It’s not that often that you witness a product demonstration that absolutely blows your mind. But at last week’s Mobile World Congress, Israeli company Noveto Systems did just that. They are developing the next-generation of human-machine vocal interface, enabling sound-emitting devices to transmit sound beams to the user’s ears only, without any external hardware on the user.
It’s a combination of cameras and sensors that track the user’s head, using positional 3D face tracking along with wave-shaping algorithms and special transducers that send a focused audio beam into each ear. Through this use of face tracking, Noveto can change where the beam of audio is aimed or fire out multiple beams to people sitting next to each other on a sofa.
I tried it using a dock connected to a mobile phone. It’s a strange sensation when the sound suddenly hits your ears – not at all painful or uncomfortable but crystal clear. Skeptical, I also made one of the Noveto management team do the demo, and yes, I could not hear anything! It was nothing short of amazing.
I can see loads of applications for the Noveto – watching TV without disturbing a partner sitting next to you. For gamers, Noveto can also beam separate audio tracks to individual users, so you could have a split-screen game where each player hears something different. It can also provide higher volume for someone hearing-impaired. The technology could just as easily have applications in personal computing, IoT and automobiles.
Noveto believes this technology will be available commercially in the next twelve months, most likely through partnering with a bigger brand. It’s definitely one to keep an eye on – it could change sound as we know it.