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Sonos Unveils Next Generation Beam with Support for Dolby Atmos and New Audio Formats

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Sonos has announced Beam (Gen 2), a new version of its industry-leading compact smart soundbar for TV, music, gaming, and more. The new Beam delivers an upgraded, more immersive sound experience with greater depth and clarity, as well as support for Dolby Atmos. Beam (Gen 2) will be available globally starting October 5 for $449, with pre-order open now on Sonos.com. Sonos also revealed plans to offer both Ultra HD and Dolby Atmos Music later this year via Amazon Music, giving listeners the ability to experience the highest quality streaming music and immersive 3D audio.

“We often talk about ‘Hollywood at Home’ being a real catalyst for our business, and Beam has played a huge part in this as one of the top-selling soundbars in its category,” said Patrick Spence, Sonos CEO. “Taking what we’ve learned over the years about great listening and home theater, we’ve found a way to bring new features and significantly better sound to Beam, all in the same compact size that has proven extremely popular with customers.”

The new Beam is upgrading the home theater experience. Compatible with more than 100 streaming services available in the Sonos app, fans can expect exciting improvements across sound, design, and packaging, including:

  • 3D Audio with Dolby Atmos: Immersive sound technology that places you in the center of the action, whether it’s experiencing planes as if they were flying overhead, hearing footsteps moving across the room, or feeling the score all around you.
  • Enhanced Sound, Same Size: With more processing power and a newly developed phased speaker array, Beam steers and localizes sound around the room for a lifelike experience. The speaker is also now compatible with HDMI eARC on your TV, so you can experience your favorite movies and games in even higher definition sound with support for new audio formats.
  • Sleeker Design: An updated polycarbonate grille that’s precisely perforated allows the speaker to sound great and blend seamlessly into your home, just like Sonos Arc.
  • Easy, More Secure Set-Up: With just two cables and new NFC capabilities, setup is seamless and will have you listening in minutes. Simply open the Sonos app, follow a few prompts, and tap your phone to Beam.
  • Sustainable Sound: The new Beam features sustainable packaging, including a premium uncoated kraft paper, a gift box made of 97% sustainable paper, and no single-use foam.

Like all Sonos products, the new Beam was tuned with the input of the Sonos Soundboard – a collection of leaders across music, film, and more – to deliver the best and most authentic sound experience. You can also fine-tune Beam’s sound with Trueplay, which detects and adapts the speaker’s sound for reflections off of walls and furniture, giving you the best listening experience for your room and setup.
Place Beam in front of a standing TV, or easily mount to the wall with the existing Sonos Wall Mount for Beam.

Beam can be controlled with the Sonos app, your existing TV remote, multiple voice assistants, Apple AirPlay 2, music service apps, and more. Listeners can use Beam on its own or expand wirelessly with a subwoofer and pair of rear speakers for even more immersive entertainment. Launching later this year in select markets, Sonos plans to support Amazon Music’s Ultra High Definition audio, which will allow listeners to hear tracks in lossless audio up to 24-bit / 48kHz on their Sonos speakers, as well as Dolby Atmos Music, an immersive audio format that breaks the boundaries of traditional studio recordings and puts you inside the song, revealing every detail of the music.

Available at no extra cost to Amazon Music Unlimited customers, Ultra HD will be available to listen on all S2 devices, except Play:1, Play:3, Playbase, and Playbar, while Dolby Atmos Music will be available to listen on Arc and Beam (Gen 2). Sonos also announced plans to add support for decoding DTS Digital Surround Sound later this year via the S2 platform on Playbar, Playbase, Amp, both generations of Beam and Arc.

Beam (Gen 2) will be available starting October 5, 2021, for AED 2069 through participating retailers.

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Apple Detects Spyware Targeting iPhones in Multiple Countries

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Apple has issued a second spyware attack warning to iPhone users in 98 countries, raising concerns about the growing threat to mobile security. This follows a similar alert in April targeting users in 92 countries.

While specific details about the latest attacks remain under wraps, the alert serves as a stark reminder of the evolving threat landscape. India is one confirmed country where users received the notification.

Spyware, a particularly invasive type of malware, can grant attackers complete access to an iPhone, including encrypted messages, audio, and video. The notorious Pegasus spyware from NSO Group is a well-known example.

“Apple detected that you are being targeted by a mercenary spyware attack that is trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID -xxx-,” Apple wrote in its new spyware alert.

Adding to the concern, researchers recently revealed the return of LightSpy, a “particularly dangerous” campaign capable of pinpointing a target’s location with “near-perfect accuracy.”

The worrying aspect of these attacks is their ability to exploit “zero-click” vulnerabilities, meaning infection can occur without any user interaction, such as opening a malicious link or attachment.

This highlights the importance of remaining vigilant and following Apple’s security recommendations, which may include updating your device to the latest iOS version.

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Gadgets

Acer Launches Chromebox Mini

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As the digital landscape evolves, businesses are increasingly seeking ways to engage with audiences. Digital signage and interactive kiosks are at the forefront of this trend, with the market expected to reach $30.56 billion by 2028. Acer addresses this demand with mini-PCs designed for digital signage and kiosks. Their Chromebox Mini CXM1 is a secure and reliable mini-PC that can drive up to three displays simultaneously. It’s compact, silent, and features the latest connectivity options like Wi-Fi 6E and Gigabit Ethernet.

Powered by ChromeOS, the Chromebox Mini CXM1 offers fast deployment, automatic updates, and long-term support. Additionally, the cloud-based Google Admin console allows for remote management and customization. The Chromebox Mini CXM1 complements Acer’s existing line-up of digital signage solutions, including Large Format Displays (LFDs). Acer offers LFDs in various configurations, from high-resolution 4K displays to interactive whiteboards. These LFDs seamlessly integrate with the Chromebox Mini CXM1 using a VESA mounting kit.

Acer’s large format displays are designed for consistent performance and stunning clarity. They cater to various needs, including promotional signage, education, and corporate collaboration. With robust management tools and automated security, Acer displays require minimal maintenance, allowing businesses to focus on creating engaging content. Acer’s Chromebox Mini CXM1 and LFDs provide businesses with a comprehensive suite of tools for impactful advertising, information sharing, and customer interaction.

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Creator Tools

Sony Unveils Next-Gen ZV-E10 II Vlogging Camera with New Lens Kit

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Sony Middle East and Africa has launched the ZV-E10 II, the successor to their popular ZV-E10 vlogging camera. The new model builds on the strengths of the original while adding improved performance and features for content creators. The ZV-E10 II boasts a new 26-megapixel sensor and the latest BIONZ XR image processing engine for better image quality. Autofocus and video capturing have also been enhanced, with features like a new vertical format user interface and improved battery life.

The camera offers two key functions for creating professional-looking content: Creative Looks and Cinematic Vlog Setting. Creative Looks provides a variety of presets for different looks, while Cinematic Vlog Setting automatically adjusts settings for a cinematic feel.

Key Highlights:

  1. Upgraded 26MP Exmor R CMOS sensor and BIONZ XR processor
  2. Improved autofocus and video capturing
  3. Cinematic Vlog Setting for Automatic Video Optimization
  4. Vertical shooting mode with a rotating user interface
  5. Upgraded battery for extended recording time
  6. Compact and lightweight design

The ZV-E10 II camera body will be available in selected countries from July 2024. Sony also announced the E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS II lens, a compact zoom lens ideal for the ZV-E10 II. This lens is lightweight, offers good image quality, and features built-in image stabilization. The E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS II will be available in black in selected countries from July 2024.

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