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Tag Archives: sound

Mercedes-Benz turns to SoundHound for in-vehicle voice assistant

Drivers of new Mercedes-Benz A-Class vehicles will soon be able to talk to their cars. And the cars will respond. Ask the car to turn on the heads-up display or for sports scores. Say you’re hungry and it will suggest restaurants. The new in-vehicle assistant utilizes local and cloud data to provide drivers plenty to talk about. The service was built by a 13-year old startup run out of Santa Clara, CA called SoundHound . Originally, the company launched as a Shazam-like service but kept evolving into a robust conversational artificial intelligence service. Different versions of SoundHound’s service are available on a number of platforms including iOS, Android and in several vehicles made by Kia and Hyundai . Mercedes’ version of SoundHound’s service is two parts. Some of the requests, mostly about the vehicle’s systems, are processed locally. If a driver asks about sports scores or stock prices or a gas station location, the service reaches out to a cloud service to retrieve the latest information

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Google’s Home Max speaker arrives in Australia

Google's high quality Home Max speaker is coming to Australia. The company's most expensive audio product, which boasts sound 20 times more powerful than the standard Google Home, will be available in the country from August 9. The Australian release...

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Review: The V-Moda Crossfade II Wireless headphones look and sound beautiful

Damn. These are good looking headphones. The V-Moda Crossfade II Wireless could be the best looking headphones available. Better yet, they sound good, too. As the name suggests, this is the second generation of this series of headphones from V-Moda. The drivers are different and the company improved on the build quality. The originals were already one of my favorite headphones and the followup is even better. gallery ids="1667954,1667951,1667952,1667950,1667953,1667955,1667956" Here’s what I like: The build quality of these headphones is superb. The V-Moda Crossfade II Wireless headphones feel like they’ll last a lifetime. I have headphones from Bose, Definitive, Denon, Shinola, Audeze and more and none look or feel as good as these. They’re comfortable. Even on my large head, they fit nicely and I’m able to wear them for hours at a time without issue. The headphones sound great, too.

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Ashton Kutcher and Effie Epstein to talk Sound Ventures at TC Disrupt SF

While many celebrities try to invest in the world of tech, very few do so successfully. And no one has proved their worth as celebrity-turned-VC more than Ashton Kutcher . That’s why we’re absolutely thrilled to host Ashton Kutcher and Sound Ventures partner Effie Epstein at TC Disrupt SF in September. Kutcher first got into investing in 2011 with the launch of A-Grade Investments . The firm invested in big-name companies like DuoLingo, FlexPort, ProductHunt, Airbnb, and Uber. In 2014, Kutcher, alongside his longtime friend and partner Guy Oseary, started a new VC firm called Sound Ventures . Since launch, Sound Ventures has made 53 investments and led six rounds of financing, with portfolio companies including Gusto, Vicarious, Robinhood, Lemonade, and Acorns. And in 2017, Sound made another investment in the form of Effie Epstein . The firm brought on Epstein as managing partner and COO, with Kutcher telling TechCrunch: “Effie has a deep understanding of business and fiduciary responsibilities. She also has a multidisciplinary background which makes her a home run for venture. The bottom line is she is someone I want to work for.” Before joining Sound, Epstein led global strategy at Marsh & McLennan subsidiary Marsh. Prior to Marsh, she served as SVP of planning and head of Investor Relations at iHeartMedia, and before that she worked in business development at Clear. Epstein also worked in investment banking in the energy sector and has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Ashton Kutcher and Effie Epstein to talk Sound Ventures at Disrupt SF

While many celebrities try to invest in the world of tech, very few do so successfully. And no one has proved their worth as celebrity-turned-VC more than Ashton Kutcher . That’s why we’re absolutely thrilled to host Ashton Kutcher and Sound Ventures partner Effie Epstein at TC Disrupt SF in September. Kutcher first got into investing in 2011 with the launch of A-Grade Investments . The firm invested in big-name companies like DuoLingo, FlexPort, ProductHunt, Airbnb, and Uber. In 2014, Kutcher, alongside his longtime friend and partner Guy Oseary, started a new VC firm called Sound Ventures . Since launch, Sound Ventures has made 53 investments and led six rounds of financing, with portfolio companies including Gusto, Vicarious, Robinhood, Lemonade, and Acorns. And in 2017, Sound made another investment in the form of Effie Epstein . The firm brought on Epstein as managing partner and COO, with Kutcher telling TechCrunch: “Effie has a deep understanding of business and fiduciary responsibilities. She also has a multidisciplinary background which makes her a home run for venture. The bottom line is she is someone I want to work for.” Before joining Sound, Epstein led global strategy at Marsh & McLennan subsidiary Marsh. Prior to Marsh, she served as SVP of planning and head of Investor Relations at iHeartMedia, and before that she worked in business development at Clear. Epstein also worked in investment banking in the energy sector and has an MBA from Harvard Business School. In other words, Epstein brings a multi-disciplinary approach to Sound, which is venturing beyond consumer tech into financial services, insurance tech, enterprise, govtech and medtech sectors. This won’t be Kutcher’s first go-around at Disrupt.

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Researchers create a real cloaking device

Researcher Amanda D. Hanford at Pennsylvania State University has created a real cloaking device that can route sound waves around an object, making it invisible to some sensing techniques. From the report : Hanford and her team set out to engineer a metamaterial that can allow the sound waves to bend around the object as if it were not there. Metamaterials commonly exhibit extraordinary properties not found in nature, like negative density. To work, the unit cell — the smallest component of the metamaterial — must be smaller than the acoustic wavelength in the study. Hanford created an acoustic metamaterial that deflected sound waves under water, a difficult feat. In testing she and the team were able to place the material in water and measure sound waves pointed at it. The resulting echoes in the water suggested that the sound waves did not bounce off or around the material. This means the new material would be invisible to sonar. Obviously this technology is still in its early stages and the material does not make the objects invisible but just very hard to detect in underwater situations. However, the fact ship captains could soon yell “Activate the cloaking device” as evil, laser-toting dolphins appear on the horizon should give everyone a bit of cheer.

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