Since in-ear headphones sit in or near the ear canal, they don't interact with the pinna, the bends and curves of the outer ear that direct sound to the ear canal. The pinna also serves as an acoustic filter, enhancing the frequency range of human speech, and it also supplies directional cues, so we can localize where sound is coming from. That's how our ears and brains process sound in real life, but in-ear headphones don't interact with the pinna, so they can't sound as realistic as full-size headphones or speakers. In-ears can still sound great, … Read more
Head-Fi is a national headphone club, and I went to the local meeting in Babylon, N.Y., last Saturday.
The vibe was friendly, and it was great to hear Head-Fi members' home-built gear, but there were a few surprises popping up from the headphone and electronics manufacturers in attendance.
Logitech Ultimate Ears' Personal Reference Monitor in-ear headphones feature a new twist on custom-molded-to-your-ears headphone design. Lots of brands now make custom in-ear headphones, and Logitech's have been among my favorites for years, but the upcoming Personal Reference Monitor takes the personalization to the next level. Once your ear canals' &… Read more
Sooner than you think, the Holy Grail of mobile password security could land on your phone thanks to new tech from Nuance called Dragon ID.
Dragon ID is a voice biometrics system from the same company behind the voice-recognition tech in Dragon Dictate for PCs and Dragon Go for iOS and Android. It promises a hands-free login system, but Nuance isn't putting it out in an app.
Instead, it's licensing the technology to manufacturers so they can build it into their phones.
"We're going to be pretty aggressive with our longstanding OEM partners, so we certainly … Read more
The payoff moment of the historic SpaceX mission to the International Space Station is upon us.
A robotic arm on the International Space Station has reached out and captured the SpaceX Dragon capsule at a distance of about 10 meters. Next up in this historic mission: docking with the space station.
The capture occurred at 9:56 a.m. ET / 6:56 a.m. PT. It had been expected to occur about an hour earlier, but the capsule held at the 30-meter point as the ISS crew made evaluations and adjustments.
Folks at SpaceX, founded by … Read more
If you find yourself with Siri envy but don't want to pony up the $600 for a phone, you may be able to get that same level of convenience and computerized companionship in your car.
Nuance's technology powers Apple's voice-recognition system, and the company is making its natural language command platform available to automotive manufacturers with Dragon Drive. Vehicles equipped with Dragon Drive will enable drivers to use spoken commands to get the system to perform a range of tasks, including open-ended conversational text messaging, getting directions to restaurants, or finding traffic information.
The benefit of Dragon … Read more
SpaceX and NASA said today that May 19 is the new launch date for the first-ever attempt to send a private company's rocket to the International Space Station.
Intended as a demonstration flight, the mission is designed to give NASA and SpaceX information that will help them plan future missions to the space station. Weather scrapped the previous attempt at the launch, which had been scheduled for May 7.
Unless weather or other factors intervene, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft will launch from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on May 19. On May … Read more
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and its attached Dragon spacecraft exhaled flames for a few seconds today at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
After pausing the first attempt at a test firing of the Falcon 9 due to a glitch just moments before the end of the countdown, SpaceX proceeded with a second attempt, which succeeded. The rocket remained stationary, but the system passed the "static fire" test with flying colors, putting Elon Musk's commercial space venture one step closer to reaching the International Space Station for the first time.
The test firing was the height … Read more
LOS ANGELES -- Like most people, I hate waiting in line.
But with all the advances in technology, we haven't really been able to get rid of the old-fashioned queue. From fun roller coasters to mundane drug stores, I often find myself wasting time standing in line. And it bugs me to no end.
So it was music to my ears when I heard that mobile startup PayDragon had a novel approach to mobile payments: one that focused on getting people out of lines and directly to their products.
In this case, PayDragon has worked with a few food … Read more
In celebration of the Year of the Dragon, Chrysler Group just announced its return to the China market at the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition on April 23, with two new concepts.
According to a press release, Chrysler will unveil a Chrysler 300C design concept and a Jeep Wrangler design concept. Both are designed to appeal to the Chinese consumer.
Although Chrysler did not reveal any details, dark and vaguely revealing photos of the Jeep Wrangler concept show embossed leather seats, large black wheels, and a mesh grille. The Chrysler 300C offers a light, luxurious interior and a dark mysterious … Read more
Speak now, or forever hold your chance to win this week's Crave giveaway. The prize: Nuance's Dragon Dictate 2.5 for Mac. The speech recognition software boasts some enhancements over earlier versions, including full support for Microsoft Word 2011 and new Facebook- and Twitter-sharing capabilities.
Dragon Dictate 2.5 also takes advantage of the recently introduced Dragon Remote Mic App, a free application that lets you use an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad as a wireless microphone for Dragon via Wi-Fi.
Normally, Dragon Dictate 2.5 would cost you $179.99, but you have the chance to get it for nada, nothing, zip, zilch. So how do you go about snagging this week's freebie? There are a few rules, so please take a moment to stop talking and read them carefully. … Read more