“Let me HEAR you make some noise”

If you are a fan of DJs such as Vicetone, Nicky Romero and David Guetta, I am sure you must have heard them saying the phrase in the topic of this post so many times in live shows but notice the word in uppercase.

Hearing properly is the most important thing when it comes to producing music, listening to the radio or even when having day to day conversations. Like all other important things in life, hearing also must be protected. Prolonged exposure to loud noise could lead to Sensorineural hearing loss, which is caused by damage to the inner ear and/or auditory nerve [1].

Human ear anatomy

Figure : Anatomy of the human ear [2]

Now, do not panic ! Here are some tips suggested by NHS to protect your hearing [3] :

  • Do not listen to your personal music player at very high volumes and never to get rid of background noise.
  • Listen to your music at 60% of the maximum volume of the audio player for no more than 60 minutes a day (also known as 60:60 rule). Most MP3 players and mobile phones have the “smart volume” feature, which helps to regulate the volume output.
  • Try to use noise-cancelling or muff-type headphones when listening to your personal music player. These will block the background noise, so that you can listen to your music at a low volume level, but take regular breaks even when using these (There is a post on my blog on how noise-cancelling headphones work, if you are interested). In-ear headphones are less effective at filtering out background noise.
  • Use ear plugs when you are listening to live music (No, I’m not crazy). You can still enjoy music while wearing these and are widely available at many live music venues.
  • If you are in a vehicle, do not listen to loud music for too long because listening to music in a confined space increases the risk of hearing damage.

 

References :

[1] Effects of Hearing Loss – How It Affects Quality of Life | HearUSA . [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.hearusa.com/HearingHealth/HearingandQualityofLife.aspx. [Accessed 27 April 2014].

[2] Human ear anatomy. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.myvmc.com/uploads/VMC/TreatmentImages/2191_ear_anatomy_450.jpg. [Accessed 27 April 2014].

[3] Tips to protect your hearing – Live Well – NHS Choices. 2014. Tips to protect your hearing – Live Well – NHS Choices. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/hearing-problems/Pages/tips-to-protect-hearing.aspx. [Accessed 27 April 2014].

Advertisements

“Boom Boom, Shake the Room !!” : Dolby Atmos

Do you go to the cinema just to watch a movie on a big screen or does sound play an important role in your entertainment? If you are a person who needs to feel every “thud” and “boom” in a movie, this blog post will surely fantasise you because it is about Dolby Atmos : The technology which helps to produce these amazing sound effects.

Dolby Atmos ensures that the audience hears the sounds produced in movies exactly the way the filmmakers intended. Full creative control over the placement and movement of sound around the audience is provided. Dolby Atmos uses an innovative layered approach to building a soundtrack. A base layer consists of static ambient sounds, which are mixed using the channel-based method. Dynamic audio elements are layered on top of the base layer that can be positioned and moved precisely to match images onscreen to the audio.

Here are some benefits of Dolby Atmos :

  • Creates clearer, more accurately positioned cinema sound; uses object-oriented mixing to layer independent sound elements over channel-based audio content
  • Captures all the director’s intent as descriptive metadata to provide customized playback for each theatre
  • Automatically generates optimum soundtracks for theatres with 5.1- and 7.1-channel setups
  • Delivers a rich, realistic sound experience through support for up to 128 simultaneous and lossless audio elements in a mix
  • Scales easily to any size theatre, with up to 64 independent speaker outputs

Given below is a diagram illustrating speaker setups for Dolby Atmos, 5.1 surround speakers and Dolby Surround 7.1 :

Dolby Atmos Theatre Configuration Comparison

Figure : Speaker configuration for Dolby Atmos, 5.1 surround speakers and Dolby Surround 7.1

The table given below gives an overview of the comparison between Dolby Atmos, 5.1 surround speakers and Dolby Surround 7.1 :

Comparison of Dolby Atmos, 5.1 and Dolby 7.1 Surround

Table : Comparison between Dolby Atmos, 5.1 surround speakers and Dolby Surround 7.1

Reference : Cinema Sound Technology – Dolby Atmos . 2014. Cinema Sound Technology – Dolby Atmos . [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.dolby.com/us/en/consumer/technology/movie/dolby-atmos-details.html. [Accessed 20 April 2014].

Wi-Power Technology : “Wi- What”?

