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Dolby Atmos – a visit to Dolby’s new screening room in Soho

January 30, 2013
Dolby's creening room in Soho Square, London

Dolby’s screening room in Soho Square, London

Last week I had an opportunity to visit Dolby Labs new London home in Soho Square, the trip was mainly to visit one of our students from one of our audio engineering programmes at Salford University who is on placement there for 12 months. The screening room here is impressive in itself – a small cinema with near-perfect acoustics and a 4K projector, pretty much an ideal listening environment and as part of the visit I got to experience Dolby’s Atmos demos. I’ve been looking forward to this for quite a while…

Atmos is an exciting prospect for many of us involved in audio research as it is the first commercial object based audio system that has potential to go mainstream. Read the rest of this entry »

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UK Govt report: Not using social media “could appear unusual or even suspicious” in 10 years

January 22, 2013

Silver_Social_Media_Icons_by_WebTreatsETC

My eye was just drawn to a couple of pieces about the UK government report that was published today. The document, entitled Future Identities, Changing Identities in the UK: The next 10 Years is covered in an article in The Telegraph here whose headline, Rise of social networks in Britain ‘risks fuelling social unrest’ will certainly help fuel its readers suspicion of social. Is this just media paranoia? Certainly there has been plenty of that over recent years, remember the furore over the riots here in the UK?

Reading the article more closely though, and looking at the report itself there are some interesting, and yes, some quite unnerving things to consider. The report speaks of a changing situation where people have several overlapping identities rather than a single one. We knew that. Our students learn about the importance of digital identity and how to separate their personal from their public identities. My kids and their friends are not so switched on about it unfortunately but hopefully they will learn. They’ll have to be very good at it.

The report talks of social media remapping the social relationships of the UK, of Read the rest of this entry »

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Update ‹ Audio Flipboard Anyone?

January 21, 2013

Some time ago I posted that I’d love to see an audio equivalent to Flipboard, the wonderful social media agglomerator that presents your connected networks in magazine format. The audio version would collate your audio based networks and content (Audioboo, Soundcloud, Last.FM etc) and present it as an interactive personalised radio programme.

Well one of my students is taking on aspects of this in a final year project. Joe is using the OSC communication format to create an (almost) audio only interface which can drive the application. In the first instance he’s controlling a programme written in PureData with OSC and looking at interacting with multiple spatially separated audio sources. The same interface could of course be implemented stand-alone as a mobile app to curate audio feeds but this is outside of the scope of this initial project brief. Early questions involve asking how many sources can be simultaneously processed and navigated successfully by shifting the focus of the user and there’ll be some testing going on over the next few weeks..

You can follow Joe’s progress here as he is keeping a logbook online. I’m hoping this is something that can be developed further in future projects as well. Lots of coffee needed I think but all going well so far….

 

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Academic Publishing Rant follow up

December 30, 2012

blog open access

I recently posted a blog entry that started off as a response to, and supportive of @melissaterras article on using social media to promote research. The post turned into a bit of a rant – sorry! At least this time it is clearly labelled 😉 Read the rest of this entry »

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Comment: is blogging or tweeting about research papers worth it?

December 28, 2012

Just read @melissaterras great article here on her experiences using social media to promote her research papers.

no access

Unsurprisingly the papers she blogged about and tweeted were downloaded more, the only surprise was how much more. I am curious how much of this is because they were available for free download rather than being behind a paywall though. Would similar results have happened had she linked to the usual “you do not subscribe to this journal” message?

It’s another insight into academic publishing which doesn’t make pretty reading for publishing academics.

The paywall adopted by the vast majority of academic journals might as well be designed to prevent people accessing knowledge. But this access problem has no impact on publisher profits. Academics have to publish in these journals because of national research assessment exercises, institutions have to pay for access so that academics can cite the articles in the papers they submit, often to the same journals. Sound like a scam? Feels like it too. Read the rest of this entry »

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Through the Looking Glass: return to the ETC

October 3, 2012

The Entertainment Technology Center

Over the last couple of years I have written a little about my previous visits to the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University here and here, a few things have changed since then so this visit was an interesting one in a number of ways. First of all Don Marinelli has now retired. As Don was one of the two founders of the ETC this leaves something of a hole in the place: Don is something of a superstar – inspirational speaker, larger than life character and a truly gifted teacher with a tight grasp on how learning works. A good friend too. Nevertheless, the ETC is bigger than any one man and Don and Randy Pausch provided enough momentum that I suspect their ongoing project is pretty much unstoppable now.

Also, last semester we had the pleasure of hosting one of the ETC’s project teams here at MediaCityUK, (I’ll document that in another post soon – complications around a parallel project meant that I’ve been obliged to keep quite about it till now). This was my first return visit since hosting the project at MediaCityUK and I was here to do more workshops on 3D audio and how ETC projects could use it in game development. The brilliant Dave Purta, the ETC tech support, made sure all the hardware was set up for me and ready to roll so I arrived with a couple of laptops on the audio evangelist tour pt II.

A nice welcome when I arrived

Last year I showed Read the rest of this entry »

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FascinatE project 2nd review

May 26, 2012

I’ve just returned from an intense week at the FascinatE EU FP7 project review  at Fraunhofer HHI, Berlin, you can find some detail of the project here. This is our second annual review by the European Commission review team, I blogged about the first one at the time. As part of the review we’ve demonstrated a bunch of components from the project, many of which are now integrated after a great deal of development work over the last year and some very long working days and nights over the last couple of months.

This time we’ve been pretty ambitious and ran the review in parallel with a first public demonstration of the system combined with a test shoot at the Arena concert hall in Berlin. The test shoot is Read the rest of this entry »

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