Focused audio, Directional sound, or Audio spotlight, refers to creating a narrow beam of the sound, focusing on a specific area, like your ears.
Noveto, an Israel based company, producing focused audio solutions. Their technology named Sowlo, is able to accurately and precisely detect and track movement, which amplifies the personal sound experience. Delivering sound directly to your ears, without any headphones. Yes, directly to “your” ears!
The revolutionary technology will change the way we have interacted with the sound till now, both at a personal and industrial level. The technology will have an impact on industries not limited to education, music, advertisements, health, and safety.
With the control over the directional nature of the sound, the capabilities of the devices such as mobile phones, personal computers, TVs, vehicles, ATMs, vending machines, smart wearables, AR/VR headsets, UAVs, and game consoles will be immensely enhanced.
Noveto’s Innovation profile on Incubig Platform uncovers innovation insights from the research activity in the United States under the field of stereophonic systems, 2d or 3d arrays of transducers, synthesis of acoustic waves and obtaining directivity.
Based on the small research data, it can be observed that the research activity was continuously on the rise from the year 2010, with the highest activity observed in the year 2017 with 130 patents. The continuous rise in the activity in recent years showing the interest of researchers and innovators in this technology.
In recent years, a high research activity is observed in the hearing assistance system, specifically in the binaural hearing system. Researchers and Innovators are working to provide technological advancements in systems using 3D sound localization.
The 3D sound has a direct use in augmented and virtual reality scenarios. Spatial audio signals are being used to produce a more immersive audio experience. The next era will be dominated by the augmented and virtual reality applications and will transform the way we interact and consume audio and video content. The recent research activity indicates that there is continuous effort to improve the conventional methods of producing spatial audio signals for augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), or 360-degree videos.
Players like Oticon, Starkey Laboratories, Siemens and Qualcomm are some of the active players in the technological domain.
Some of the Oticon focus areas are Microphone system with a directional response, Peer to peer hearing system, and Signal enhancement using wireless streaming. Their recent research activity is under Hearing aid system and Binaural hearing aid device.
Starkey also working to provide advancements in hearing assistance devices by incorporating directional microphone customization and HRTF individualization.
Qualcomm with research activity under audio signal processing, specifically for enhanced acoustic imaging. Their recent research is under 3D-dimensional sound capturing and reproducing, Inserting virtual sounds into an environment and Micro speaker with piezoelectric, metal and dielectric membrane.
Moderate level of activity can be observed under technologies like stereophonic system adaptation to the listener position, 2d or 3d arrays of transducers and synthesis of acoustic waves, with 362, 317 and 260 granted patents respectively. However, the activity under technology for obtaining the desired directivity is low, which gives a white space in the technology for conducting research, filing inventions and driving the innovation.
There are multiple technologies explored for targeting sound to be heard at a particular region in space, while completely shutting down at other regions. However, the technologies did not mature to provide commercial devices to the consumers.
With Innovators like Noveto and Holosonics working hard to commercialize the technology, it is just a matter of time that we see the usage of this technology in our lives.