This Week In Gear: Klipsch Forte III Speaker, Standalone Vive VR Headset, LG OLED Production, and MorePosted Fri Jul 28, 2017 at 10:00 PM PDT by Steven Cohen
We've compiled the latest gear news, including new products from Klipsch, HTC, and more.
From product announcements and streaming app updates to general industry news and recent gear trends, keeping up with the latest tech news can be a daunting task. With that in mind, we're here to offer you a roundup of some of the latest gear and consumer electronics news that you may have missed.
For this edition, we're covering the release of the Klipsch Forte III speaker, HTC's new standalone Vive VR headset, LG's upcoming investment in OLED production, an updated USB spec, and the arrival of BBC America on Roku devices.
So, without further ado, here's a rundown of some of the latest gear and tech news:
Klipsch Releases Forte III Speaker
Klipsch has announced the release of its new Forte III loudspeaker. The unit is part of the Klipsch Heritage series and is an updated version of the original Forte which was first introduced in 1985 but has been out of production since 1996.
The Forte III features a three-way design with a 12" woofer and horn-loaded midrange and tweeter. New titanium compression drivers are integrated to offer a smooth and powerful response while a new midrange horn incorporates a modified Tractrix design with patented Mumps technology. In addition, the speaker uses a 15" rear-mounted passive radiator. Each Forte III measures 13" deep and is grain-matched using wood veneer panels harvested from the same timber.
Klipsch's Forte III is now available for an MSRP of $1,800 in four standard finish options -- American Walnut, Natural Cherry, Black Ash, and Distressed Oak. A limited production run of 70 pairs of Forte III’s are also available in two unique finishes -- California Black Walnut with a lambswool grille cloth (MSRP $2,300), and Matte Black with a silver luster grille cloth (MSRP $2,000).
LG Set to Invest Billions in OLED Production
According to a report from Yon Hap News Agency, LG is planning to invest 7.8 trillion won (about $6.9 billion) to build more production facilities for OLED panels. The increase in production capabilities is being pursued as a means to meet rising demand for OLED displays in TVs and mobile devices.
The investment is set to commence in the third quarter of 2017 and will continue through the second quarter of 2019. 2.8 trillion won (about $2.5 billion) of the investment is expected to be used on the 10.5-generation OLED panel production line for large size screens. Meanwhile, 5 trillion won (about $4.5 billion) will be used for mid-sized Plastic and flexible OLED products.
LG Display currently manufacturers OLED panels for various devices, including LG's own line of OLED Ultra HD TVs and Sony's new XBR65A1E Bravia OLED Ultra HD TV. One of LG's flagship OLED TVs, the 65E7P OLED Ultra HD TV, recently received top honors in all three categories at the 2017 CE Week TV Shootout.
HTC Reveals First Standalone Vive VR Headset
HTC has announced its first standalone Virtual Reality headset for the Chinese market. In the US, the company currently only offers a Vive headset model that requires a separate PC to run, but this new version uses its own internal hardware to operate without the need to connect to a computer or smartphone.
Full details and specs are unknown at this time, but the headset uses a Snapdragon 835 processor and runs on the Viveport platform. Likewise, the device will include integrated motion-tracking technology. Pricing and a release date have not been announced yet, but this specific model will be exclusive to the Chinese market. Meanwhile, HTC is also working on a standalone VR headset model for the US using the Google Daydream virtual reality platform and new headset tracking technology called WorldSense.
Updated USB 3.2 Spec Unveiled
The USB 3.0 Promoter Group has announced the upcoming launch of the USB 3.2 specification. The spec will be an incremental update that defines multi-lane operation for new USB 3.2 hosts and devices, allowing for up to two lanes of 5 Gbps or two lanes of 10 Gbps operation.
"With increased performance and seamless compatibility, the new USB 3.2 specification brings even more speed and bandwidth benefits to new USB 3.2 devices, while remaining compatible with USB 3.0 and earlier devices," said Roanne Sones, General Manager, Strategy and Ecosystem for Windows and Devices, Microsoft. "We're excited to work with our partners in the USB 3.0 Promoter Group to help showcase these benefits to users around the world."
The 3.2 spec is poised to offer double the performance speed across existing cables, enabling a USB 3.2 host connected to a USB 3.2 storage device to provide over 2 GB/sec data transfer speed over an existing USB Type-C cable that is certified for SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps. Here's a rundown of key features for the spec:
- Two-lane operation using existing USB Type-C™ cables
- Continued use of existing SuperSpeed USB physical layer data rates and encoding techniques
- Minor update to hub specification to address increased performance and assure seamless transitions between single and two-lane operation
The USB 3.2 spec is currently undergoing a final draft review with a planned release set for September 2017.
Roku Devices Add BBC America Streaming Support
With the BBC America Channel, Roku users who subscribe to BBC America through a participating cable, satellite, or telco provider will have access to full episodes of shows like Orphan Black, Doctor Who, Top Gear, Broadchurch, Torchwood, and Prey. Likewise, the channel also offers video extras and sneak peeks at upcoming series. New in-season episodes are typically added the day after they are broadcast on TV.
Roku users can now find the BBC America Channel in the "Movies & TV" category of the Channel Store.