Category Archives: Research

Hypersonic Sound

From our talk with Prof Jer-Ming, he mentioned a cool technology that he couldn’t seem to name, but with the help of google, here it is, Hypersonic Sound!

This is basically the epitome of invisible sound, but since he introduced this in 2004, there has been companies that have picked up this ultrasound technology but have not been able to commercialise it. Makes you wonder how safe it really is!

 

-Rachel

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Personality and Space


http://www.realmenrealstyle.com/personal-space-personality-traits/

Our team is moving towards incorporating personality into our invisible speakers and thus into the space. I went online and looked for articles regarding personal space and personality to better understand this.

Based on the article, people are able to judge another’s personality quite accurately purely based on their bedroom. There are two factors by which a person is able to “inhabit” and personalise a space.

  1. Identity Claims
    1. This refers to the decorations or symbols that the user chooses
    2. It may be the choice of colour of walls/ceiling in the room.
    3. There is both self-directed and other-directed, where some things are chosen simply because they like it while other objects are intentionally placed to portray a certain image to others.
  2. Behaviour Residue
    1. There are two types, external and internal residue.
    2. External residue refer to the objects that don’t naturally belong in the place but are still placed there because of the importance to the user.
    3. Internal residue refer to the way the person arranges items, perhaps due to importance or maybe a character trait that is guiding them to act this way.

According to the study , through one’s space, people are able to determine (or rate) the user on Extraversion, Conscientiousness, and Openness to Experience.

Other traits like Emotional Stability and Agreeableness were not exactly accurate.

I feel that we can use this study to better understand our users and where our product fits in their space and lives. We may be able to tap on little hints that will help to portray the user’s personality without explicitly designing it.

 

-Rachel

Kickstarter 3D Headphones

I found this particularly intriguing headphones by kickstarter. It is called OSSIC X.

OSSIC X is the world’s first 3D audio headphone that instantly calibrates to the listener, increasing the sense of auditory space, and acoustically recreating the way you hear the world everyday. By pairing advanced 3D audio algorithms with head-tracking and individual anatomy calibration, we deliver incredibly accurate 3D sound to your ears. Experience music like never before. Get more immersed in virtual reality. Bring gaming to the next level.

INSTANT CALIBRATION FOR A 10X AUDIO EXPERIENCE 

OSSIC X calibrates to the individual listener’s head and ear features, increasing overall sound quality and ensuring the most accurate sound placement, making for a listening experience that’s ten times more immersive than current technologies.

  • Increased audio immersion
  • Hear your movies and music like never before
  • Increased sense of space with your audio content

I felt that this headphones was very useful for us. Since we are hoping to achieve an immersive experience, is there a way for us to make our invisound a 3D listening experience as well?

OSSIX X link here

Enhanced Listening Experience

I recently found a few interesting products that have not been launched in the market yet. As compared to the previous speaker precedents we have found, these products were unique as they do not just focus on producing high quality sound, but they sought to personalize the enhancement of the users listening experience. The products generally try to customize the sound to the user needs to give them the best possible listening experience.

Ear.IQ_

The Ear.IQ basically aims to let the user hear smarter, as seen in its tagline. Users take a simple hearing test, and the app then uses a “correction algorithm” to adjust music based on those results. The final outcome is a song that is better suited to how the individual user hears. One idea would be to try assimilating similar technology into our speaker system to customize the sound to each user in partnership with the user directed sound technology. This would greatly enhance the user listening experience as it maximises the quality of the sound produced relative to the users tastes and preferences.

Doppler-Here

Doppler’s HERE Active Listening System also takes sound innovation straight to the source. The system pairs two wireless in-ear buds with an app listeners can use to control a live audio environment — whether it’s a sporting event, music festival or city bus. The system does not stream or play music directly, instead acting as a “studio in your ears” for whatever sounds are around. It allows the user to reduce the sound they do not want to hear for e.g. baby crying etc. Such technology could also be incorporated into our speaker system to amplify or reduce certain atmospheric/man-made sounds to specific users.

Now You See Me


This was not a film I was expecting to get inspiration from as it was not a “sci-fi” film of sorts. Instead this film was centered about a key concept in magic, “misdirection”, where the magicians distract the audience from their actual trick by showing them something completely different. Often the trick (or the switch) happens not during the “Abracadabra” but before or after. This reminded me of possible applications with our project Invisible Sound, which is somewhat an attempt to create a magical experience with technology. Perhaps our sound can be made invisible with misdirection, leading the users to believe that it is coming from one location when infact it is not.

Ex Machina Inspiration

Ex Machina introduced me to the future controlled by AI. This film was not a Back To The Future in terms of new products, but gave a more futuristic picture to our lifestyle and use of spaces in the future.  The movie showed a futuristic house, where technology was minimal. The visible objects were either pieces of art or furniture. Thus, technology was more integrated with the house becoming less visible. Very close to our project which requires us to design speakers for invisible sound. A futuristic concept as demonstrated in ex-machina. I sketched art work integrated speakers attached to the wall inspired from this movie

Market Research

market analysis.png

We worked on categorising the competitors into general zones by plotting their audio products against these two axes, Portability and Innovation. We realised that Samsung, as well as the nearest competitor, Sony, are both moving towards more innovative and less portable audio solutions. The other competitors that hold a large market share in Asia are mostly congregated at the lower half of the graph.