Sound without speakers; Kyocera is changing how we hear each other

What if a phone didn’t need a speaker to relay a phone conversation to you? Sounds crazy, maybe. We’ve been utilizing speakers (almost exclusively) since Alexander Graham Bell (or Innocenzo Manzetti, depending on how you look at it) invented the telephone, so not having one seems far fetched...

Read the full story here... Source: Android Authority

HTC promises 'new sound and camera experience in 2013'

Normally I avoid infographics like the plague. They're basically free advertising, and baby needs a new pair of shoes. But HTC just published one on a "Brief history of photography." And tucked down at the bottom is the following line:

HTC kicks off a new sound and camera experience in 2013

That's very much in the same ballpark as the supposed "ultrapixel" sensor Pocket-Lint reported will be used in HTC's next round of phones.

Only a couple weeks until HTC's Feb. 19 events in New York and London, folks. We're getting close.

[Source: AndroidCentral]

Google Glass to use bone conduction to transmit sound

If you were wondering exactly how Google's augmented reality specs are going to work, here are some more details. According to documents filed with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), the specs will use bone conduction to transmit sound. In other words, they'll vibrate very subtly to make you hear, rather than using speakers.

Which is good news, as anyone who's had to endure N-Dubz leaking from someone's headphones will testify.

The audio element will work in a similar way to some children's toothbrushes, according to Ars Technica. A vibration transducer sets the bones in your noggin buzzing, which translate the vibrations to the cochlea part of your ear which reads them as sound. The technology can be found in some headphones, like Panasonic's prototypes found at CES this year. It's said to be far clearer than a traditional speaker in a normal pair of cans.

In Google's filing, the bone conduction element is only mentioned for when a video plays, but it could have many other uses. Music, and voice calls, for example. Or alerts.

The filing also reveals the tech specs should have 802.11 b/g 2.4GHz WLAN, and a low-energy Bluetooth 4.0 radio. Previously, we saw mention of a laser keyboard, that would project onto any available surface so you can type wherever you are.

So when will we see them? Google's Sergey Brin hopes to get units into developers' hands this year, with a full consumer launch slated for next year. Though considering the many hurdles involved, I wouldn't hold your breath.

The technology does look really cool though. And considering what Google Now is capable of, integrating that and more into a pair of glasses could really change how we interact with our gadgets. It's already inspired a raft of imitations.

[Source: CNET]

Creative reveals Sound Blaster ZxR, Zx, and Z PCI-Express sound cards, pumps up the volume

Along with your first day at school, and (for the boys at least) growing your first peach fuzz mustache, many of you might also never forget your first Sound Blaster soundcard. In the present day (unless you're blessed with youth) only the Sound Blaster can be enjoyed again, and today Creative introduces its new Z-series. The latest PCI-Express cards use the firm's Core3D quad-core sound and voice processor and come in three variants: the Sound Blaster ZxR, the Zx and the Z. As you might have guessed, the more letters, the higher up the food chain it is. The flagship ZxR ($249.99) boasts a 127dB SNR, sockets for swappable Op-Amps, 80mW into 600 ohm headphone pre-amp, plus RCA / optical connectivity (via additional daughter board) and an external "ACM" control module for less fiddling around the back of your machine. You can save yourself $100 with the Zx model, if you don't want the ZxR's "DBpro" daughter board, and the Z edition saves a further $50 at the expense of the external controller. Want to dive into the full specifications? Plug in to the PR after the break.

[Source: Engadget]