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Sony A1E OLED TVs

In 2008, Sony became the first TV maker to retail an OLED TV – it was the Sony XEL-1.  Offering a screen size of just 11 inches and a staggering price of $2,499, this TV was a foresight into future display technology.  Scaling the technology up to size that we are happy to place in our living proved to be a massive challenge however and took 10 years.

Now, finally Sony OLED TVs are available in large screen sizes!  The new series called the Sony A1E offers three choices: 55-inch (model XBR-55A1E; $3,999 US), 65-inch (model XBR-65A1E; $5,499 US) and 77-inch (coming soon; price TBA).

The picture quality of these TVs is simply jaw dropping.

For more info, jump to www.sony.com

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by Angus MacPherson, Founder, RIIFT

1. angelica-nao (Custom)

Angelica cooking with NAO – credit: Irwin Wong

Our sci-fi dreams are becoming a reality. There are “Eyeborgs” in the street. People whisper secrets to Siri and Cortana, the baby-AIs living in their pocket computers. Humanoid robots chat with shoppers in downtown Tokyo departments stores. Cars are starting to drive themselves. These are not visions of the future. This is now. And there is more coming.

FutureWorld: Canada’s public festival of our AI-powered future [June 10, 2017, Toronto]

We are in the midst of the robot revolution. AI and robotics are transforming our gadgets into smart machines that are changing how we work, how we relate to one another, how we build our cities. Despite the huge potential, there are lots of basic questions. What are robots, AI, and smart machines anyway? What can they do? What should they do?

These are questions of design –- of application, interaction and how the systems will work. Large communities of hackers, researchers, engineers and artists are exploring these questions and in June they’re coming to Toronto for FutureWorld to talk about their progress.

2. Prosthesis Mech Racing with KING at KotH 2017 (high rez) (Custom)

Prosthesis at King of the Hammer, 2017 – credit: Jonathan Tippett

Jonathan Tippett’s spectacular 16’ running robot, Prosthesis

Among them: Jonathan Tippett, an artist/engineer who spent a decade on a quixotic quest to build a giant racing mech. The result is Prosthesis, a massive 16’ tall running robot. For most of that decade, it was an unfinished art project – a crazy/wonderful exploration of how we can pursue human excellence in a futuristic machine.

But over the last year the world has finally caught up with him. Now he has partners and real funding. His first order of business is to complete the first two mechs for testing before expanding the Prosthesis project into a full scale mech racing league. His vision for the racing league is firmly in the “people-first” camp. He’s got a lot to say about “the ultimate union of pilot and machine, pushing the limits of technology and human performance”.

Angelica Lim and the rise of social robots [image at the top of this article]

At the other end of the robot interaction spectrum are the social robots. They are the humanoid machines that come closest to the classic vision of a robot as a metal friend. Using faces, quirky movements, and other humanlike features, designers infuse them with what appear to be personalities – and elicit surprisingly emotional reactions.

Engineer Angelica Lim builds the software behind those emotional interaction systems for SoftBank’s Pepper and NAO robots. Stunningly nuanced work, it requires deep technical expertise and subtle understanding of the boundaries between machine intelligence and human psychology. These efforts are establishing new techniques and approaches for interacting with social robots. And soon it will transform how we relate to machines. She’ll make us think.

3. Robert Spence-Kathy Ann Lim Shot (Custom)

Portrait of Rob Spence, Eyeborg – credit: Kathy Ann Lim

Rob Spence: provocative questions about human-machine relationships

Perhaps the most surprising story of the human-machine relationship comes from documentary filmmaker Rob Spence. After losing his right eye at age nine, he built a prosthetic eye camera to fit into the socket. Now, he calls himself an Eyeborg, a human with a camera eye.

Rob discovered his camera eye transformed the relationship to his documentary subjects in subtle ways. By embedding the camera in his body, he removed a barrier between himself and the interviewee, making a potentially stilted and uncomfortable experience more natural and effortless. Counterintuitively, by making himself a tiny bit more machine-like, his relationships became more human. Be prepared: he’ll take you into provocative terrain.

