Listen Announces SoundCheck 16 Release
Listen, Inc., has announced the release of SoundCheck 16, its flagship audio measurement software. With a consistent schedule of product updates since the original launch in 1995, the new release of SoundCheck includes a bundle of new features that expand its capabilities and simplify ease of use. A completely re-designed THD+N analysis algorithm is now more accurate and significantly faster than other audio test systems, and it is compliant with the AES17 standard.   Read More

Solid State Logic Acquired by Audiotonix Group
Audiotonix announced the acquisition of Solid State Logic (SSL) as part of its expanding Group that already includes leading British audio brands DiGiCo, DiGiGrid, Calrec, and Allen & Heath. The deal, which was concluded December 20, 2017, brings together the top flight of the world's mixing consoles companies. Peter Gabriel, the majority shareholder in Solid State Logic, becomes an investor in Audiotonix as part of the transaction.   Read More

ARKAMYS SoundStage Audio Software Now Available on AKM AK7738 DSP
ARKAMYS, a French company specializing in digital sound processing for automotive solutions, announced a partnership with Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM) to enhance the in-vehicle immersive audio experience for drivers and passengers. ARKAMYS successfully ported its audio enhancement software solution SoundStage Core on AKM's AK7738 digital signal processor (DSP), leveraging the platform capabilities to enhance the surround-sound effect achieved inside the car.    Read More

Home Audio Speaker Market Continues to See Significant Growth
An estimated 2.2 billion digital assistant-enabled devices will ship in 2017, growing to 3.6 billion in 2022, says SAR Insight & Consulting in its latest research, "Digital Assistant Platforms: Use Cases, Technologies, Market Sectors & Competitive Analysis." According to the market research firm, home audio speakers will continue to lead the way, as voice recognition improves, with significant growth opportunities in smartphones, headphones, appliances, automotive, and the enterprise.   Read More

COMSOL Releases Multiphysics 5.3a with Expanded Range of Innovative Acoustics Modeling Tools 
As previewed back in October 2017, COMSOL has now made available the latest release of its COMSOL Multiphysics and COMSOL Server software products. Version 5.3a provides simulation specialists with cutting-edge modeling tools and increased solver performance. Featuring new methods, material models, and simulations, the new software includes a hybrid boundary element-finite element (BEM-FEM) method for acoustics and acoustic-structure interaction, among many valuable new tools.   Read More

Vote for the 33rd Annual NAMM TEC Awards! The Best in Pro Audio and Sound Production!
Help our friends at The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show determine the best products and projects across 23 Technical and 8 Creative Outstanding Achievement categories! Voting for the 33rd Annual NAMM TEC Awards is open through 11:59 pm PST December 31, 2017. Head on over to the TEC Awards digital voting booth (link to access the official ballot, Digital Voter's Guide, and learn more about the annual celebration of pro audio and sound production.   Read More

Deezer Announces SongCatcher Audio Recognition Feature
Music streaming service Deezer has announced its own song recognition feature SongCatcher, offering an integrated choice for users who want to find out the names of particular songs or artists when listening to music. The music recognition feature is powered by ACRCloud, a cloud-based music fingerprint database. A similar capability as offered by popular apps Shazam (recently acquired by Apple), and SoundHound, Deezer sees an advantage in implementing the recognition functionality directly into its player.   Read More

Media Networking Alliance and Alliance for IP Media Solutions Announce Merger
The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) announced that it is merging with the Media Networking Alliance (MNA) to form a single trade association for promoting IP in the media and entertainment industry. The merger comes after a two-year history of collaboration, and it will enable the organizations to have an even greater impact on the industries they serve. The new joint organization will retain the AIMS name and will be governed by the existing AIMS bylaws.   Read More

Dennis Goldenson
(SAR Insight & Consulting)

Guest Editorial

Voice as a User Interface for Artificial Intelligence

It occurred to me as I was watching a Google Home commercial the other day, why was there such great excitement and enthusiasm for voice user interface (UI) and these digital assistant platforms? With all the talk (and a lot of talk) about advancements in artificial intelligence and deep learning algorithms, I began to realize that in some ways, voice has become the UI for artificial intelligence (AI) to a new generation seeking a conversational and knowledge-based interface.

