Wednesday, November 29, 2017

POPULAR SCIENCES TOP ENTERTAINMENT TECH OF 2017

Warmtone Record Press from Viryl Technologies

An automated record press. Vinyl albums are selling better than they have since the early 1990's, so it's about time the production process caught up. This $195,000 machine presses a disc in about 24 seconds. If a problem pops up, it can automatically diagnose and quickly address it, a far cry from the finicky performance of its vintage forebears.

Signature TV W from LG

The alpha OLED. Unofficially known as the "wallpaper" TV, this 65 inch display is just 2.5 mm thick and weighs 17 pounds. You can mount it on any wall primarily using magnets. It's compatible with multiple standards for high-dynamic-range picture, so you can enjoy colorful content from Blu-ray or Netflex. All the guts needed to power the screen live in a Dolby-Atmos equipped sound bar you can place up to 6 feet away.

Hulu Live from Hulu

Replace the cord. In the age of "micro bundles," replacing cable with a heap of individual subscriptions can end up costing you more than your pre-cord-cut bill. For $40 monthly, Hulu Live offers original programming, more than 50 live channels, a catalog of on-demand TV and movies, as well as local programming in some areas streamed over your broadband connection. It's wrapped in an interface designed to be surf-able.

Predator 21X from Acer

The gaming laptop, pushed to wonderful absurdity: It packs a seventh-gen Intel Care i7 processor, a pair of ultra-powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards, and a mechanical keyboard with a touchpad that flips to become a number pad. All that power manifests itself through a 21 inch, 219 aspect-ratio curved display with eye-tracking technology to maximize immersion without dipping into virtual reality. H2 Headphones from Even Cans tuned to your ears. The first step of setting up these over-the-ear headphones is a 90-second listening test to create a graph of your hearing called an audiogram. You listen to music from eight different segments of the audible spectrum in each ear at increasing volume to map how sensitive you are to different frequencies. A custom sound profile which you can see in the companion app, tunes sound response to each individual ear.

Acoustic Surface from Sony

The screen is a speaker. Edge-to-edge screens are the hot look for high-end TVs, so room for a speaker grate is out of the question. Sony solved this design problem in its Bravia OLED A1E 4K-HDR TVby embedding four actuators behind the display to create visually imperceptible vibrations in other words, sound. The distance between actuators can create localized audio, so sound can move across the display to match the action.

MA770 Speaker from Master & Dynamic

Concrete that absorbs echoes. Concrete speakers are great for combating rattle-inducing vibrations, but the trade-off is typically unwanted echo. This 35 pound Brutalist monolith has a tapered shape and is made from a proprietary blend of concrete with polymers in the mix to dampen the reverberations. Sounds comes courtesy of a pair of 4 inch woven Kevlar long throw woofers and a 15 inch titanium tweeter embedded in the cabinet.

Explorer from Lenovo

Mainstream mixed reality. Two motion-tracking cameras on the front of Lenovo's Explorer headset place virtual objects into a real-word setting. Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system has already started implementing mixed reality for things like virtual field trips, even adding 3D drawing tools to MS Paint. Paired with a keyboard, it can be a virtual workspace. Or, add motion-sensing controllers for immersive gaming.

8K Monitor from Dell

The high-def harbinger. The 7,680-by-4,320 resolution on this ultra-sharp 31.5 inch display is like have four small 4K monitors crammed into one screen. That's enough pixels to view four full-width browser windows with room left over or watch four shows at once to quadruple the efficiency with which you can take in those YouTube cooking tutorials. With a total digital dimension of 33.2 megapixels, you're going to need a bigger background photo.

Spark from DJI

Easy-fly drone. Piloting a drone is still too difficult, but DJI gave its most consumer-friendly flying machine options to lessen the learning curve. You can use a simple hand movements to give it commands, like waving to make it fly away or holding out your hand to make it land in your palm. A suite of preprogrammed shooting modes can complete complex aerial maneuvers with one button press, which will up the production quality of your airborne movies.

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