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Star Wars joins Disney Infinity

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The Star Wars universe has joined Disney•Pixar and Marvel in Disney Infinity 3.0: Play Without Limits – the latest installment of the “hybrid toy/video game”.

Disney Infinity 3.0 promises to deliver kids and families with a wider breadth of content and variety of gameplay than ever offered from Disney Infinity, including:

·         Three Star Wars Play Sets, one set in the timeline of Episodes I-III, the second set during the original trilogy, Episodes IV-VI, and the third available this winter based on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

·         Additional Play Sets offering distinct gameplay and environments, including a Disney•Pixar Play Set based on the upcoming film Inside Out, and a Marvel Play Set featuring Hulkbuster Iron Man, Ultron, and other Marvel characters

·         A fully enhanced Toy Box with two new multiplayer Toy Box Expansion Games, Toy Box Speedway (kart racing) and Toy Box Takeover (action-adventure)

·         More figures of fan-favourite characters from across The Walt Disney Company, like Mickey and Minnie, Sam Flynn and Quorra from Tron: Legacy, Mulan and Olaf, among many others

Disney Infinity is the only game where fans can play with Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars characters together in one experience,” said James Pitaro, President, Disney Interactive.  “We worked closely with Lucasfilm to deliver an authentic Star Wars game experience, featuring some of the most iconic stories and characters from the past, present and future.”

Each of the Star Wars Play Sets offers distinct experiences, with varied gameplay, environments and characters.  The Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic Play Set takes place in the height of the Jedi’s powers, where players will use the Force and Lightsabers in epic battles and master their combat skills alongside Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Darth Maul.  The Star Wars: Rise Against the Empire Play Set will take players on galaxy-spanning missions with Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, Chewbacca and Darth Vader, piloting X-wing fighters or the Millennium Falcon to fight stormtroopers, or exploring and partaking in land-based missions on planets like Tatooine, Hoth, and Endor.  Additionally, fans will have the unique opportunity to play with all of the Star Wars characters in all of the Star Wars Play Sets.

Star Wars is a cross-generational franchise, and Disney Infinity 3.0: Play Without Limits creates an incredible opportunity for families and fans to relive their favourite Star Wars moments,” said John Blackburn, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Disney Infinity.  “With the addition of Star Wars, Inside Out and new Disney and Marvel characters, Disney Infinity 3.0 will be the most ambitious and diverse offering yet.”

Disney Infinity 3.0  will also introduce an all-new, 3-D Toy Box Hub that will make it easier for players to choose from a wider selection of gameplay experiences – including platform, racing, and farming simulation games.  Two new multiplayer Toy Box Expansion Games will bring action-adventure gameplay in Toy Box Takeover and kart racing in Toy Box Speedway, where kids and families can play with popular Disney, Disney•Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars characters together in a structured setting.

Disney Infinity 3.0: Play Without Limits is being developed by Avalanche Software in partnership with Ninja Theory, Sumo Digital, Studio Gobo and United Front Games, and will be available for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 computer entertainment systems, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system and Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, the Wii U system from Nintendo, PC and iOS and Android devices.

The Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars Starter Pack will include the Disney Infinity Base and Disney Infinity 3.0 video game software, the Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic Play Set, Ahsoka Tano and Anakin Skywalker character figures, and a web code card that unlocks content for PC and mobile devices.  Other Disney Infinity 3.0 Play Sets, figures, and Toy Box Expansion Games will be sold separately.

All figures and Power Discs from the previous editions of Disney Infinity will be compatible with Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition in the enhanced Toy Box and, for the first time, Power Discs will be sold in labeled franchise-specific packs of four.  Additional Disney, Disney•Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars figures and Play Sets will be announced in the coming months.

Audio/Visual

Kia makes car audio personal

KIA Motors has revealed its Separated Sound Zone (SSZ) technology that allows each passenger of a vehicle to experience an audio stream tailored to their individual needs.

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SSZ technology creates and controls the acoustic fields of the car, allowing the driver and each passenger to hear isolated sounds. The many speakers installed in the vehicle feature technology that uses scientific principles to reduce or increase audio levels of sound waves. This negates the overlap of sounds being heard in each seat, creating the same effect as current noise cancellation systems, but without the need for headphones.

“Customers in the autonomous navigation era will demand increasingly customisable entertainment options within their vehicles, which includes technological innovations such as the Separated Sound System.” says Kang-duck Ih, Research Fellow at KIA’s NVH Research Lab. “I hope by providing drivers and passengers with tailored, independent audio spaces, they will experience a more comfortable and entertaining transportation environment.”

