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Hisense promises cinema-like viewing with latest 4K UST projector

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If you want big screen entertainment in your home but don’t want a huge television dominating a room, ultra-short-throw projectors offer a tidy alternative. China’s Hisense has announced a new addition to its L5 series of UST 4K projectors in the shape of the L5F Laser Cinema.

As the name suggests, ultra-short-throw projectors can be placed just inches from a wall or screen, and can be stowed away between uses so that they don’t clutter up the living room. Hisense says that the L5F Laser Cinema can throw a 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) image at 120 diagonal inches from 13.8 inches from a suitable vertical surface.

The DLP projector utilizes a single blue laser light source and phosphor color filter for a reported brightness of almost 2,700 lumens and more than a billion colors. The system exceeds the Rec.709 color space and supports 83 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut, and comes with HDR10 and HLG decoding cooked in for true-to-life picture quality “with incredible depth and sharp details.” And MEMC smooth motion technology is included for the promise of clear, crisp fast-moving images.

The L5F Laser Cinema is not necessarily reserved for home entertainment, but could give business presentations more pop too
The L5F Laser Cinema is not necessarily reserved for home entertainment, but could give business presentations more pop too

Hisense

Though the unit does come with analog and digital audio outputs, it also rocks two 15-W speakers for an all-in-one entertainment solution. The built-in 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi and Android TV combination should keep you engaged, with access to popular apps like Netflix, YouTube, Disney Plus and more on offer, but there’s an Ethernet port for cabling up to a home router too. You can also connect the unit to audio/video systems and gaming consoles via the four HDMI ports.

The projector can throw movies or games up onto a wall but users are promised a superior viewing experience in a variety of lighting conditions when it’s paired with the included 120-inch ambient light rejecting screen.

The 120L5F Laser Cinema model is available now for US$4,999.99.

Source: Hisense

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Source: https://newatlas.com/home-entertainment/hisense-l5f-120-inch-4k-ust-projector/

NEWATLAS

Sony taps TV processing tech for latest 4K SXRD projectors

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Sony is retiring a couple of projectors from its home-cinema lineup, but has also announced their immediate replacements. There’s a laser model and a lamp model, and both feature an image processor based on those used in the company’s Bravia televisions, but optimized for projectors.

“Sony’s 4K SXRD projectors have led the market for years, and these new models take the viewer’s experience to the next level,” said the company’s Neal Manowitz. “Whether they’re for enjoying the latest movies or playing action-packed games, our newest projectors deliver a dynamic, big screen experience that truly immerses viewers in their favorite content.”

The projectors share many features, including Silicon X-tal Reflective Display (SXRD) panel technology that makes delivery of native 4K (4,096 x 2,160) resolution possible, with Sony promising deep blacks, vibrant colors and smooth cinematic motion.

The X1 for projector image processor allows for high-precision frame analysis, enabling features like Dynamic HDR Enhancer – aimed at delivering the best contrast for HDR content on a scene-by-scene basis – and Reality Creation – which analyzes images to the pixel level to “enrich 4K content and real-world detail and texture” and will work for upscaled 2K and Full HD images too.

The home cinema projectors are compatible with IMAX Enhanced content, feature a motorized zoom and wide lens-shift range that caters for flexible projector placement, and come with Motionflow – which adds frames to reduce blur in fast-moving images. And like the models they replace in Sony’s home cinema lineup (VPL-VW995ES and VPL-VW295ES), the new projectors come with input lag reduction capabilities. They each sport two HDMI inputs and Ethernet LAN.

The VPL-VW1025ES has a 2,200-lumens Z-Phosphor laser light source that should be good for 20,000 hours of use, and it’s home to a large-aperture, all-glass lens comprising 18 elements, including six extra-low-dispersion elements, for “clear and vivid” edge-to-edge image delivery.

Contrast for the iris and the laser can be adjusted independently to “optimize light output for both dark and bright well-lit scenes.” The optical focus is complemented by digital technology to keep the images in sharp focus, and will compensate for any potential optical degradation of the lens. The projector will also be able to store focus, zoom, and lens-shift settings for five different screen formats for setup ease.

