By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Los Angeles — Audyssey is going to Berlin’s IFA convention to promote its plans to improve the sound quality of active soundbars and to incorporate its Audio Zoom technology in smartphones and tablets.
Audyssey’s Audio Zoom technology would reduce ambient noise levels and increase the volume and intelligibility of the main subjects in home videos captured by mobile devices, said founder/chief technology officer Chris Kyriakakis. As the mobile device’s camera zooms, the audio would zoom in tandem, he said.
Users can engage the technology when they record videos, or they can apply the enhancement to existing videos during playback, he said.
The mobile device would need two microphones and could use the dual mics used by mobile devices equipped with noise-cancellation technology, he said.
The technology increases the gain of correlated audio signals, or the same content received through both the left and right microphones, he explained. The technology also decreases the gain of decorrelated signals, or diffuse background sounds.
The company will present its technology to smartphone and tablet makers for inclusion in their devices and to video app makers.
An alternate technology called beam forming, which is used in teleconferencing equipment, requires four to eight microphones, making that technology cost prohibitive in mobile devices, Kyriakakis said. Beamforming isn’t effective with two mics, he said.
In the home market, Audyssey will present its soundbar technology to TV makers to include in their TV sets to improve the sound quality of connected soundbars. Audyssey will harness the processing power of a networked TV to display a menu of soundbars on the TV screen. The consumer would select their soundbar, and the TV would download audio profiles to optimize TV-sound output for that soundbar. The profiles, developed by Audyssey after measuring their acoustic characteristics, would compensate for each bar’s specific acoustic drawbacks.
When International CES rolls around, Audyssey hopes to incorporate 25 to 30 of the top-selling soundbar models in its Cloud database, accounting for about 80 percent of units sold at retail, Kyriakakis said.
The first TVs incorporating the technology could be available in late 2014 at the earliest, he said.
The soundbar-profile database would be an extension of Audyssey’s headphone-profile database, which by the time IFA starts on Sept. 6 will have expanded to 250 models from 60 manufacturers worldwide, Kyriakakis said.
The database is accessed by an iOS app already available from Audyssey to improve the sound quality of music played by the mobile device’s music player and streaming apps.
Audyssey is also licensing the technology to music-streaming services for inclusion in their apps and to headphone makers to offer an app dedicated to their brands. Songza is the first music-streaming service to incorporate the technology, but only in its iOS app to date.
To date, headphones profiles have been downloaded 850,000 times since December through the 99-cent Audyssey app and the Songza app, Kyriakakis said.
Also at IFA, the company will gauge interest in extending its Cloud-based database of profiles to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speakers, he added. Audyssey would like to incorporate its technology in smartphone and tablets, which would modify the audio signals they transmit wirelessly to optimize sound quality through particular speakers.
IFA started today and runs through Sept. 11.
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