SAM­SUNG NW700 SOUND+

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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.

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