The event will also be welcoming Helen Grenier, co-founder of iRobot and CTO at CyPhy Works; Ignacio Galiana, an engineer building soft exosuits at the Wyss Institute, and a surprise guest from Kindred, a startup building machines with human-like intelligence.

FutureWorld will dig deep into these conversations about design thinking for robots, AI and the smart machines they animate.

Exciting stuff. Robots, AI, and smart machines are coming. Let’s figure them out together.

FutureWorld runs June 10th, 2017, 12pm-7pm at OCAD University, 100 McCaul St., Toronto, ON M5T 1W1. Tickets start at $59

NOVO readers can save 10% off tickets by using discount code NOVO.

For more info, jump to www.fitc.ca/event/futureworld

4. Soft Exosuit sized

Ignacio Galiana wearing a soft exosuit- credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

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European Audio Team B-Sharp Turntable 1

Importer VANA Ltd. has just announced that the European Audio Team (E.A.T) B-Sharp turntable, with engineered cues taken directly from the company’s award-winning and highly acclaimed C-Major turntable, will now be available to US customers. The B-Sharp sheds all of the non-essential cosmetic adornments of the C-Major without compromising performance or mechanical integrity, providing vinyl enthusiasts with a superb playback option at a more affordable price.

The B-Sharp turntable features the new B-Note tonearm, made from a carbon fiber alloy that is light yet rigid with a black anodized aluminum headshell. The B-Note tonearm provides all of the key features for cartridge alignment and adjustability: VTA (Vertical Tracking Angle), SRA (Stylus Rake Angle), VTF (Vertical Tracking Force), azimuth and a slotted headshell for overhang / offset angle. The anti-skate mechanism has been engineered for more intuitive calibration, making setup of the B-Sharp notably easier than competitive products.

A proprietary low noise motor, floating chassis, aluminum platter and a high-density MDF low profile base are included as standard features of the B-Sharp. Like the C-Major, the B-Sharp uses a high-tech TPE (thermoplastic elastomers) suspension system that works in concert with adjustable feet that provide levelling ability for the table. The B-Sharp comes equipped with a factory installed Ortofon 2M Blue Cartridge, hinged dustcover, low mass aluminum record clamp and a felt platter mat—all included.

The E.A.T. B-Sharp retails for $1595.

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Update TV & Stereo 25th Anniversary Sale

This spring, Update TV & Stereo will celebrate its 25th anniversary and mark the occasion with a Spring Cleaning Event – offering very attractive deals at all three Update TV & Stereo retail locations across the GTA.

This is a wonderful opportunity to get your hands on current 2017 TVs and last year’s 4K LED TVs from industry leaders including Samsung, Sony and LG.

Those looking to build or improve their home audio system, Update TV & Stereo also offers up to 25% all in-store speakers and 25% off all accessories (such as HDMI cables, audio cables, TV stands, wall mounts, and more!)

If spring is your thing – then you’ll be happy to save up to 25% off all outdoor audio products, including speakers from top brands like Monitor Audio, Martin Logan, Yamaha, and Definitive Technology.

For even more deals, please visit one of the three Update TV & Stereo retail stores.

See flyer below for more info or visit www.updatetvandstereo.com to find the closest retail location.
Spring Cleaning Event_v3

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CVR Vancouver 2017 01

CVR is the Pacific Northwest’s largest VR/AR/MR conference and expo. From May 5-7, CVR will let attendees experience groundbreaking new virtual and augmented reality technology from industry leaders. Held on the Canadian west coast in beautiful Vancouver, CVR brings together consumers, developers, businesses, and tech enthusiasts for a weekend of fun that shapes the future of VR and AR.

Friday will be Industry day – dedicated to the VR/AR professionals. There will be informative speakers, exclusive demos, product launches, and business opportunities. Meet and greet with professionals from all areas of the industry, such as: education, medical, design, and revolutionaries. There will be plenty of B2B opportunities to network with vendors, businesses, and investors from around the globe. And, of course, there will be special events… and lots of fun! Some of the amazing companies attending are: Nasa, Google, Ford, Microsoft, BCLC, Creative BC, MetaVRse, Cloudhead Games, Vancouver Economic Commission and many more!

