December Increase in Consumer Confidence – According to data released by the Consumer Electronics Association, consumer confidence in technology reached a yearly high last month, while confidence in the overall economy also improved. Consumer Technology Expectations were up more than two points from the previous month. The CEA’s chief economist said “Technology continues to be the leading category for shoppers during the holiday season…” The CEA Index of Consumer Expectations had an increase of more than 14 points. The CEA has been tracking index data since January 2007.
Reduction in Size and Price of Top-Rated Glass Speakers – Swedish speaker manufacturer Perfect 8 Technologies has won the CES Best Sound Award for four years running, and at this month’s CES will be showing their new Point MKII Ultra High-End Glass Loudspeaker with two outbound subwoofers in a smaller glass enclosure with 10-inch drivers, without any sacrifice in low frequency response. The environmentally-friendly glass speakers have been lowered in price to $115,000. (That’s no typo.)
LG Reveals 84-inch LCD TV – At the International CES, South Korea’s LG Electronics will unveil the world’s largest 3D Ultra Definition (UD) TV display. It measures 84 inches diagonally, is 3D ready, and features LG’s Smart TV technology. The display has over 8 million pixels—more than four times the resolution of today’s FullHD 1080p displays, and uses passive 3D glasses with a newly-added 3D Depth control feature that lets users adjust the degree of the 3D viewing. LG also added a 3D Sound Zooming effect that helps the sound better match the visuals. The Smart TV ecosystem comprises more than 1200 apps and gives users access to a growing range of premium content services, including the 3D Zone where viewers can select 3D movies. An imbedded 2D-to-3D conversion engine expands the availability of 3D content, and a Magic Remote navigation system recognizes the user’s voice and carries out basic verbal commands. The remote has a choice of command inputs, including Voice Recognition, Wheel, Point and Magic Gesture—which reacts to basic hand gestures.
New Sonus Faber Speaker: The Aida – The newest Sonus faber speaker is a tribute to Verdi on the 150th anniversary of the unity of Italy. The 3.5-way floor speaker is characterized by a lyre shape which increases the structural strength and results in better management of the energy produced inside the speaker. A decoupling system of viscous insulating material implements constrained layer damping at the highest level. An anti-vibrational axle in non-magnetic alloy steel binds the internal spaces for the frontal-main emission drivers, the Tuned Mass Damper handles dispersion and spurious vibrations, the Stealth Reflex handles extension and the reduction of low frequency distortion, and the Zero Vibration Transmission patent decouples the speaker from the floor. The Aida’s Sound Field Shaper allows for a balance between direct and indirect emission. The Bow Spring hybrid suspension uses a crossbow design drawn to a flexing point and elastomer with progressive yielding, to reduce spurious resonance and acoustic feedback. SRP: $120,000.
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