Panasonic TVs Adding Dragon Voice-Recognition – Panasonic’s 2013 step-up smart TV line will add Nuance Communications’ Dragon TV voice-recognition technology, allowing viewers to trigger basic TV commands by simply speaking them. The technology’s text-to-speech capability also audibly reads text content on TV and options that appear on the screen. Dragon TV was designed specifically for smart TVs, set-top box OEMs and service operators. A spokesman said “Consumers need a simple way to navigate and search the overwhelming amount of TV content.”
More CE Products with Bluetooth AptX – The AptX codec delivers CD-quality music over Bluetooth by eliminating the compression artifacts that Bluetooth’s SBC audio codec makes more noticeable when a MP3 file is transmitted wirelessly. AptX converts the compressed music to PCM, re-encodes it into compressed AptX for wireless transmission via Bluetooth. Once received, the file is restored back to PCM. AptX is incorporated in multiple smartphones and tablets, headphones and tabletop digital media speakers. Apple also supports AptX and AAC over Bluetooth in its desktops and laptops.
Apple and HP Lead in PC Study – A recent study by Temkin Group Research looked at ten PC brands and placed Apple at the top with a rating of 64%, and the company was perceived as most accessible and emotional. Second-place HP had a score of 62% and led in the area of functionality.
BenQ Introduces Short-Throw 3D HD Projector – BenQ America has unveiled a $1299 FullHD 3D projector, which will create a screen image of up to 100 inches from as little as 6 feet from the screen. It uses SmartEco technology, said to cut energy costs by automatically adjusting lamp power to match surrounding room light. It also automatically lowers brightness to 30% when no display is detected for three minutes. An Auto Blank mode blocks light output when objects are detected in front of the lens. The projector has 10,000:1 contrast ratio and 10-watt stereo speakers. Users can calibrate the projector’s colors to a Rec. 709 color gamut, matching film studio and TV broadcast standards.
Bolshoi Ballet to be Audited – Russia’s state audit agency is looking into the Bolshoi amidst allegations of mismanagement and corruption. They claim this isn’t linked to the dancer accused of planning the attack on Artistic Director Sergei Filin, but they are looking at Filin’s spending decisions, in particular grants given to some dancers. A former ballerina also accused the Bolshoi’s General Director of a practice of using ballerinas as pleasure escorts for rich tycoons.