One of Microsoft’s latest research projects offers gesture controls using a computer’s speakers, microphone and inaudible sounds. The technology is called “SoundWave” and it utilizes the Doppler effect to detect gestures. With the help of a computer’s speakers and microphone, SoundWave can detect the frequency change of a sound wave by using inaudible sounds and measuring the change in feedback as a hand gesture is performed. Even if a user is playing music on his or her laptop or there’s a lot of background noise, SoundWave will still be able to detect gestures. The technology can even detect when a person walks to or away from a computer, and respond by unlocking or locking the device. Microsoft’s video demonstration follows below. More →
Dolby announced on Wednesday that it has filed patent infringement lawsuits against Waterloo, Canada-based Research In Motion in the U.S. and in Germany. The suit seeks the recovery of financial damages resulting from RIM’s infringing products, and it also looks to halt sales of multiple BlackBerry devices. The patents in question cover “highly efficient digital audio compression technologies” that minimize storage space occupied by high quality audio files. Dolby claims that RIM uses these technologies in its BlackBerry smartphones and its PlayBook tablet, but it does not pay Dolby licensing fees as all other major manufacturers do. “Litigation was regrettably our last resort after RIM declined to pay for the use of Dolby’s technology,” Dolby EVP and general counsel Andy Sherman said in a statement. “We have a duty to protect our intellectual property.” Dolby’s full press release follows below. More →
We reviewed SRS’s iWOW 3D accessory for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch three weeks ago and at that time, we were pretty much blown away by the device. Since then, nothing has changed — in a nutshell, we can no longer listen to music on our iDevices without the iWOW 3D plugged in and pumping. But hearing is believing, and SRS Labs was nice enough to send through a few units so we can share the love with our readers. That’s right, we’re giving away five SRS iWOW 3D Deluxe packages along with five SRS t-shirts. Here’s how to enter:
- Leave a comment below explaining why you should win an SRS iWOW 3D Deluxe pack and a t-shirt
- Follow @BGR on Twitter and also check out our Facebook page!
It’s that simple. This giveaway will run for one week until 11:59 p.m. on April 26th, and it is open to legal U.S. residents 18 and older. Winners will be notified directly via email, so please make sure you use a real email address when posting your entry in the comments section. SRS iWOW 3D Deluxe packages include one iWOW 3D accessory, five different colored face plates and a pair of in-ear headphones. T-shirts are available in large only. Good luck!
If you had asked me a few weeks ago, I would have insisted that no ear buds in the sub-$1,000 price range sound better than my trusty Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10vi headset. I would have been wrong. I still insist that no buds I’ve tried sound better than my 10vi buds — and I have tried many, many pairs — but now I add the caveat, “when coupled with the iWOW 3D.” More →
Apple made a lot of beige boxes back in the 1980’s, but for some reason, if you ask someone about their first computer, the Apple IIgs often comes up. The IIgs was originally released on September 15, 1986, and was one of the first Apple computers to use a 16-bit microprocessor. Running at a blistering 2.8 MHz, the “g” and “s” stood for “graphics” and “sound” respectively. The IIgs packed an 8-bit Ensoniq wavetable sound chip that offered 32 separate channels of sound, and a video card that could dazzle the eye with a 12-bit pallet of 4,096 colors. The graphics card could also push graphics in native resolutions of 320 x 200 pixels or 640 x 200 pixels. The IIgs originally came with 256 KB of RAM built-in (later updated to 1.125 MB) and could be upped to 8.125 MB for those power users; the IIgs also included 128 KB of ROM (later updated to 256 KB). You would often see a matching beige floppy drive, keyboard, mouse, and dot-matrix printer hanging off the side of the GS; making this the ultimate Oregon Trail, word processing machine. Anyone out there ever own an Apple IIgs? How about the Woz: Special Edition?
BGR Throwback Thursday is a weekly series covering our (and your) favorite gadgets, games, and software of yesterday and yesteryear.
Sorry, but it’s true. There is absolutely no viable reason a camera phone should be able to silently snap a picture that outweighs the privacy issues camera phones have brought about. If after reading that last sentence you find yourself scanning your mind in search of a way to refute it, you’re probably a scumbag and you should seek help. The go-to argument for silent camera phones, the ability to assist law enforcement by photographing a crime, is a bad one. If you see a crime taking place you should either dial 911 and try to help any victims if it is safe to do so, or leave the scene and dial 911. Laws already exist in several countries around the world requiring that all camera phones make a sound when they snap a photograph and the reasoning is fairly obvious – help prevent perverts like Captain Corona pictured above from taking lewd photos of unsuspecting women. Enter the Camera Phone Predator Alert Act. New York Rep Pete King introduced the bill to the House earlier this month and we hope for a swift approval for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that there are plenty of more pressing matters at hand. Approving a bill that will “require any mobile phone containing a digital camera to sound a tone whenever a photograph is taken” should be a no-brainer. We’d like to add however, that a minimum decibel level for said tone should be also specified and required – there is no sense in having a tone if it’s inaudible.