Yes, you read it right, people. Qualcomm has introduced a new technology which enables electronic devices such as mobile phones and tablets to be charged wirelessly, so that power adapters and cables no longer have to be carried when you travel.

wipower_phonelight

 

WiPower uses resonant based wireless charging to reduce the need for wall chargers, unsightly power strips, and congested wall sockets effectively. [1]

Here are some advantages of this technology :

  • True spatial freedom
    • Does not require the precise alignment of devices within charging area
    • Charge multiple electronic devices at the same time within the charging area without direct physical contact
  • Simultaneously charge different device types with varying power requirements
  • Metallic objects will not interfere with the charge process
  • Makes use of existing wireless communication technologies such as Bluetooth to help minimize hardware requirements
  • By charging via surfaces, WiPower supports real world design requirements that blend into the home, office, automobiles and furniture
  • Reduces clutter by eliminating or reducing the amount of wires

Below is a clip showing how wireless charging works :

 

References :

[1]  Wireless Power Technology | Wireless Energy Transfer | WiPower. 2014.Wireless Power Technology | Wireless Energy Transfer | WiPower. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.qualcomm.com/solutions/wireless-charging/wipower. [Accessed 15 April 2014].

 

What is MIMO?

With the global availability of Samsung Galaxy S5 today, you must be wondering what MIMO actually is, since Samsung boasts about this technology, which has been equipped in their latest flagship device.

MIMO (Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output) is a wireless technology that uses multiple transmitters and receivers to transfer more data at the same time [1]. If a particular device has 802.11n, then that particular device is MIMO compatible.  The transmitter and receiver antennas are combined to minimize errors and optimize data speed.

MIMO

Before the introduction of MIMO, multipath effects were caused sometimes due to signal interference because single antennas were used at both ends of the communication link. When electromagnetic (EM) waves interfere with obstacles such as buildings and hills, the wavefronts get scattered and travel in different paths in order to reach the receiving end. This can lead to slow mobile internet speeds and data losses during transmission. At present, MIMO technology utilises these multipath effects to substantially increase the performance and range of transmission by using multiple, smart transmitters and receivers with an added spatial dimension. Higher speeds can be achieved with the availability of more antennas. For example, a wireless adapter consisting of three antennas can have a speed of 600 Mbps while an adapter consisting of two antennas has a speed of 300 Mbps.

The new iPad Air is another device which supports this groundbreaking technology [3].

The link given below further explains MIMO technology visually.

 

References :

[1] Wireless Networking — What is Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO)?. 2014. Wireless Networking — What is Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO)?. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.intel.com/support/wireless/sb/cs-025345.htm. [Accessed 11 April 2014].

[2] What is MIMO (multiple input, multiple output)? – Definition from WhatIs.com. 2014. What is MIMO (multiple input, multiple output)? – Definition from WhatIs.com. [ONLINE] Available at:http://searchmobilecomputing.techtarget.com/definition/MIMO. [Accessed 11 April 2014].

[3] Apple – iPad Air – Features. 2014. Apple – iPad Air – Features. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.apple.com/ipad-air/features/. [Accessed 11 April 2014].

[4] 2×2 MIMO antenna system 2014. . [ONLINE] Available at: http://mwrf.com/site-files/mwrf.com/files/archive/mwrf.com/files/30/21225/fig_01.gif. [Accessed 11 April 2014].

Thunderbolt Technology : Transferring Data at Lightning Speeds

Most you might not be using Thunderbolt for transferring data but let me share some details about this groundbreaking technology. Thunderbolt is an I/O technology introduced by Intel in 2011 and was implemented in Apple’s MacBook Pro (2011 model). It has a bi-directional transfer rate of 10 Gbps and a typical Thunderbolt cable can carry PCI Express DisplayPort data. Thunderbolt cable Figure 1 : Thunderbolt cable

There are various external devices that use this technology in the modern world such as RAID arrays, portable hard disk drives and external displays. Multiples HD displays and up to eight channels of HD audio can be supported by the DisplayPort. In April 2013, Intel announced an advancement to this incredible technology : Thunderbolt 2. The improved version provides two channels of the same bandwidth, allowing a data transfer rate of 20 Gbps. This is up to 20 times faster when compared with USB 2.0 and up to 12 times faster than with FireWire 800. A comparison chart of data transfer rates is given below : Data transfer comparison chart

Figure 2:  Data transfer rates for different media

Thunderbolt 2 also enables simultaneous 4K video file transfer and display and allows up to six Thunderbolt peripherals to be daisy-chained. There are Ethernet and FireWire  adapters available in the market for thunderbolt ports as well, so that if you own a 2013 model of the MacBook Pro, connecting to the internet using an Ethernet cable is no hassle.

References :

[1]  Apple (United Kingdom) – Thunderbolt: Next-generation high-speed I/O technology.. 2014. Apple (United Kingdom) – Thunderbolt: Next-generation high-speed I/O technology.. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.apple.com/uk/thunderbolt/. [Accessed 02 April 2014].

[2]  Thunderbolt™ Technology for Developers. 2014. Thunderbolt™ Technology for Developers. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/io/thunderbolt/thunderbolt-technology-developer.html. [Accessed 02 April 2014]. [3]  Pegasus RAID Storage with Thunderbolt™ . 2014. Pegasus RAID Storage with Thunderbolt™ . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.promise.com/storage/raid_series.aspx?m=192®ion=en-global&rsn1=40&rsn3=47. [Accessed 02 April 2014].