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Disney Shows Room-Scale Wireless Power

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Scientists at Disney Research present what one can describe as room-scale wireless power delivery-- a prototype living room housing 10 objects, all powered without need for cables.

Disney wireless energyDubbed "Quasistatic Cavity Resonance for Ubiquitous Wireless Power Transfer," the technology is free roaming, meaning one can move around the room and their smartphone will immediately start charging, with no need to be close to a wireless charging pad. It is also very efficient (around 40-95%, depending on the receiver's position in the room) and can deliver 1900W of power before the specific absorption rate (SAR) becomes dangerous for human beings.

However, like all things sounding too good to be true, the technology comes with a caveat-- it requires a purpose-built room, with walls, ceilings and floor built out of aluminium panels. A long copper pole runs in the middle of the room, and half-way down the pipe is a small section housing a ring of 15 capacitors. Outside the room are a signal generator and a power amplifier linked to the capacitors, which together with the copper pipe produce quasistatic cavity resonance (QSCR), the process behind the wireless power transfer technology.

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MIT Plans Chip For Speech Recognition

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Voice-based control is becoming increasingly important in connected devices-- leading MIT researchers to develop a low-power chip designed specifically for automatic speech recognition.

voice recognition chipAccording to the researchers, a smartphone running speech-recognition software uses around 1W of power. In comparison, the chip requires between 0.2 and 10 milliwatts, depending on the number of words it has to recognise, leading to power savings of 90-99%. This means it can bring about voice-based control in wearables, as well as the power-constrained devices making the Internet of Things (IoT).

The chip uses a simple "voice activation detection" circuit to monitor ambient noise and determine whether it is speech. If the answer is yes, the chip fires up a more complex speech-recognition circuit. It also can compress data and evaluate a small audio section within onboard memory in order to keep energy consumption low.

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Biggest ISE Yet in 2017

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Integrated Systems Events states ISE 2017 is the biggest edition of the show yet, with 1192 AV equipment vendors and suppliers showcasing the latest in digital signage, unified communications, audio, smart building, residential and education technology.

ISE 2017“ISE 2017 has been the biggest and best year yet for CEDIA. We expanded our education offering and doubled bookings to more than 800,” CEDIA CEO Vin Bruno says. “ISE 2017 also gave us a great opportunity to connect with so many of our members from around the globe. Our booth was continuously busy especially during the CEDIA Talks. The show was a huge success and we can’t wait for next year.”

Registered attendees were also at an all-time high at 73413, an 11.% increase over 2016. Visitors came from 150 different countries, while almost 600 registered attendees came from the press and media. The actual show took place over 14 halls in the RAI Amsterdam, and involved four days of product launches, press briefings, awards, seminars and networking events.

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EC Investigates CE Vendors in Antitrust Probe

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The European Commission (EC) launches an investigation to determine whether Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer are manipulating online retail prices.

EU AntitrustAccording to the press release, the companies are accused of breaking EU competition rules by stopping online retailers from setting own prices for "widely used" CE products such as notebooks, hi-fi products and household appliances. Making the situation worse is pricing software automatically adjusts retail prices to those of the leading competition, bringing a wider impact to overall online prices for CE products.

Philips says a preliminary probe has been going on since 2013, and it is "[continuing] to engage and cooperate fully with the European Commission."

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Futuresource: Global Home Video Spend Reaches $251bn in 2016

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According to Futuresource Consulting the global video entertainment market is in good health-- combined home video and pay-TV spending totals $251bn in 2016, a 3% increase over 2015.

home entertainmentThe report covers consumer spending across digital video (SVoD, TVoD, EST, Pay-TV VoD), packaged video (DVD & Blu-ray) and pay-TV. It points out pay-TV accounts for 86% of global video entertainment spending, with the pay-TV share of the market remaining stable as growth is in-line with spending on both physical and digital home video.

The analyst also forecasts overall video entertainment spending will reach $250bn by 2020 with a CAGR of 3%. A "standout" performer in both present and the future is SVoD, with subscriptions reaching 236 million by end 2016, a number set to double to 485m by 2020. Netflix dominates that particular market, even if it is challenged by Amazon and global entertainment companies including content producers, hardware manufactures and telcos.

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CEDIA Sells Off Its Annual Trade Show

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CEDIA EXPO 2016

CEDIA announces the sale of its USA flagship trade event, just two weeks before the ISE 2017 in Amsterdam which CEDIA co-owns.

With 19,000 attendees visiting more than 500 exhibitors (and 100 of them first time exhibitors), CEDIA 2016 was clearly a successful event.

So why sell it? Obviously CEDIA decided they weren't in the trade show business. It's hard when you have a big annual event. It's "only once a year" but you need staff working 12 months on it. That drains the profitability of the event but also drains valuable staff resources.

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Have Your Say in CEDIA Membership Survey

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CEDIA wants to close the year with members' opinions as it opens the 2016 online membership questionnaire-- a survey offering a chance to win an Amazon Echo.

CEDIAThe questionnaire features 20 questions divided in two sections, one focusing on member business, and the other covering their experiences with CEDIA. It is designed to help the organisation better understand its members, and thus covers the size of business, areas of expertise, geographical scale and training, as well as membership engagement.

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