CVR speakers include:
• Mike Almeraris
Michael leads Google’s VR/AR Gaming and Partnerships for Daydream and Tango rolling out to digital storefronts. Over his 6-year span at Google, he has also worked on Mobile Partnerships and on the Product team for Mobile Search.

CVR Vancouver 2017

• Evelyn Miralles
For more than 20 years, Evelyn Miralles has worked at NASA Johnson Space Center for the Virtual Reality Laboratory to enhance Human Spaceflight. Her work as Virtual Reality Principal Engineer and Technology Strategist has been integral to train astronauts to perform one of the most dangerous excursions of their lives, working outside a spacecraft in microgravity.

• Elizabeth Baron
Elizabeth Baron is a Technical Specialist in Virtual Reality and Advanced Visualization at Ford Motor Company. She has been the driving force in the development and deployment of immersive vehicle verification technology at Ford Motor Company.

Saturday and Sunday are consumer expo days – dedicated to anyone interested in trying out the latest technology. The expo floor is 3x bigger than last year and will feature demos, demos, and more demos. CVR will have great games to play, product launches, exclusive demos, and industry grade tools not available yet to the public. It’s a great place to learn about virtual reality, meet other VR enthusiast in the community, and talk to the developers behind all the games and experiences. Some of the amazing exhibitors joining the floor are: Archiact, Blueprint Reality, Centre For Digital Media, Cognitive VR, Cloudhead Games, Secret Location, Emily Carr University, and many more!

For more information jump to www.cvr2017.com

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Nearbuds for AirPods KS 6 copy2

Canadian-based Fabricate Incorporated has just launched a crowdfunding campaign to help fund Nearbuds for AirPods — magnetic clips with an adjustable strap designed for Apple AirPods.  Nearbuds for AirPods  will help to prevent loosing your AirPods and give you a chance to  magnetically stick them on to any metal surface when not in use.

Nearbuds for AirPods are made from powerful Neodymium magnets and durable, malleable plastics. Fabricate Inc. used “Snap-On” technology in their designs to ensure that no glues were required in the manufacturing process. This means the magnets will never come apart from their housings.

The campaign is looking to raise CA $25,000 (approx. $18,500 USD) by May 8, 2017. Perks include a special early bird price of a set of Nearbuds for AirPods for CA $25 (approx. $18.50 USD), as well as including bonus sets of the original Nearbuds, which are market-ready to deliver worldwide as soon as the campaign finishes. All products are designed in Canada.

Check out their Kickstarter page for details

Nearbuds for AirPods KS 4 copy2

Nearbuds for AirPods KS 3 copy2

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FITC Toronto 2017

Key Speaker Anouk Wipprecht Fuses High Fashion with Cutting Edge Technology

TORONTO – FITC Toronto, Canada’s largest tech and digital media conference [April 23-25 in Toronto], will welcome Dutch engineer and fashion designer Anouk Wipprecht this April to unveil the latest in ‘FashionTech.’ Wipprecht is one of the world’s most daring designers, fusing cutting-edge technology and high fashion to explore how ‘what we wear’ will shape our lives in the future.

“Fashion for me is about expression and communication, but the things we wear at the moment are ‘analog.’ Putting electronics in fashion opens up a whole new world of possibilities on how we can express and communicate ourselves,” said Wipprecht.

Wipprecht is now famous for her ‘spider dress’: robotic spider legs, equipped with proximity sensors, are attached to the dress. They automatically attack anyone who comes near, creating a defined boundary of personal space while exploring ‘fierce’ style.

She will speak about her latest creations (think, an octopus-inspired dress that emits smoke) and how looking at “fashion as interface” will change what we wear and how we live in the very near future.

