Published on November 13th, 2020 📆 | 7104 Views ⚑0
‘Sound beaming’ technology will play music directly to your head
New futuristic audio technology developed in Israel allows music to be played in a person’s head without any headphones or wires.
Noveto Systems is launching its new desktop device — the SoundBeamer 1.0 — on Friday, promising customers the chance to listen to music, watch TV and play computer games with little chance of disturbing anyone else.
The product works by using something called “sound beaming.” It employs a 3-D sensing module that first locates and then tracks the ear’s position and uses ultrasonic waves to send audio to the listener, creating sound pockets around their ears.
While sound beaming is not new, Noveto has created the first branded consumer item to employ the tech and has plans to unveil a “smaller, sexier” version of the prototype in time for Christmas 2021.
This week, buyers will have the option of using a traditional stereo sound, which will hit both ears evenly, or a 3-D option that creates a 360 degree audio experience that envelopes the listener, the company said.
“The listening sensation is straight out of a sci-fi movie. The 3-D sound is so close it feels like it’s inside your ears while also in front, above and behind them,” the Associated Press said after a recent demo.
“The demo includes nature video clips of swans on a lake, bees buzzing and a babbling brook, where the listener feels completely transported into the scene.”
Somehow, the device knows which ears to target and follows the listener wherever they go without the need to give directions.
“Most people just say, ‘Wow, I really don’t believe it,’” said SoundBeamer product manager Ayana Wallwater.
“You don’t believe it because it sounds like a speaker, but no one else can hear it … it’s supporting you and you’re in the middle of everything. It’s happening around you,” she continued.
“You don’t need to tell the device where you are. It’s not streaming to one exact place… It follows you wherever you go. So it’s personally for you — follows you, plays what you want inside your head.”
The most others in the room could hear is a “little bit” of sound, Wallwater explained, but “you don’t get the volume.”
“This is what we dream of,” the product manager added. “A world where we get the sound you want. You don’t need to disturb others and others don’t get disturbed by your sound. But you can still interact with them.”
Because the device is headphone-free, the listener can still hear other things going on in the room.
Noveto expects the new product to be an earphone-free solution to many of life’s mundane annoyances. Office workers can play music or listen to conference calls without bothering their colleagues and people in relationships can blast their favorite Metallica album horror movie with little chance of disturbing their significant other.
The new tech is so anomalous it’s hard for the company’s CEO to even put into words.
“The brain doesn’t understand what it doesn’t know,” Christophe Ramstein said.
When he first tried out the device, he questioned how it was different from other listening experiences.
“I was thinking, ‘Yeah, but is it the same with headphones?’ No, because I have the freedom and it’s like I have the freedom of doing what I want to do. And I have these sounds playing in my head as there would be something happening here, which is difficult to explain because we have no reference for that,” the CEO said.
His compared the experience to the first time he tried out an iPod when the sleek listening device was first created in the early-aughts.
“I was like, ‘Oh, my God. What’s that?’ I think sound beaming is something that is as disruptive as that,” Ramstein explained.
“There’s something to be said about it doesn’t exist before. There’s the freedom of using it. And it’s really amazing.”
With Post wires