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CES: Sony supersizes new 8K TV range at 98″

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Sony provided the following information:

A9G Premium OLED TV

The A9G is Sony’s new flagship 4K OLED TV available in 77″, 65″ and 55″ classes 76.7″, 64.5″, and 54.6″ diagonal), all in a very slim form factor. Images come to life with the super-wide viewing angle, precise contrast and absolute blacks of OLED technology. Over 8 million self-illuminating pixels are precisely and individually controlled by Sony’s Picture Processor X1 Ultimate. In addition to the processor, the A9G has Pixel Contrast Booster for more colour and contrast in bright areas. As a result, the A9G provides premium picture quality approaching that of a professional-grade monitor, showing images and colours as they truly are, and as the creator intended. The processor improves SD and HD content to near-4K HDR quality and shows 4K content with stunning clarity.

Acoustic Surface Audio+ provides a totally immersive sound experience with the sound coming from the entire screen, enveloping viewers in exciting new entertainment experiences and providing pictures and sound in perfect harmony. In addition, a TV Center Speaker Mode provides choice to use the TV as the centre speaker.

The A9G is very slim in depth; when wall hung using the SU-WL855 wall mount system, it will fit close to the wall at around half the distance of Sony’s previous model2. This OLED TV is more than just beautiful. It is designed so that it appears to be floating on the wall, leaving only the brilliance of its picture. Furthermore, to provide the best viewing position and flexible usage, SU-WL855 has a swivel functionality as preferred.

For the ultimate in picture quality, the A9G pairs the brilliance of 4K clarity with the brightness, colour and detail of High Dynamic Range (HDR). Previously hidden areas of dark shadow and sunlight are now full of clarity and detail. As with the Z9G, the A9G HDR TVs feature Netflix Calibrated Mode, IMAX Enhanced and Dolby Vision/Dolby Atmos to deliver the viewing experience just as the creator intended. On select Sony BRAVIA TVs, viewers can choose one IMAX Enhanced movie from a blockbuster selection, which includes Sony Pictures Entertainment’s hit movie “Venom,” using the IMAX Enhanced service ‘Privilege 4K’ available this spring.

User Experience

Both the Z9G LCD and the A9G OLED feature Sony’s Android TV, which supports a huge range of apps from Google Play™, including YouTube™, Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu and more for deep smart home integration (availability varies by region). Both TVs also feature built-in Google Assistant to make your TV and home even smarter, and built-in microphones that will free users’ hands. Viewers can simply talk to the TV using the Google Assistant to quickly find what they want, or to play TV shows, movies and more (Google Assistant availability depends on region). The TVs also work with popular smart speakers such as Sony’s own LF-S50G and SRS-XB501G, or those from Google Home or Amazon Echo. With smart speakers, users can control their TV and stream content on their TV just by asking smart speakers – with more features to come later this year.

Sony Z9G Series, A9G Series and X950G Series TVs will be compatible with Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit3. AirPlay 2 lets you effortlessly stream content from your iPhone, iPad and Mac right to your Sony TV. Watch movies and TV shows from iTunes and your other video apps, and view photos directly on your Sony TV. Listen to Apple Music, your iTunes music library, podcasts and your other music services on your television and AirPlay 2 speakers throughout the home — all in sync. HomeKit lets you easily and securely control smart home products using the Home app or by asking Siri on your Apple devices. These TVs can be added to the Home app and included in scenes or automations with other HomeKit accessories. For example, users can create a “Movie Night” scene in the Home app to easily turn on their TV and dim the lights, and simply ask Siri to launch the scene. AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support will launch in Z9G Series, A9G Series and X950G Series later this year.

Further enhancing the user experience, a new easy-to-control smart remote enables viewers to control their connected devices, such as cable/satellite boxes, Blu-ray disc player and game consoles (supported devices vary by region) without switching remote controllers. Also added to the smart remote is an RF so users can control the TV without pointing the remote, and a newly developed user interface brings seamless and quick access to apps and settings.

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CES: Most useless gadgets

The worst gadgets of CES also deserve their moment of infamy, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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It’s fairly easy to choose the best new gadgets launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Most lists – and there are many – highlight the LG roll-up TV, the Samsung modular TV, the Royole foldable phone, the impossible burger, and the walking car.

But what about the voice assisted bed, the smart baby dining table, the self-driving suitcase and the robot that does nothing? In their current renditions, they sum up what is not only bad about technology, but how technology for its own sake quickly leads us down the rabbit hole of waste and futility.

The following pick of the worst of CES may well be a thinly veneered attempt at mockery, but it is also intended as a caution against getting caught up in hype and justification of pointless technology.

1. DUX voice-assisted bed

The single most useless product launched at CES this year must surely be a bed with Alexa voice control built in. No, not to control the bed itself, but to manage the smart home features with which Alexa and other smart speakers are associated. Or that any smartphone with Siri or Google Assistant could handle. Swedish luxury bedmaker DUX thinks it’s a good idea to manage smart lights, TV, security and air conditioning through the bed itself. Just don’t say Alexa’s “wake word” in your sleep.

2. Smart Baby Dining Table 

Ironically, the runner-up comes from a brand that also makes smart beds: China’s 37 Degree Smart Home. Self-described as “the world’s first smart furniture brand that is transforming technology into furniture”, it outdid itself with a Smart Baby Dining Table. This isa baby feeding table with a removable dining chair that contains a weight detector and adjustable camera, to make children’s weight and temperature visible to parents via the brand’s app. Score one for hands-off parenting.

Click here to read about smart diapers, self-driving suitcases, laundry folders, and bad robot companions.

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CES: Language tech means no more “lost in translation”

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Talking to strangers in foreign countries just got a lot easier with recent advancements in translation technology. Last week, major companies and small startups alike showed the CES technology expo in Las Vegas how well their translation worked at live translation.

Most existing translation apps, like Bixby and Siri Translate, are still in their infancy with live speech translation, which brings about the need for dedicated solutions like these technologies:

Babel’s AIcorrect pocket translator

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The AIcorrect Translator, developed by Beijing-based Babel Technology, attracted attention as the linguistic king of the show. As an advanced application of AI technology in consumer technology, the pocket translator deals with problems in cross-linguistic communication. 

It supports real-time mutual translation in multiple situations between Chinese/English and 30 other languages, including Japanese, Korean, Thai, French, Russian and Spanish. A significant differentiator is that major languages like English being further divided into accents. The translation quality reaches as high as 96%.

It has a touch screen, where transcription and audio translation are shown at the same time. Lei Guan, CEO of Babel Technology, said: “As a Chinese pathfinder in the field of AI, we designed the device in hoping that hundreds of millions of people can have access to it and carry out cross-linguistic communication all barrier-free.” 

Click here to read about the Pilot, Travis, Pocketalk, Google and Zoi translators.

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