West country companies show their smarts at Mobile World Congress
Companies from the South West region are demonstrating their world-beating technologies at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona later this month – an event that brings together leading technology companies and telecoms operators from around the world.
Bristol-based XMOS Semiconductor is showcasing its far-field voice capture systems. These are used in the voice-enabled stereos, smart TVs, soundbars, set-top boxes and digital media adapter markets which use the company’s innovative processor.
“Voice control has become a ‘must-have’ feature in wireless speakers”
Commenting on value of these technologies, Jack Wetherill, Principal Analyst for Home Electronics at Futuresource Consulting tells us: “Our consumer research shows that owners love their smart speakers and this bodes well for rapid uptake of voice control devices in the coming years.
“Including voice-control in wireless speakers has taken an already booming market to a new level, with smart speaker sales up threefold globally in 2017 to exceed 25m units. Voice control has become a ‘must-have’ feature in wireless speakers and will rapidly penetrate other large categories such as the $84bn TV displays market and the $21bn set-top box and media streamer market.”
The XMOS technology includes the world’s first stereo acoustic echo cancellation (AEC) far-field linear microphone array solution. This is based on a voice processor which delivers dual channel full stereo. Its VocalSorcery technology (pictured right) can identify individual speakers or conversations in a crowded noisy audio environment. This could be used for example to diarize voice conferences, and give a full transcript, by speaker of multi-person conversations, and ensure that all speakers on a conference call are heard with equal volume.
“VocalSorcery solves what is sometimes described as the ‘Cocktail Party Problem'”
“We’re demonstrating our next generation of source separation algorithms, VocalSorcery, which solves what is sometimes described as the ‘Cocktail Party Problem’ and enables commercial solutions for improved conference calls and in-car phone calls,” says Mark Lippett, President and CEO at XMOS.
“With our next generation of algorithms we are confident that we have the most comprehensive portfolio of voice products available today.”
Breakthroughs in tech
At the same time, Zeetta Networks‘ NetOS software-defined networking technology has been nominated as the Best Network Software Breakthrough at the show.
“We are delighted that our NetOS technology has been nominated for a world-class GLOMO award”
NetOS makes a 5G wireless network fully programmable, opening new opportunities for smart cities and smart venues. It is already being used at Bristol’s Ashton Gate sports stadium as part of a live ‘data lab’.
The category of Best Network Software Breakthrough is new this year and aims to highlight outstanding software innovations leading to dramatic changes in network costs, functionality and business cases.
“We are delighted that our NetOS technology has been nominated for a world-class GLOMO award,” says Vassilis Seferidis, CEO of Zeetta Networks. “Our vision at Zeetta Networks has always been to create software that transforms the network into a dynamic, programmable platform that allows our customers to maximize the value from their networking assets. NetOS is a core component in delivering dynamic, multi-tenancy and multi-vendor networks and has already been deployed successfully in production networks, working across multiple technologies whether fibre, packet switched Wi-Fi or the Internet of Things.”
NetOS is also a central component to the ‘Bristol is Open‘ Smart City testbed and to the UK Government’s 5G Hub, which is testing out network virtualisation and slicing for 5G services.
Blu Wireless Technology (BWT) will also be demonstrating its millimetre 5G wireless technology at the show. The company recently joined the Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP) as part of the recently established mmWave working group to develop the latest 60GHz networking technology.
TIP is the engineering-focused initiative co-chaired by Facebook and Deutsche Telekom, bringing together expertise from pioneering technology companies.
“Our mission goes beyond simply delivering advanced technology to our customers, but rather providing deep domain expertise, from a technology and market perspective,” says Henry Nurser (pictured right), CEO of BWT.
“Being amongst this forward-thinking, highly esteemed collection of companies gives us access to shared ideas and the opportunity to play an integral part in the future of this rapidly emerging global technology ecosystem.”
MWC is held in Barcelona at the end of February.
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