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Sonos’ Fix for Aging Speakers Is Two Separate Sonos Apps

When Sonos said in late January that some of its earliest speaker models were going to lose full software support starting this spring, the backlash in the Sonos community was swift. Sonos customers on Twitter and Facebook fired off angry missives about the company “bricking” their older devices, compelling chief …

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Toy Fair 2020 Madness: Mega-Pikachu, Beanie Baby Fashion, and More

Matt Jancer is a staff writer for WIRED who focuses on reviewing outdoor gear. Previously, he spent a decade as a freelance writer covering automobiles, motorcycles, and lifestyle stories for magazines. Some of his longest gigs were at Car and Driver, Outside, Esquire, Playboy, and Popular Mechanics. 
Source: Gear Latest

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LG V60 ThinQ Hands On: 8K Video, 5G, and a Second Screen

5G connectivity. 8K video recording. A design that folds. These are some of the things you’ll get in one of Samsung’s newest phones—but the privilege will cost you at least $1,000 for the most affordable device of the lot.

If you want these next-gen features but aren’t feeling the four-figure price tags, you could try LG’s new phone: the V60 ThinQ.

It supports the new mobile network, packs a camera sensor with 64 megapixels for 8K recording, and comes bundled (depending on where you buy it) with the Dual Screen attachment—a case that adds a second screen to the phone, exactly like last year’s G8X ThinQ. You get all of this and a headphone jack, something missing from all of Samsung’s flagship phones, for a few hundred dollars less. (LG hasn’t announced pricing yet, but the company says it will be priced in the ballpark of previous devices, so around $700 or $800.)

I only spent a few minutes with the phone, and while it’s a compelling offer on paper, I’m not convinced the company has improved the areas where the V60’s predecessors fell short. The cameras are usually decent, but not as nice as what you get from Samsung, Google, and Apple; more megapixels doesn’t guarantee better photos. The software still looks dated, and there’s no sign of the phone receiving Android updates faster. There’s no folding screen here, and while the second screen does turn the V60 ThinQ into a foldable phone of sorts, it comes at the cost of being bulky, heavy, and cumbersome—and frankly a little ugly too.

Bigger Everything

Photograph: LG

LG does nail most of the basics. The V60’s high-res OLED screen is something I could stare at all day. It’s marred only by a small notch housing the selfie camera. There’s a bigger, 5,000-mAH battery inside, too, which should keep the phone powered for a reasonable amount of time.

Powering it all is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 processor with 8 GB of RAM, which keeps performance slick. Then there’s the MicroSD card slot if you want more storage over the base 128 gigs, support for fast wired and wireless charging, IP68 water resistance, and the latest version of Android. All features you’d expect in a flagship phone. The headphone jack is even connected to a high quality digital-to-analog converter that keeps the audio sounding great.

Source: Gear Latest

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Ammunition x Gantri Lamp Collection Illuminates 3D Printing’s Benefits

The proliferation of 3D printing technology has made a whole world of physical objects instantly accessible. Anything you want can be materialized before your eyes with the press of a button.

Even though he’s equipped with that sort of unlimited possibility, Ian Yang just wants to make a nice lamp.

Yang is the founder and CEO of Gantri, a San Francisco company that designs, fabricates, and sells 3D-printed lamps. While he has entertained the idea of branching out to other genres of home decor, for now the limited focus is deliberate. Yang says the company aims to make attractive, high-design products as a way to shine a light on the potential of 3D printing as a quick and relatively inexpensive form of manufacturing.

“Design has always been something that’s very out of touch from consumers,” he says. “It’s very expensive.”

With its 3D printing tech, Gantri can keep things affordable. The company’s facility in San Leandro, California features a giant, custom-made 3D printer dubbed “Dancer.” Each of the lamps Gantri sells is made of a plastic derived from corn-based polylactic acid (PLA). Each piece is printed and assembled at the factory, then hand-finished with a water-based paint and shipped directly to consumers. The whole process, from design sketches to finished lamp, can take as little as eight weeks. More than 30 designers have contributed to Gantri’s library, resulting in an eclectic collection of plastic bulb holders.

The Signal desk light is one of the new lamps in Gantri’s collection that was designed by the SF firm Ammunition, which is famous for some of Silicon Valley’s most iconic designs.

