SAMSUNG NW700 SOUND+
If there’s a downside to the onslaught of ultra-thin tellies, it’s that they often make the soundbars sitting underneath them look positively elephantine. Not the case with Samsung’s new effort, which easily rivals your OLED in the skinny stakes. The NW700 Sound+ measures just 53.5mm in depth – 41% less than the current MS650 model. Does that mean sacrifices are made to its noise-making innards? Well, there’s no Dolby Atmos, but the NW700 has a built-in woofer and we’re promised powerful bass when it’s needed. We’ll have to reserve judgement until we’ve heard it in action, but if the audio performance matches the irresistible design, Samsung has a slinky star on its hands. £tbc / samsung.com
Nice cyberpunk goggles you’ve got there. Do you by any chance live in a rain-soaked, neon-lit fictional metropolis and spend a lot of time riding a motorbike?
Only in daydreams, sadly. What you’re actually looking at is the long-awaited mixed reality headset from Magic Leap, the enigmatic startup that has received over a billion dollars in investment. That we’ve finally seen a product with our own eyes is, it’s fair to say, quite a big deal.
Cool. So, er, what (or WTF) is it?
Rather than messing around with VR, the Magic Leap One ‘Creator Edition’ aims to revolutionise the way we think about augmented reality. It’s not about removing you from the real world, but instead using the company’s ‘digital lightfield’ tech to seamlessly project images onto a replica of the world around you, à la Hololens and the like. These images remain in place when you’re not looking at them – so if you leave the room while a monster plays chess, he’ll still be there when you return.
My house needs more chess-playing monsters. So how does it work?
Spec-wise, we’re still in the dark, but it does seem like a minor miracle that Magic Leap has managed to cram so much into what is essentially a pair of compact goggles. Available in two sizes, it somehow packs in four microphones and at least six external cameras for precision tracking. The speakers are also part of the headset itself, providing spatial audio as you interact with the environment. The heavy work is handled by a dinky but powerful external computer called the Lightpack, which you clip to your waist, and you also get a controller imaginatively named Control.
Impressive. When can I get one of these on my face?
Sadly, Magic Leap is keeping schtum on pricing and release date, but we have been promised a first version some time this year.