“The relationship between the body and technology is closer than ever. Electronic systems can now be layered seamlessly onto a material. Embedded processors and sensors for transmitting and receiving information create a vision of cultural transformation that is both exciting and disturbing,” she said.

Wipprecht is one of many digital creators, leaders, and influencers from the world’s most-successful technology and design companies who will speak at FITC Toronto. Other confirmed speakers include interaction designer Jared Ficklin, creating the next-generation of touch, voice, or gesture activated products for companies like HP, Microsoft, and LG.

Shantell Martin will speak too. Her whimsical, dreamlike art has landed her international fame, with appearances on the Jimmy Kimmel Show and spreads in the New York Times and Vogue. FITC Toronto will also feature Hydro 74, known for pushing the boundaries of contemporary art, and Erin Sarofsky, whose design studio works with the biggest blockbusters in TV and films, like Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America, and the show Community.

“Our goal is to bring the future of design, technology, and ideas under one roof right here in Toronto. This is one of our strongest lineups yet,” said Shawn Pucknell, FITC’s founder.

For more info jump to http://fitc.ca/event/to17/

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Google DayDream 01

Subscribe to the NOVO newsletter for a chance to win the incredible Google Daydream virtual reality headset. Explore new worlds, kick back in your personal VR cinema, and play immersive games like never before. Be virtually anywhere with the new Google Daydream. With a headset that is easy to wear and control, you no longer just play games or watch movies, you experience them.

Join the Technology Fraternity today by entering your email below:

This monthly newsletter will deliver the latest Tech & HiFi News to your inbox, as well as information about upcoming tech events like the TAVES Consumer Electronics Show.

The winner of this giveaway will be announced at the end of April 2017.

Cheers,
The NOVO Team

Google DayDream 02

 

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Arriving Summer 2017 at CF Toronto Eaton Centre, the two-level, 21,000 sq. ft. Samsung Experience Store facing Yonge-Dundas Square will bring the Samsung ecosystem to life (CNW Group/Samsung Electronics Canada)

Samsung Electronics announced today that it will open the largest, most immersive Samsung Experience Store in Canada this summer at the Toronto Eaton Centre.  The 21,000 sq. ft. space will provide a futuristic retail and technology experience, while offering engaging events and in-store features.

Some of what you’ll be able to experience at the new store includes:

  • A fully functioning Samsung demo kitchen, allowing visitors to watch cooking demonstrations, get involved in their passion for cooking and delight their senses and taste-buds with on-site culinary creations
  • Interactive Samsung Gear VR and Gear360 zones to ‘transport’ visitors over rollercoasters and beyond
  • A full range of smartphones and tablets, with an expansive assortment of mobile accessories to personalize guests’ favourite Samsung device
  • A luxe TV experience zone ready to showcase amazing Samsung picture, sound and design innovations
  • Onsite Samsung Smart Service and trained Galaxy Consultants will guide guests through the experience, answer questions and provide technical support and repairs for mobile products

The space ushers in a new era of retail excellence for Samsung’s Canadian operations. Designed by award-winning Canadian design firm, Quadrangle, it will feature a fluid, contemporary design that will delight visitors through a variety of innovative, hands-on experiences.

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AVID Celsus Pre Amplifier and Celsus Stereo Power Amplifier

AVID has just revealed three new components that will cascade the company’s high-end designs to more affordable levels.

The Celsus Pre Amplifier incorporates a high quality phonostage within a fully balanced design and offers the same flexibility found in AVID’s Reference Pre-Amplifier.  It offers the ability to simultaneously connect two phono cartridges and an additional four line level inputs. The stunning ALPS RK50 volume control used in the Reference Pre- Amplifier is retained and the separate PSU makes sure power delivery is stable.

The matching Celsus Stereo Power Amplifier directly cascades the Reference Stereo Amplifier design to bring the power and control associated with AVID products.

Completing the new introductions is the Sigsum Integrated Amplifier.  With it’s built-in phonostage and four line level inputs, it again retains the same  ALPS RK50 volume control, this alone will make this a benchmark product.