Photograph: Gantri

The latest of these collaborators has a pedigree in the tech world. Ammunition is a San Francisco design firm that has designed Polaroid cameras, branding for Beats by Dre, a robot barista, and the light-up beacon for Lyft vehicles. Today, the two companies announced a collection of 10 new lights, available on Gantri’s website. Starting price: $148.

Ammunition’s collection is in step with the firm’s characteristic minimalist aesthetic. There’s a mix of table lamps, task lights, wall lights, and standing floor lamps on offer with shapes that range from tall mushrooms to something reminiscent of the Bat Signal. The styles also align with Gantri’s unofficial design ethos. These lamps tend to be off-kilter pieces with soft, rounded edges. Bases and shades seem to blend together into one smooth piece. They don’t look like the type of lamp you’ll spot in a Kohl’s.

This breadth of variation wouldn’t have been possible without the flexibility of Gantri’s process. Yang says that most luxury lighting brands launch far fewer lights per year, simply because they’re constrained by the amount of resources and oversight traditional manufacturing requires. With the final product being 3D printed, Ammunition was able to view a prototype as soon as they had a design.

“There’s this sense that 3D printing is just as basic as you have an idea, sketch it out, and then you send it to the printer and it’s ready in 24 hours,” says Victoria Slaker, vice president of industrial design at Ammunition. “But what [Gantri] has done is create a platform that allows designers to evolve designs … to kind of keep iterating and keep developing in a way that we would never have done on any other project.”

Source: Gear Latest

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Best of Toy Fair (2020): Baby Yoda, ASMR for Kids, and More

Within a minute of walking through the doors of the American International Toy Fair, I felt like a kid walking through Toys “R” Us. It’s the largest toy trade show in the Western hemisphere, held in New York City, and everything on display was fresh and exciting. Strolling down the countless rows of booths, I saw big companies like Lego rub floor space with small ones, with CEOs overflowing with enthusiasm over how they invented whole new categories of toys.

Augmented reality, blending digital and physical worlds, is among the most popular tech powering new toys this year, but I was struck at how much emphasis there still is on physical play, encouraging kids to unplug from the digital world. Virtual or not, the toys are all cutting-edge (electric motors let inventors do so many more interesting things that could never have been done with gas), and everything’s also made with far more eco-friendly materials than what we played with as kids. I searched for hours on end to find the toy fair’s best—here are 13 of my favorites from the show.

When you buy something using the links in our stories, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Here’s how it works.

Source: Gear Latest

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Best of Toy Fair (2020): Baby Yoda, ASMR for Kids, and More

Within a minute of walking through the doors of the American International Toy Fair, I felt like a kid walking through Toys “R” Us. It’s the largest toy trade show in the Western hemisphere, held in New York City, and everything on display was fresh and exciting. Strolling down the countless rows of booths, I saw big companies like Lego rub floor space with small ones, with CEOs overflowing with enthusiasm over how they invented whole new categories of toys.

Augmented reality, blending digital and physical worlds, is among the most popular tech powering new toys this year, but I was struck at how much emphasis there still is on physical play, encouraging kids to unplug from the digital world. Virtual or not, the toys are all cutting-edge (electric motors let inventors do so many more interesting things that could never have been done with gas), and everything’s also made with far more eco-friendly materials than what we played with as kids. I searched for hours on end to find the toy fair’s best—here are 13 of my favorites from the show.

When you buy something using the links in our stories, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Here’s how it works.

Source: Gear Latest

Posted on

Best of Toy Fair (2020): Baby Yoda, ASMR for Kids, and More

Within a minute of walking through the doors of the American International Toy Fair, I felt like a kid walking through Toys “R” Us. It’s the largest toy trade show in the Western hemisphere, held in New York City, and everything on display was fresh and exciting. Strolling down the countless rows of booths, I saw big companies like Lego rub floor space with small ones, with CEOs overflowing with enthusiasm over how they invented whole new categories of toys.

Augmented reality, blending digital and physical worlds, is among the most popular tech powering new toys this year, but I was struck at how much emphasis there still is on physical play, encouraging kids to unplug from the digital world. Virtual or not, the toys are all cutting-edge (electric motors let inventors do so many more interesting things that could never have been done with gas), and everything’s also made with far more eco-friendly materials than what we played with as kids. I searched for hours on end to find the toy fair’s best—here are 13 of my favorites from the show.

