Audio innovations powered by Dolby VoiceBy James Longley
It’s no secret that we get pretty jazzed up about the way video collaboration improves communication and productivity. It is what we do, can you blame us? But we know that all of those visual cues don’t mean much unless you can hear the words that go with them. So when we learned that Dolby had set out to completely reinvent the conference call, we knew we wanted to power all of our devices with their cutting-edge Dolby Voice audio technology. The results are like nothing you’ve ever heard.
The backbone of Dolby’s innovation is wideband audio, which captures more breadth of the human voice than traditional narrowband audio. While narrowband audio cuts the highs and lows of the human voice, wideband audio preserves the entire range, creating a clearer and more understandable conversation. Put this to work in a meeting, and you’ll increase productivity with a richer and more nuanced experience.
Intelligent noise cancellation
Another foundational piece of Dolby’s audio solution is sophisticated signal processing that produces crystal clear audio. The first step in this processing is separating the signal from the noise. Dolby has developed intelligent noise cancellation that virtually eliminates background noise. Whether you’ve got a crowd of people around you at the airport or a construction site ten feet away, the message always comes through loud and clear.
Full duplex with unlimited participation
A large part of the natural conversation Dolby Voice creates comes from its full duplex technology with minimal delay. Dolby Voice offers simultaneous speech, which supports a natural cadence of conversation by enabling participants to speak and hear at the same time – all with almost no delay.
A complementary feature to full duplex is Unlimited Participation, which improves engagement by allowing all voices to be heard–not just the loudest. Dolby Voice volume equalization treats all signals equally, boosting the signal for low speakers and cutting back the volume for loud speakers. This allows participants to comfortably listen and easily interact during a meeting. With typical systems that are limited to the loudest three speakers, it’s almost impossible to break into a conversation. Dolby Voice, on the other hand, mixes the voices of all speakers – now anyone on a call can speak out, listen up, jump in real quick, make space for someone else, and do all the other the other kinds of simultaneous communication we engage in when we’re face to face.
The engineering wizards at Dolby weren’t satisfied with just cutting background noise, equalizing volume, and letting the conversation flow. No, they decided to push further and actually create a way for a video meeting to sound like you’re in-person. How’d they do it? Spatial voice separation.
With spatial voice separation, you can easily recognize who is talking and follow the conversation as it moves among speakers. The Dolby Voice solution presents each person’s voice from a distinct location, just like when you are meeting-in person.
The Dolby Conference Phone
Using multiple microphones and advanced software, the audio device from Dolby reproduces the entire atmosphere of the conference room right in the earbuds of remote participants. It even presents the voices of the remote participants as though they’re coming from a different space in the actual conference room.
The effect is that all participants, remote or in-person, hear each voice coming from its own space. This allows them to quickly and naturally understand who’s talking in the midst of even the most rapid-fire debate. The system is so fine-tuned that, if someone gets up to write something on the whiteboard, remote participants will hear the voice moving from one point in space to another. Close your eyes and you’d swear you were there.
But all this fanciness isn’t just for remote participants. Through sophisticated signal processing, the audio device from Dolby separates the voices of remote participants so meeting attendees in the meeting can easily identify who is speaking. And as an added bonus, the audio device from Dolby is designed with a halo of light around the center so you can easily tell if the call is on mute. Plus, you can mute the device right from the Highfive app. If the light is red, you’re on mute.
After all, that’s the goal of the partnership between Highfive and Dolby Voice: to build truly seamless video collaboration. Together, we’re making it possible for the people all over the world to work together, face to face.