Will Soundbeamer Replace Headphones?

in GEMS15 days ago

Even if the concept of a sound-beam isn’t new, the Israeli company Noveto is the first that will bring this technology to the market. Their listening device that replaces headphones should be the first in the listening revolution

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Image by Jason Goh from Pixabay

What you might imagine when you will hear “targeted sound waves” if you take notice of the newest securities is the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) that is starting to be used by security forces. This sonic device sends out a bounded sonic wave in a narrow cone usually at a frequency of 2.5 kHz with a loudness of up to 150 dB.

This goes against all you’ve learned about how sound-waves spread. While they are waves they are different than electromagnetic waves as this is purely a mechanical thing. With soundwaves, the source – a vibrating substance – oscillates the surrounding atoms and these oscillations then move through the environment because an atom oscillates the next atom to it.

But now it seems that targeted sound beams found their way into the civilian sector as well. The company Noveto which is located in Israel introduced a speaker that can replace headphones. This something many companies were trying to achieve for a long time such as Sony or a smaller company Zungle.

The first of the companies introduced Concept N – a sort of necklace that includes a speaker capable of producing targeted soundwaves. But not that many people are willing to carry a necklace and it can interfere with your movement. Zungle introduced glasses which include a technology that carries sound through your bones and that has a problem with the glasses have to have good contact with your skull making them uncomfortable.

The latest company that promises to deal with the need of carrying glasses is Elon Musk’s Neuralink by using brain-implants. But the question is how many people will be willing to carry those.

The Israeli company Noveto replace headphones with a speaker that sends out ultrasound. They call their device SoundBeamer. This removes the need to carry any device on yourself and yet hear the sound without anyone else hearing it. Or more precisely, only the people who are being targeted hearing it.

Noveto describes the process this way: The device uses a 3D tracking module to localize the target's ears and then targets them with the ultrasound. This creates an impression very similar to using stereo headphones. The interesting part lies in the fact that this device still allows you to hear outside noise in addition to the sounds played by the device. So, if someone is speaking to you, you will still hear him and understand him. And at the same time, you aren’t bothering anyone with what you are listening to.

This comes with many benefits. You can listen to music yet not miss out on any conversations. No more arguing on what to listen to in a car. The navigation will now be heard only by the driver. Or if you are working from home and you aren’t the only one, you can listen to your favorite podcast about cryptocurrencies while the children can still watch their favorite cartoons. But the device does currently has a problem. It is large and it’s not something you can carry on yourself very easily.

The SoundBeamer should hit the market sometime in Q3 or Q4 2022 and should be able to be paired with any computer, tablet, or smartphone over Bluetooth and should include the speaker and 3D tracker so you will not need to buy anything on top of it.

The device should be capable of deal with head movement and even walking in a room. If you get too close to the speaker, you should still be able to hear the music but also a bit of noise. If you get too far, you won’t hear anything. But in the ideal zone, the sound should be perfect.

People who have had the chance to try out SoundBeamer were excited describing it as hearing the sound right inside your head but without the headphones.

Sources:


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Well, this is an interesting development for the whole listening technology. I guess it is only a matter of time until they make it more portable and extend its range. However, I think they will need to come up with something better than bluetooth to make truly revolutionary. However, as one is always carrying or being near a device maybe that isn't a problem. I wonder how does that feel. Is it like when you sing something in your mind, except this time you know it isn't you?

I personally did not have the chance to try it out. But during research for the article, I've read a few comments from people who tried it out at CES and they were thrilled with the technology.

Also, for the time being, this isn't something portable. It's a replacement for your speakers and headphones at home. For example, streamers will love it as it will allow them to hear the game while not interfering with the microphone, interact with their families and lose the headphones which - let's face it - no matter how good or comfy they are, aren't as comfy as having none.

So, Bluetooth isn't that big of a deal as you can also connect it to your device through a cable. But for the future, definitely. But then you are again facing the problem of needing to carry a device on your that has a direct vision of your ears and Sony already tried that in the Concept N - a necklace and people did not enjoy wearing a necklace instead of headphones.

It may have some wonderful applications in the real of cover recording. That way you can keep track of everything you need to do to get a quality recording without having to meddle with the recording devices.