m sure that’s the reason most of you are here.
The One X is officially HTC’s new flagship. Running Android 4.0 ICS along with Sense 4.0, this may be one of the most impressively spec’d phones we’ve seen to date. And even though the spec is apparently dead, HTC has all kinds of crazy numbers to throw at you with this guy.
To start, the One X is powered by a quad-core 1.5GHz Tegra 3 processor and packs 1GB of RAM under the hood of its 9.7mm frame. You’ll also find a 4.7-inch 720p S-LCD screen up front, along with an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera capable of video capture in 1080p and a 1.3-megapixel front-facer for video chat.
I actually played around with the One X this morning, and have to say that it’s quite stunning. Take a look at our hands-on video straight from Barcelona here.
Following just behind, the One S is meant to be HTC’s mid-range device, but thus far I personally prefer it to the One X. The One S sports a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED qHD screen, with Android 4.0 and Sense 4.0 in tow. It runs on one of Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon S4 processors (1.5GHz dual-core, to be exact) and touts 1GB of RAM under the hood.
Its aluminum unibody design is just what we’ve been looking for in a sea of cheap-feeling plastic, and we’re pleased to see little to no difference in performance between the quad-core packing One X and the One S. (Man, I’m already tired of all this “One” business.)
The same camera specs hold true between both models, and you’ll find Beats Audio integration in both as well. Check out our hands-on video in Barcelona here.
Not to be overshadowed by any means, next up we have the little guy: the HTC One V. I actually kind of fell for this little hunk of aluminum at HTC’s media event in NYC (even without seeing any hardware). Don’t get me wrong, the sexy feel of the One S and the gorgeous screen of the One X are worth getting excited about, but the One V gave me this overwhelming sense of nostalgia and I’m actually very sure at this point that I’m just fine with smaller phones.
See, the One V is meant to be the lower-end model in the series, packing just a 3.7-inch 480×800 screen, a single-core 1GHz processor, and a 5-megapixel camera. Still, the little guy runs Android 4.0, Sense 4.0 and feels wonderful in the hand.
But just because these ICS-flavored Android phones are its MWC sweethearts, don’t think HTC has given up on Windows Phone. After sitting down with our own Ingrid Lunden to chat out future plans, chief marketing officer John Wang promised “we have not given up on Windows Phone.” Clearly the focus right now is on Android, but anyone who’s given WP a shot can tell you it’s ready for the main stage.
HTC has also signed a deal with Dropbox to better compete against iCloud. Now that Apple has its own cloud-syncing service (along with Motorola, and others), HTC saw fit to get a cloud service of its own. But rather than bake it up in the HTC labs, the Taiwanese company called on the Michael Jordan of cloud storage, Dropbox.
This means that anyone who buys a One series device will get 25GB of storage free for two years. To put that in perspective, it currently costs Dropbox users $ 9.99 a month for 50GB of storage and the only free offering from the service is 2GB.
So what do you think? In my book, HTC made quite the showing at MWC, but I guess we should wait until the show’s over before we start handing out awards.