Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Audio zooming to enhance TV viewing

Date:
October 5, 2010
Source:
Research Council of Norway
Summary:
New technology developed in Norway makes it possible to zoom in on sound in much the same way that photographers can zoom in on an image. Television is just one area of application. Physicists adapted a well-known marine sonar technology for use above the water. Combining it with sophisticated software, the pair have developed an intelligent, sharply focused directional microphone system that enables TV producers and others to zoom their audio reception, much like they can zoom their camera lenses for close-ups.

New technology developed in Norway makes it possible to zoom in on sound in much the same way that photographers can zoom in on an image. Television is just one area of application.

Related Articles


Both the Spanish and Dutch sides were penalised for rough play during this summer's Football World Cup final. Television gave us a close-up view of that fierce contest. Many viewers, however, would have relished the chance to hear the heated exchanges between players on the pitch rather than the stadium's noisemaking crowd. Viewers may well get that audio treat for the next World Cup.

Directional microphone picks up nearly any sound

Norwegians Vibeke Jahr and Morgan Kjølerbakken are not only sports enthusiasts. They are also the physicists who are adding a new dimension to the TV-viewing experience by adapting a well-known marine sonar technology for use above the water. Combining it with sophisticated software, the pair have developed an intelligent, sharply focused directional microphone system that enables TV producers to zoom their audio reception, much like they can zoom their camera lenses for close-ups. The new microphone allows TV viewers to hear the action on the football pitch, and many other venues, synchronised with the TV images.

"When the idea hit us," says Vibeke Jahr, "we began asking around to see if there was any interest in such a product. TV2, a Norwegian broadcast network, was very enthusiastic and wanted to be involved in its development." Jahr is CEO of Squarehead, the company she and Morgan Kjølerbakken started up in 2004 with the investment company Nunatak.

New areas of application

Just when their product was about to be launched, the financial crisis hit the media industry full-force. The founders had to concede that selling an accessory product like theirs to a cash-strapped industry bordered on the impossible.

Fortunately, they found other areas of application for their technology. The microphone system is ideal for use during conferences and video conferences, since it identifies the source of the sound, then isolates the speaker's voice. When a speaker moves about the stage while communicating to the audience, for example, the microphone tracks him. Should an audience member ask a question, the microphone automatically detects that and focuses on the questioner.

Still adapting for TV use

But the original TV application has by no means been shelved. "We still believe in its broadcast potential and are continuing to develop that version of the system," explains Jahr. "We have tested it on ice hockey games, among other things. It's incredible to hear the action: players colliding and shouting to each other. The viewer becomes much more immersed; it's like being out there on the ice."

Close contact with universities

"We have brought together the foremost expertise in acoustics, informatics, signal processing and electronics to ensure our success. We have close working relationships with the University of Oslo and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim -- and our interaction with them gives us access to the latest research findings in our field. This also keeps us in touch with students, so our company can recruit new personnel with smart ideas."

"Innovation is the keyword," emphasises Jahr. "To survive amidst competition we have to be the first and the best. And we are."

"But research for its own sake is not what holds the greatest value for us. It doesn't help much to develop fantastic technology if there is no market demand for it -- so we have to stay attuned to the needs of the market."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Research Council of Norway. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Research Council of Norway. "Audio zooming to enhance TV viewing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928084019.htm>.
Research Council of Norway. (2010, October 5). Audio zooming to enhance TV viewing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928084019.htm
Research Council of Norway. "Audio zooming to enhance TV viewing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928084019.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jaguar Land Rover Opens $800 Million Factory in Britain

Jaguar Land Rover Opens $800 Million Factory in Britain

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) — British luxury car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover opened a $800 million engine manufacturing centre in western England, creating 1,400 jobs. Duration: 00:45 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
SkyCruiser Concept Claims to Solve Problem With Flying Cars

SkyCruiser Concept Claims to Solve Problem With Flying Cars

Buzz60 (Oct. 30, 2014) — A start-up company called Krossblade says its SkyCruiser concept flying car solves the problem with most flying car concepts. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) — A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) — Dancing, spinning and fighting robots are showing off their agility at "Robocomp" in Krakow. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins