While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.
Israel's maker of small fanless computers CompuLab has revealed a tiny computer for Linux lovers, the MintBox Mini. A fifth of the size of the original MintBox, which was based on the company's fit-PC3
and launched in 2012, the silent, fanless Mini will come with a quad-core processor, solid state storage and be available in the second quarter of 2015 for US$295.
Nearly 3 years ago, we told you about a system from the UK's Porter & Davies that helped drummers feel the low end thunder
they were kicking out by shaking the very stool they sat on. Now the company has extended the technology to other members of the band with the launch of the KT Platform Tactile Monitor, which is said to transmit sound to the player by kinetic transfer, promising that you will "literally feel it in your bones."
Building and playing with robots can be a whole lot of fun for kids of all ages, but making the robot do your bidding by creating lines and lines of code can be a bit, well, dull. Wigl takes a different approach. Rather than generate commands using a smartphone or computer, young programmers just need to pick up an instrument and hit the right note. The little bot then responds with bustin' moves, flashing lights or special dances.
With the Kemper Profiling Amplifier
(or Profiler for short), Christoph Kemper aimed to offer guitarists similar sonic sampling capabilities enjoyed by keyboard players, but in an easy to use lunchbox package capable of authentically modeling any guitar amp tone. And though industry opinion appears to agree that he succeeded, diving into the Profiler's impressive arsenal of digital effects and amp models during a song can be a bit of a challenge, especially when in the studio or on stage. The newly-announced Remote puts the power to switch at a player's feet.
According to the year-end Nielsen Music Report, vinyl sales in the US enjoyed an increase of 52 percent last year, but still lurked in the shadows compared to the 164 billion songs streamed through audio and video platforms. Many of those digital tunes will have been sent from smartphone or tablet over Bluetooth to a wireless speaker system, leaving the living room hi-fi to gather dust in the corner – unused and unloved. USB turntable pioneer Ion Audio has now combined both worlds with the Air LP turntable, which marries vinyl adoration with the convenience of Bluetooth streaming.
As you might expect, Bang & Olufsen's take on the one-stop-shop wireless music system
for the living room is both stylish and expensive. The two part BeoSound Moment system comprises a hub that's compatible with B&O's entire range of wired and wireless speakers, including those boasting the company's Immaculate Wireless Sound
technology, and a tablet-like wireless touch interface. When used together, they integrate digital music collections and streaming services into one unit that can match tunes to a listener's mood.
It's been over 4 years since IK Multimedia first launched a nifty double act that allowed guitarists to plug into numerous digital stomp box and amp emulations on a smartphone. The company has since added a number of new versions to its iRig interface and AmpliTube app family, including the iRig HD
and iRig PRO
, but until now players will have had to use an Apple smart device to access IK's world of tone. Though the iRig HD was recently
made compatible with a very few Android mobile devices, the iRig 2 is spreading the Android love to more users.
Though many mobile workstation users will "make do" with less-than-satisfying audio output from the notebook's built-in amplifier, high res audioholics will likely seek the help of an external DAC headphone amp. Where once you could expect to shell out quite a tidy sum for a quality sonic massager, there are now a good number of affordable devices on the market, from desktop bricks like the Sound Blaster X7
to pocket-friendly beasts like the DacMagic
. The creators of Miyo are promising world-class, studio quality sound in a small, portable and affordable package and believe their DAC to be a cut above the rest.
If pilot projects from companies like Bizzby
and DHL Parcel
are any indication, the skies of Europe could soon be buzzing with parcel delivery drones. GeoPost, the express delivery arm of French mail service La Poste, has now revealed that it undertook drone delivery testing at the Centre d'Etudes et d'Essais pour Modèles Autonomes (CEEMA) in September.
It's been another strong year for instrument innovation, making the task of choosing a top five quite a challenge. Though many excellent examples of envelope pushing have popped up on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo during 2014, including the Hammer Jammer
and Aalberg's Ekko and Aero
, we allowed those to fall gracefully to the cutting room floor in favor of tech that's available now. Join Gizmag as we take a look back at some of the top groove gadgets of the last 12 months.