What if AR was becoming an audio experience first?


Journalist: San Francisco, it is the place when things are done! This is where the Apple keynote happened. Let’s see Arnaud Auger, from San Francisco, for L’Atelier BNP Paribas Arnaud, welcome! Arnaud Auger: Thank you! Good evening! Journalist: lot of things happened where you are! Indeed, few days ago there was the big conference of TechCrunch! The very famous media website dedicated to tech news, well known by the innovation followers! Tell us! What is it about? “Disrupt” as the conference of TechCrunch is called! Arnaud Auger: Indeed “Disrupt” is the annual conference organized by TechCrunch Which is the most important media dedicated to startup innovations in the US And during this conference, there is a startup competition, called the Battlefield Which is probably the most important startup contest in the world! Why? Because startups can pitch in front in the very powerful Silicon Valley VC investors! So many startups wait for this event to launch their solution! And this year, I was impressed by the number and quality of startups with audio innovations! Google Home & Amazon Echo already conquered the US Households, but there is many more audio innovations to come! Journalist: Indeed, about one third of American households are equipped with a smart speaker indeed! So what these other audio innovations? Tell us everything! Arnaud Auger: First, about audio innovation, we can obviously start around music! I have seen a booth from a Japanese startup called Kissonics So it was just 2 speakers that did not look special but that were offering an amazing 3D immmersive audio experience! The quality of the sound was astonishing! You felt like in a best movie theater! They equipped the speakers with specific chips and created a new algorithm to offer this experience! And again, it was really impressive. So first trend, audio high quality will be democratized! Another innovation that grabbed my attention: A startup called DB Track that offer headphones which you can adjust the time limit of listening. So this is mostly useful for parents who want to give limits to their children. Parents can also put limit to the audio levels from their phones to the headphones of their children. And third example, around music… …a solution called Hook… this solution is more dedicated to audio recording… …especially when you go to a concert! And that is true, when you go to a concert, if you want to record the performance, it is not convenient to do it with your phone and the audio recording is not optimized So the startup invented a device that you can wear like a headset which is specifically designed and manufactured to record live performances in a concert environment A kind of “GoPro” for high quality sound recording if you want. Or a voice recorder specifically for this specific context of a concert ambience. So yes, already many innovations around music! Journalist: On point! You mentioned “audio” innovations, are these only linked to music? Or not only? Arnaud Auger: Nor only! