Some things in the world never change. There will forever be airline delays, overbookings, and flight cancellations. Finding the serenity to accept such unchangeable realities is often difficult. But if you find yourself stuck in Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport, you might find the wait isn’t so bad. World Visual Communications has installed more than 60 Samsung displays equipped with Brown Innovations Maestro directional speakers. From news broadcasts to sports coverage, sitcoms and more, stranded travelers can now enjoy a complete viewing experience thanks to the focused audio.
It’s a topic of endless debate in the digital signage sector: Will audio enhance your display or be disruptive and get your display unplugged? For AdSpace Networks, America’s largest in-mall digital signage network, directional audio has played a key role in their success. As a result, Adspace’s model is changing how others look at utilizing audio. For years, digital signage networks have avoided audio due to problems with sound bleed. Frequently referred to as “employee burn,” conventional speakers blaring repetitive audio invariably lead nearby employees to unplug displays or even cut wires. After research and tests, AdSpace chose the Brown Innovations Maestro to ensure audio doesn’t disturb mall employees and patrons.
Besides keeping sound focused in front of displays, Maestro speakers can be linked, networked and communicated with remotely. “Health monitoring and adjustments to speakers on the network can be made from a single location,” said Jeremy Brown, CEO of Brown Innovations. “Maestros automatically make volume adjustments when ambient noise fluctuates, which ensures sound levels are always heard at an appropriate level above the ambient noise.”
The network has become an attractive medium for advertisers wanting to deliver more dynamic content. “We like to think of our screens as living posters and encourage our advertisers to take advantage of our unique, full motion video and audio-enabled medium with truly captivating creative,” says the AdSpace website. Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Estee Lauder, Coach, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and Sean John are just a handful of companies advertising on the network.
In total, the network currently consists of 2844 displays and reaches 48 million unique individuals per month.
The Forbes family, a leader in social, economic, and philanthropic sectors, had a vision – bring students of MIT and Stanford together to discuss new technologies through a revolutionary conferencing system. The Forbes Family previously funded both university cafeterias and envisioned connecting students through a dining experience where casual conversation leads to an open exchange of ideas.
The concept was dubbed “the Wormhole.” After testing current market solutions, both universities realized off-the-shelf audio solutions wouldn’t make the grade. In a joint venture, MIT and Stanford consulted and commissioned sound experts Brown Innovations to create a custom, head-set-free system.
Brown developed an innovative conferencing system, ensuring private communication between participants despite noise levels at each café. A spherical sound dome mounted overhead focuses sound directly to each listener. The sphere acts as a lens, creating an audio “hologram” where voices are actually heard as if speakers were floating just outside each listener’s ears. Amazingly, the technology is so precisely focused, only individuals seated at the table can hear audio playing through the speaker. Others just steps away hear virtually nothing.
Another hemispheric lens mounted flush under the table utilizes multiple microphones to selectively collect each individual’s voice. The reflective dome concentrates sound waves from each participant to a corresponding microphone enabling crystal clear reception while minimizing ambient noise.
“Our solution provides an intimate experience for both parties to hear and be heard in any environment.” says Kevin Brown of Brown Innovations. “The technology opens new realms of possibilities for patrons to communicate or socialize privately in noisy public locations such as coffee shops, malls, airports, etc.”