People’s musical tastes vary, so some passengers choose to use headphones during a journey to isolate their audio stream, but this also creates an unnecessary social barrier when interacting with other passengers. When travelling in a vehicle equipped with next-generation SSZ technology, each passenger can connect their smartphone via Bluetooth and listen to their own music without interference from, or interfering with other passenger’s audio streams.

When the SSZ is utilised, hands-free phone calls can also be isolated to individual passengers, ensuring privacy when having important phone conversations on the move.

Furthermore, this ground-breaking technology can eliminate unnecessary sounds for the passenger, but provide them for the driver. Navigation sounds, or various alerts, allow the driver to focus on controlling the vehicle, while the SSZ system isolates these sounds, maintaining a quiet area for the other passengers. This has a particularly strong application for drivers with a sleeping child in the vehicle.

SSZ technology has been in development since 2014, and the completed mass production system is expected to be ready for installation in vehicles within one to two years.

For a video of Separated Sound Zone technology, please visit https://youtu.be/lokXL8qyu1c.

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Future of TV in 4 letters

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Television technology has come a long way, transforming not just the way we consume our entertainment, but also the formats in which media is broadcasted or streamed. Today, TVs can do a lot more than just display our favourite shows, says DEAN DAFFUE, GTM manager at LG Electronics SA.

Today, consumers demand TVs that are not just slim, but so thin that they are like paintings on walls. TVs have become an element of décor that can seamlessly integrate into the design of a home, and render the clearest, sharpest images, with the deepest blacks and crispest whites without compromising on resolution. Home cinema is not just about the picture anymore. Consumers are eyeing TVs that would be able to learn usage patterns and automatically suggest entertainment based on individual preferences. The switch from LCD to LED transformed TV design, allowing for lighter, thinner and easily wall-mountable frames, housing even more sophisticated display tech. The picture quality also dramatically improved with new contrast ratios rendering more vivid colours, deeper blacks and crisper whites. But they were still more functional than aesthetic.

As larger segments of the population embraced internet connectivity and streaming content, the TV became smarter, integrating content-streaming apps for a more seamless viewing experience. As Internet Service Providers (ISPs) upgraded their infrastructures to accommodate the growth in streaming services, TV manufacturers also upgraded their TVs’ ability to tap into different types of content.

In the future, TVs with built in Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be able to learn usage patterns and automatically switch modes based on user preference, and even take instructions from multiple users as TVs become increasingly connected to digital home assistant systems.

Six years on, and we see the evolution that continues to lead in the OLED TV market, LG is racking up awards and accolades for its innovative OLED TVs. This pioneering effort in the design and manufacturing of OLED TVs has culminated in complete dominance of the OLED market, leaving the pinnacle challenge of innovation in display technology, redefining the TV viewing experience, and its place in your home. Great efforts have been made on OLED technology being affordable and accessible, allowing more people to enjoy a better-quality television experience than before. No TV is a greater testament to this than last year’s award-winning LG SIGNATURE W7 – also known as wallpaper.

As South Africans are continuously looking for ‘an experience that amazes’, OLED TVs are considered by industry experts to offer the most advanced display technology. As each pixel on the display can be individually switched on and off, OLED offers enhanced picture quality without image degradation. This results in the highest quality image rendering with the purest blacks. With its myriad advantages, OLED panels have become the most desired display technology today and it has become a leading force in making this technology even more ubiquitous and accessible.

With support for both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, LG OLED TV is the first of its kind to offer a premium cinema experience in the comfort of your home. It also features Active HDR technology, which optimises HDR picture quality scene-by-scene, rendering brighter scenes and greater shadow detail for a life-like viewing experience.

Despite the market dominance, the development of newer, more innovative technologies does not stop. This year a staggering number of innovative display technologies were unveiled, such as future display technology like roll-able OLED screens and large format curved displays that will become the future of wall art.

AI is also set to make an appearance. There is a unique and personalised AI services built on the deep learning-based DeepThinQ technology, in cooperation with other AI service providers such as Google, giving AI TVs the ability to automatically adjust the settings to Game Mode, or Sports Mode based on whether a user is currently playing Xbox or watching a football match. Ultimately, AI TV will provide care and comfort to users’ mind and body by learning more about its users’ viewing habits.

What does this all mean for consumers? With continued innovation and development of display technologies, as well as advanced design, AI, premium audio integration and support for the latest resolutions, colour and High Dynamic Range (HDR) standards, the TV will no longer be a display, but a complete home viewing experience. This is what new ranges of OLED TVs will bring to fruition in the coming months, making it the ideal time to upgrade your TV to the ultimate home entertainment experience.

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