For most consumers, the concepts of artificial intelligence and machine learning is a complex subject matter only seen or heard from in the latest science fiction movies. To grasp the concept that machines could develop a conscious thought process through the application of human intelligence is for many, beyond comprehension. Yet for the innovative engineers of today, there are those who believe that with great discipline and determination, anything is possible.
It has become abundantly clear that computer processing is growing more powerful and accessible every day. Yet its ability to replicate the human mind is at the earliest stages of development, impacting the projected timeline for AI commercialization. In addition, how can we expect to advance artificial intelligence when our own scientific knowledge of the human brain and intelligence is in its infancy stage?  
It's complicated and hard to grasp but machine learning is best demonstrated today through the early onset of voice for contextual learning. So, by using voice for command and response, consumers are beginning to grasp the idea that machines can learn, recognize patterns, display emotional behavior and solve analytical problems. The use of voice provides a window into the beautiful complexities of machine learning and turn theoretical science into practical applications.  Therefore, the importance of voice technology will become even more apparent by putting a face to AI for the mass consumer. In other words, voice will be the new UI to an intangible artificial intelligence.
The new "Digital Assistants Platforms, Use Cases, Technologies, Market Sectors, and Competitive Analysis," market report is part of SAR Insight & Consulting Digital Assistant and Voice Interface Service.
To understand the importance of voice, one must also understand the voice-based capabilities of digital assistant platforms such as Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant, Microsoft's Cortana, Apple's Siri, and many other emerging platforms. These technologies will be the glue holding together a wide range of IoT-connected devices from smart homes and mobile devices to the automotive space, and span across consumer and enterprise applications. These platforms will become the ingredient to expand voice use and ultimately expand the use case for AI today and in the future. This is why digital assistants are so strategically important, and why so many companies are aggressively developing their own versions to implement and deploy in the marketplace.
SAR Insight and Consulting has recently released its latest report, titled "Digital Assistant Platforms: Use Cases, Technologies, Market Sectors, & Competitive Analysis." The report highlights the importance of digital assistant platforms, their strategies and partnerships for growth, and the expanding range of consumer and enterprise markets integrating voice technology as a key connected device feature. 
The Digital Assistant Platform market will experience significant growth supporting developers and a wide range of connected devices over the forecast period. In understanding digital assistant platforms, the Google Assistant has by far the largest share of the total market due largely to the domination of Android OS in the smartphone market. However, platforms such as Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, and others will continue to emerge and compete in efforts to secure a bigger piece of the voice technology ecosystem.
Digital assistants are rapidly becoming a key ingredient to voice interface and to the pre-eminent and much acclaimed world of AI.

Dennis Goldenson is Strategic Consultant, Voice Technologies


Fresh From the Bench
Ultimate Ears Pro Sound Tap Personal Monitoring System: Your Own Easy-to-Use In-Ear DI Box 
By Stuart Yaniger
In this review, Stuart Yaniger measures the new Ultimate Ears Pro Sound Tap Personal Monitoring System, a new device created by the leading in-ear monitor (IEM) brand that enables musicians to plug in their custom or universal IEMs and turn the existing stage monitor mix into an in-ear mix. The Sound Tap DI Box is an easy-to-use solution, allowing the sound to be tapped from a line level (mixing board) or speaker level feed, while passing the signal through to its intended destination unmolested. The signal is sampled and sent to a performer-adjustable headphone amplifier. See how this easy-to-use and extremely useful in-ear DI box behaves when relaying sound. This article was originally published in audioXpress, November 2017.   Read the Full Article Now Available Here

Voice  Coil Test Bench
Eminence N151M-8 1" Compression Driver 
By Vance Dickason
For this Test Bench, Vance Dickason characterizes an Eminence N151M-8 1" throat ring radiator compression driver coupled with the Eminence STI1 90° × 40° constant directivity horn. The N151M-8 is the latest in a series of 1" throat 1.5" diameter voice coil compression drivers, and the first ring radiator type for Eminence. Notable features for the Eminence N151M-8 include a Mylar diaphragm driven by a 1.5" voice coil wound on a polyimide former and cast aluminum body, neodymium ring magnet motor, and field-replaceable diaphragm. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, June 2017.   Read the Full Article Online

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