Electronic Design

The Sights, Sounds, And Sensory Overload Of CES

If you went to this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas like I did, you probably were overloaded from its sights and sounds. I’m still trying to catch up, categorize, and comprehend everything I saw there. You can find a fraction of what I ran into in my EiED Online column, with more details and images than I can list here, at www.electronicdesign.com.

A number of products stood out, like Bug Labs’ BUGbase (see “Proto Heaven,” right) and Samsung’s SyncMaster 2263DX (see “Seeing Double,” right). Gamers were hot on Texas Instruments’ DualView technology, which highlighted TI’s HDTV DLP projection displays. A pair of video sources plugs into the system, which displays each source in alternate frames.

DualView is a bit disconcerting for regular viewers. But put on a pair of the DualView glasses, and you see one solid HDTV image. It’s definitely better than playing a split-screen game and effectively prevents one player from seeing another’s screen, even though they are on the same display. This is the same technology used to present 3D images, except in that case, each eye sees every other frame.

This technology could provide some advantages for group viewing of video from different but related sources. For example, an unmanned aerial vehicle might display a pilot’s view along with a downward view, so individuals can switch from one to the other by simply selecting the source enabled by the glasses.

Plenty of other presentations took place behind the scenes at CES, too. At Analog Devices’ suite, Fishman showed off its Ellipse Aura, which is based on the Blackfin digital signal controller (see the figure). This preamp fits inside an acoustic guitar’s sound hole and connects to an undersaddle pickup. It translates the sound from the pickup so the result is comparable to a sound environment selected by the user.

Fishman took guitars and recorded them via microphones in sound studios, auditoriums, and other environments. The company then determined the difference between the audio stream coming from the undersaddle pickup and the resulting sound in the desired space. The system can complete the same transformation for the same high-quality sound. Users must download the proper configuration to the unit, but Fishman has all the major brands covered.

Meanwhile, the show featured the usual one-upmanship, with hits like Panasonic’s 150-in. plasma display and the horde of organic LED (OLED) HDTVs from the likes of Sony and Samsung. There were even a couple of 3D LCDs that don’t require glasses, like LG’s, which employs a lenticular lens filter.

Fishman • www.fishman.com

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