Sony’s big press event at CES 2024 didn’t reveal much for the first half, retreading the company’s entertainment successes in TV, film and music. Then, out of the blue, it revealed an as-yet-unnamed mixed reality headset, with almost anime-looking controllers.
While there are some design similarities, this isn’t a VR headset à la PSVR. This is for “spatial content creation.” The headset is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2, announced just as CES began. This means it’s a self-contained device that doesn’t require a computer. Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said the 4K OLED microdisplays on the headset would offer a “crisp viewing experience” and “intuitive interaction for 3D design.”
The headset has a pair of controllers. One is described as a “ring controller” for manipulating objects and the other as a “pointing controller” for… pointing. Sony envisions creators being able to craft 3D models in real time with them.
It all seems a more creative interpretation of Microsoft’s HoloLens. We haven’t yet seen the headset in person, though. Hopefully, we’ll get more details from Sony’s booth, here in Las Vegas.
— Mat Smith
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Intel’s updated chips need to go somewhere.
Yesterday, Intel revealed its entire 14th-generation CPU family, which includes powerful HX series chips, like the 24-core i9-14900HX, as well as new mainstream desktop CPUs. That means, of course, lots of new laptops. We’ve got impressions and reports on new ASUS, Alienware, Acer, Lenovo and Razer computers, but I’d point you toward the weirdest PC we saw so far: the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 5. As pictured here, the bottom is a Windows laptop deck, and the display is a 14-inch Android tablet. You can use the tablet as a standalone Android device, a wireless monitor for the laptop base or a Wacom-like drawing display.
And a yellow new look.
Samsung showed off a robot named Ballie, which has a projector built in. Interestingly, though, according to a report from The Washington Post, Samsung said the robotic sphere will actually be available for sale within the year.
We first saw an early iteration of Ballie in 2020, touted as a household assistant and potential fitness assistant, with such sophisticated skills as opening smart curtains and turning on the TV. But four years later, it’s a little different. It’s now “bowling-ball-size” and has a spatial LiDAR sensor and a 1080p projector. The latter has two lenses and allows the robot to display movies, video calls and “greetings” on its surrounding surfaces.
Oh no. will.he.is.
Mercedes-AMG and will.i.am are collaborating on a new sound system for cars, called MBUX SOUND DRIVE (all caps, apparently). It pulls data from the car’s sensors, which control a specially deconstructed music file. Start the car and you hear a music track’s bed, looping in the background; accelerate to a low speed and it’ll add some bass reverb to the song. On top of that, moving the steering wheel gets you extra effects or the chorus loop kicking in. It’s only when you open the car up on a clear highway that the main music and lyrics start. Daniel Cooper tested it out, here in Las Vegas.
It makes the public phone calls private.
Skyted’s Silent Mask launched its Kickstarter campaign today at CES 2024. It’s a noise-reducing wearable that would allow you to speak freely about confidential information anywhere, without worrying about people around you hearing. It’s already broken its $8,800 goal many times over. While the noise reduction tech has its limits, the idea is it’ll offer a degree of confidentiality to voice calls in busy or quiet public spaces.