The smaller VPL-VW325ES model rocks a 1,500-lumens mercury lamp for up to 6,000 hours of viewing time before needing to be replaced, while its 4K aspherical lens should offer corner-to-corner sharpness.

Destined for home theaters, the VPL-VW1025ES is available for pre-order for US$39,999, while the VPL-VW325ES comes in at $5,499.

Source: Sony

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Source: https://newatlas.com/home-entertainment/sony-4k-sxrd-home-cinema-projectors/

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NASA’s Mars Helicopter makes historic first flight

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NASA has made history today, conducting the very first powered flight on another planet. The Mars Helicopter Ingenuity successfully took to the Red Planet skies for a brief jaunt, which will hopefully be the first of several.

The small drone took off at 3:34 am EDT, climbed to a height of 10 ft (3 m) and hovered above the ground for 30 seconds before safely touching down again. The total flight time was 39.1 seconds. The historic moment was broadcast in a NASA livestream, although for now we only have video of the cheering control room as they received radio confirmation from the little drone. The video from the Perseverance rover, which looked on from 5 m (16 ft) away, will be beamed back to Earth soon.

Data from the altimeter shows the short hop to 3 m above the Red Planet
Data from the altimeter shows the short hop to 3 m above the Red Planet

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Flying a drone for a few seconds might not sound like too big an accomplishment, but it’s quite a remarkable feat of engineering. Ingenuity is flying in conditions unlike any possible on Earth – the gravity on Mars is only one-third as strong as Earth’s, and the air is extremely thin, at just one percent the density of our own. Throw in the extreme cold and a lengthy radio delay, and you’ve got a lot that can go wrong.

Image from the Perseverance rover showing Ingenuity in flight
Image from the Perseverance rover showing Ingenuity in flight

NASA/JPL-Caltech

And it already has. After surviving its first frigid night on Mars, Ingenuity was set to take off on April 11 – but a software error during a high-speed spin test of its rotors on April 9 threw a spanner in the works. After troubleshooting the issue, NASA developed a fix and beamed a software update to the Red Planet.

If all goes to plan, NASA will conduct a few more flights over the next few weeks, sending Ingenuity higher and farther each time.

“Now, 117 years after the Wright brothers succeeded in making the first flight on our planet, NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter has succeeded in performing this amazing feat on another world,” says Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA Associate Administrator for Science. “While these two iconic moments in aviation history may be separated by time and 173 million miles of space, they now will forever be linked. As an homage to the two innovative bicycle makers from Dayton, this first of many airfields on other worlds will now be known as Wright Brothers Field, in recognition of the ingenuity and innovation that continue to propel exploration.”

Source: NASA

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Source: https://newatlas.com/space/ingenuity-mars-helicopter-first-flight/

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Physicists hunt for dark matter dragging on black holes

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With elusive dark matter continuing to evade detection, scientists are having to search in stranger and stranger places. In a new study, physicists at MIT have studied the spins of black holes for signs of drag from dark matter slowing them down.

Of all the matter in the universe, the regular stuff that we interact with every day only accounts for around 15 percent. The vast majority is tied up in what we call dark matter, which seems to only interact with normal matter through its gravitation.

Direct detection of dark matter particles has eluded scientists for decades, but it’s not from lack of trying. Experiments on Earth have been searching for the strange stuff using the Large Hadron Collider, “axion radios,” arrays of billions of tiny pendulums, huge underground tanks of exotic fluids, or superconducting cavities.

But the cosmos seems to be running its own experiments, allowing us to spot the signature of dark matter in space – if we know where to look. That could include unusual X-ray emissions from galaxies as dark matter particles decay, or perhaps odd flashes of light or X-rays near neutron stars, as dark matter particles convert to photons in their powerful magnetic fields.

Now, physicists at MIT’s LIGO Laboratory have searched for signs of the mysterious matter in a new environment, around black holes. Their dark matter target was a type of hypothetical particle called ultralight bosons, which, as the name suggests, have an extremely small mass – less than a billionth the mass of an electron.