When you buy something using the links in our stories, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Here’s how it works.

Source: Gear Latest

Posted on

Best of Toy Fair (2020): Baby Yoda, ASMR for Kids, and More

Within a minute of walking through the doors of the American International Toy Fair, I felt like a kid walking through Toys “R” Us. It’s the largest toy trade show in the Western hemisphere, held in New York City, and everything on display was fresh and exciting. Strolling down the countless rows of booths, I saw big companies like Lego rub floor space with small ones, with CEOs overflowing with enthusiasm over how they invented whole new categories of toys.

Augmented reality, blending digital and physical worlds, is among the most popular tech powering new toys this year, but I was struck at how much emphasis there still is on physical play, encouraging kids to unplug from the digital world. Virtual or not, the toys are all cutting-edge (electric motors let inventors do so many more interesting things that could never have been done with gas), and everything’s also made with far more eco-friendly materials than what we played with as kids. I searched for hours on end to find the toy fair’s best—here are 13 of my favorites from the show.

When you buy something using the links in our stories, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Here’s how it works.

Source: Gear Latest

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Xbox Series X Details: Features, Processor, and More

Today, Microsoft revealed some tantalizing specs for its upcoming Xbox Series X console, which arrives later this year. Speed is the biggest theme of today’s announcement, as Microsoft leans hard into tech that stomps out latency, lag, and other undesirable hurdles to gaming.

Gone will be the days of grabbing a cold beer to kill time between closing Overwatch on your Xbox and opening Forza Horizon 4. In an info dump posted this morning, Xbox head Phil Spencer described the Xbox Series X’s new “quick resume” feature, which will minimize the time spent switching between Xbox games and waiting on loading screens. Players can transition between multiple games, each in a suspended state, “almost instantly, returning you to where you were and what you were doing,” Spencer wrote.

The Xbox Series X’s custom processor—AMD’s Zen 2 and Radeon RDNA 2 architecture—is four times more powerful than the Xbox One’s. Its GPU can handle a massive 12 teraflops of GPU performance, which is twice the Xbox One X’s. “The next console generation will be defined by more playing and less waiting,” says Spencer, citing “ultra-low latency” and a better wireless controller that instantly synchronizes players’ button inputs with the display. The Xbox Series X will also support up to 120 frames per second, compared to the Xbox One X’s 60 frames per second, meaning you’ll witness more of every blood-spattered encounter in Doom Eternal.

One vehicle for this big leap in visual tech is the HDMI 2.1, which the Xbox Series X says it will take full advantage of. The HDMI connection governs what console gamers see on their displays, and although a lot of 4K televisions support HDMI 2.0s, HDMI 2.1 ports aren’t yet standard. But if you do have a compatible set, you stand to benefit from a pair of new features: “Auto Low Latency Mode,” which will “automatically set the connected display to its lowest latency mode,” and its “Variable Refresh Rate,” which will automatically balance your television’s refresh rate to the refresh rate of the game you’re playing and combat lag. A recent Forbes report described how these promises of monumentally high framerates dependent on HDMI 2.1-compatible TVs are giving most TV brands “a series headache.”

The Xbox Series X will host four generations of Xbox games, and transfer players’ existing libraries from the Xbox One. Thankfully, playing them on the Xbox Series X will mean more stable framerates, better resolution and faster load times. Today, Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red announced that, if you buy the upcoming game on the Xbox One, you’ll receive an upgrade for your Xbox Series X for free. “Gamers should never be forced to purchase the same game twice or pay for upgrades,” said CD Projekt Red, quote-tweeting the Xbox Twitter account’s announcement of backward compatibility. An Xbox Series X feature called “Smart Delivery” will ensure that you access the right version of a given game for whatever console you’re on.

It’s hard to say right now how the Xbox Series X compares to the upcoming PlayStation 5. We don’t yet know the PlayStation 5’s major specs for sure, but we do know that both consoles deliver 4K gaming, have solid state drives, and support ray tracing. Price remains a major unknown for both. A recent Bloomberg report claimed that the manufacturing cost of a PlayStation 5 may be around $450. Creator Sony has to turn a profit, but the PlayStation 4 sold—and sold well—for just $400 back in 2013.

Source: Gear Latest