A sound of Denmark in the Valley

Where is the future of audio technology taking us? Have we sacrificed quality in the name of mobility? Is there an emerging slowfood movement within audio? And where are the new opportunities for creating great sound? Watch the engaged panelists at the “Sound of Denmark” networking event at Stanford CCRMA discuss these and many other interesting industry topics.

During four hectic days in late October, the delegation Sound of Denmark resonated through Silicon Valley, bringing the best of Danish audio technology and knowledge over here to explore and foster new relationships, business opportunities, and R&D collaborations.
It all happened through networking events, site visits to local audio giants such as Sennheiser Research Center, Meyer Sound and Dolby Laboratories, as well as workshops with Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA).

What’s so special about Denmark and audio? The Danish audio industry is disproportionate to the size of Denmark with Danish hearing aids making up close to 50 percent of global production. Executive Director of Innovation Center Denmark, Camilla Rygaard-Hjalsted recognizes how this pioneering achievem ent has spurred related Danish research in the field of acoustics:

Ortofon’s boneconductor had the audience line up for a demo. The boneconductor technology aids those with hearing loss while also benefitting professionals in the security, fire prevention, and law enforcement sectors that need to communicate clearly while keeping the ear  unobstructed to surrounding sound.  Here, Jeffery Torrance from Cambridge Silicon Radio is giving it a try.
Ortofon’s boneconductor had the audience line up for a demo. The boneconductor technology aids those with hearing loss while also benefitting professionals in the security, fire prevention, and law enforcement sectors that need to communicate clearly while keeping the ear unobstructed to surrounding sound. Here, Jeffery Torrance from Cambridge Silicon Radio is giving it a try.

“Coming out of Denmark right now, we’re seeing world class research ranging from human perception of speech and sound, through hearing, loudness, hearing loss to computer aided speech and music recognition,” she says.

The average yearly growth of the Danish audio sector, from 2005 through the recession to 2012, was at a robust eight percent. Director of the innovation network Danish Sound, Jan Larsen, sees a huge opportunity in introducing Danish audio knowhow to the global arena:
“We have some very successful Danish audio companies with well-known products and an export share above 90 percent, but we also see global potential in new niche products on the audio market that we can help leverage with initiatives like Sound of Denmark,” says Larsen, whose organization co-organized Sound of Denmark with Innovation Center Denmark.

One such niche product is made by Ortofon. At a network and showcase event at Stanford CCRMA, the company showcased a prototype of a new bone conductor that interprets sound by producing vibrations transmitted through the skull to the inner ear where it is perceived as sound.

CEO at Merus Audio, Hans Hasselby-Andersen explained to the Sound of Denmark audience how the company’s patented eximo™ technology reduces power losses by up to a factor 10 compared to conventional class-D amplifiers.
CEO at Merus Audio, Hans Hasselby-Andersen explained to the Sound of Denmark audience how the company’s patented eximo™ technology reduces power losses by up to a factor 10 compared to conventional class-D amplifiers.

The showcase event at Stanford also saw the launch of Merus Audio’s groundbreaking new amplifier chip that drastically reduces energy loss in consumer electronics. After several years of intense product development, the product is now ready to be shipped for sampling with the world’s leading manufacturers of consumer electronics.

Another Sound of Denmark delegate, Sicom, presented the new directional loudspeaker solution called Zonar Sound. Partner in Zonar Sound, Flemming Sørensen, described how the technology is capable of directing sound to targeted audiences, providing listeners with sound clarity without interfering with surrounding areas. This is particularly useful in large public spaces like shopping centers, museums and corporate offices.

Merus' amplifier chip was demo’ed live at the event in a setup measuring energy consumption in miliampere showing that Merus’ MA12070 chip on the green printboard from Merus use only 13.1 miliampere, whereas competing technologies consume 123.1 miliampere at typical listening levels.
Merus’ amplifier chip was demo’ed live at the event in a setup measuring energy consumption in miliampere showing that Merus’ MA12070 chip on the green printboard from Merus use only 13.1 miliampere, whereas competing technologies consume 123.1 miliampere at typical listening levels.

Following the public demos at Stanford, the delegation had individual meetings with companies in the Bay Area, where they got to showcase their work up close and receive first hand inspiration and insights. And of course; no journey to Silicon Valley is complete without visiting the Facebook where the Audio team kindly showed the delegation around the social network’s HQ while discussing the audio projects Facebook is doing in both formal and informal ways.

“What did you say? – The sound is muffled.” Flemming Sørensen describes the typical sound experience in a bank where the teller is placed behind a glass window.
“What did you say? – The sound is muffled.” Flemming Sørensen describes the typical sound experience in a bank where the teller is placed behind a glass window.

Watch some of the pitches from Stanford CCRMA researchers and Danish companies presented at Sound of Denmark’s networking event and panel:

Rob Hamilton on musical sonification within gaming environments:

Hongchan Choi showcases his beta version of a web based music program:

Ortofon CTO Leif Johannsen presents the company’s new boneconductors:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko46D3wUP0o

CEO of Merus Audio, Hans Hasselby-Andersen showcases the new energy efficient amplifier chip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko46D3wUP0o

Flemming Sørensen, distributor of the Zonar Sound System, explains how the directional sound solution works:

 

 

John Granzow talks about how his research team did 3D prints of musical instruments

 

 

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