If these ultralight bosons were to exist, quantum theory predicts that black holes of a certain mass would draw in huge clouds of them. But they wouldn’t be simply sucked in as you might expect – instead, these particles would gather around the black hole and actually drag on it, slowing down its spin. Therefore, if you find that black holes of a certain mass are spinning more slowly than they otherwise “should” be, it could be evidence of dark matter’s influence.

“If bosons exist, we would expect that old black holes of the appropriate mass don’t have large spins, since the boson clouds would have extracted most of it,” says Kwan Yeung Ng, lead author of the study. “This implies that the discovery of a black hole with large spins can rule out the existence of bosons with certain masses.”

This bizarre effect is the result of some quantum quirks. Basically, because of their incredibly small mass, these particles can’t be described as being in one particular place at a time. Instead they’re described with a wave of probable locations, and the smaller the particle, the longer that wave becomes (ie., the more possible places it could be at any given time).

So, if ultralight bosons exist within a particular mass range, their wavelength would be comparable to the radius of a black hole of a certain mass. Because you can never pin down exactly where one of these tiny particles is, if it’s near a black hole then you can never be totally sure that it’s “fallen in.” In effect, the cloud pops in and out of the black hole, sapping its angular momentum in the process.

“If you jump onto and then down from a carousel, you can steal energy from the carousel,” says Salvatore Vitale, co-author of the study. “These bosons do the same thing to a black hole.”

To detect whether such clouds of dark matter exist, the astronomers studied the spins of 45 black hole binaries. These were taken from data from the LIGO and Virgo collaboration’s studies of gravitational waves, which are produced when black holes collide.

The team calculated how fast each of these black holes would be spinning if they’d interacted with ultralight bosons within a certain mass range – between 1.3×10^-13 electronvolts and 2.7×10^-13.

They found that two black holes in particular were spinning much too fast to have had any interaction with ultralight bosons. In fact, one of them was spinning at close to the absolute top speed possible.

This result, the team says, is conclusive enough to rule out ultralight bosons within that mass range as dark matter. It’s not to say that dark matter itself doesn’t exist – instead, like the many other null results received in other experiments, it simply means that we’re narrowing down the field of possible particles that it could be made of.

Or maybe, there really is no such thing as dark matter, and the effects we attribute to it are caused by completely different physics altogether.

The research was published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Source: MIT

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Source: https://newatlas.com/physics/dark-matter-drag-black-holes-ultralight-bosons/

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One with the lot: The folding, electric, street-legal, VTOL flying car

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Spoiler: it has a hefty price tag. But then, the Aska would be a remarkable vehicle: a spacious, four-seat electric SUV with the ability to stop and fold out a set of wings and props to transform into an electric VTOL/STOL aircraft.

We last heard from Israeli/American startup NFT (no relation to the bizarre non-fungible token madness sweeping the crypto and collectible worlds) back in 2019. The original concept for the Aska was a similar roadable eVTOL aircraft design in a three-seat retro saloon body, with the VTOL fans mounted in holes in the car’s hood and tail sections.

The new design looks much closer to the standard electric VTOL air taxi shape: a somewhat helicopterish teardrop cabin seating four, a small V-shaped tail, and a six-prop electric VTOL lift system. Four pure vertical lift props are mounted on long arms that swing back out of the way when you’re not flying, and the other two are mounted on a set of wings.

These wings articulate their little hearts out. Not only do they automagically fold themselves in half and scissor back toward the tail to keep the car narrow enough to drive and park, they’re also designed to tilt, so the middle two VTOL props and wing can point upward for vertical takeoff and landing, and then tilt fully forward for more efficient forward flight using the wing for lift and those two central props for forward propulsion.

The entire wing tilts upward for VTOL operations
The entire wing tilts upward for VTOL operations

NFT Aska

In the same way, it can be used as a short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft if you’ve got access to a runway. Just point the middle props and wing forward, gain a bit of speed and take off like a regular ol’ airplane. This is far and away the most efficient way to fly; VTOL operations suck juice like nobody’s business.

