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.

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 September 16, 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 September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 15, 2014) — New York officials unveil subway tunnels that were refurbished after Superstorm Sandy. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — U.S. firms worry they’re falling behind in the marketplace as the FAA considers how to regulate commercial drones. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — Winners of a contest for smart gun design are asking not to be named after others in the industry received threats for marketing similar products. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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