Should your juice be sucked, the Aska promises to ship with an old-fashioned range extender, in the form of an unspecified fossil fuel motor that can charge up the battery during flight. NFT says this bird can fly up to 250 miles (400 km) with the range extender extending its range, at speeds up to 150 mph (240 km/h). The company says these range extenders will be capable of running on hydrogen fuel too; that won’t make anyone’s life easier at this stage, but it does give owners a path to decarbonization down the track when hydrogen becomes easier to get hold of.

On the road … well, it’ll turn heads, that’s for damn sure. With all its spiky wings and props folded back it looks like it’s got a Sonic the Hedgehog haircut, or like somebody emptied the cutlery drawer on top of it. The fact that its humble in-wheel electric hub motors only allow it a top speed around 70 mph (112 km/h) will give onlookers even more time to stare, and it’s a fairly certain bet that if you drive one of these on the road, you’re going to see the backs of more phones than any goon in a Lambo.

The cabin has a funky, yokey steering wheel, a two-way gearshift system that does downward from park into reverse, neutral or drive, or else sideways from park into V and F modes that presumably mean VTOL and forward flight. From the looks of the renders, just about every surface that’s angled toward your head will be a touchscreen. NFT says you’ll need a pilot’s license to fly it, but the bulk of the work in the air will be done by semi-autonomous computer control.

The interior: an absolute screen-o-rama
The interior: an absolute screen-o-rama

NFT Aska

And whaddya know, it’s on presale right now! Your fully refundable US$5,000 deposit gets you a slot on the build list, as well as a single share option. The price – an eye-watering $789,000 – includes getting you a pilot’s license, a fully custom interior and a personalized license plate, which will help you work out which one’s yours in the car park.

NFT says it plans to start flight testing a full-scale four-seat prototype by the end of 2022, then it’ll spend the next three years working on certification and serial production processes, with the first flying cars expected in customers’ hot little hands as soon as 2026.

It goes without saying: this one looks like a long shot. By specifically targeting private owners who want to drive a bit and fly a bit on their way to wherever they’re going, NFT won’t have fleet-scale pre-sales like the air taxi mobs do, to balance out against the crippling cost of aircraft development and certification. And it’s not just aircraft development; it’s folding, transitioning electric VTOL aircraft development, plus air certification, plus street certification as a four-wheeler, which means it’ll need to satisfy all the stringent (and heavy) safety criteria of a passenger car.

To put it another way, NFT has to scale all the same mountains billion-dollar behemoths like Joby and Lilium have in front of them, plus make its aircraft fold up, and then get the whole contraption certified as a passenger car to boot. eVTOLs themselves are seriously tricky business, this thing’s 10 times harder again.

The Aska folds up small enough to get into a standard car park
The Aska folds up small enough to get into a standard car park

NFT Aska

So even with an 800-grand price tag, NFT will have to sell a ton of these to start making a profit. How big is the market for roadable aircraft right now? Not real big – even for much simpler, single-seat gyrocycles. And considering there’s a very good chance air taxi services will be operating by the time these things launch, offering door-to-door, drive-fly-drive journeys cheaply through a smartphone app, the sell is sure to get even harder in the future. Are you really going to park this thing on the street where it might just get a ding big enough to wreck a prop?

At the end of the day, the Aska looks to us like a fun vehicle to think and fantasize about, but an absolute nightmare to build, certify and commercialize, and likely a pain in the butt to own even once you get it paid off.

We’d love to see jiggers like the Aska bumping their way down the street, windows down, Dreams by Van Halen pumping on the stereo as the flight gear folds out and they waft off the ground and out of the traffic with a carefree salute to the drivers stuck below. But we won’t be holding our breath.

Check out how this thing folds and tilts in the video below.

ASKA™ eVTOL drive and fly vehicle – now available for pre-order

Source: NFT Aska

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Source: https://newatlas.com/aircraft/aska-flying-car-street-legal-evtol/

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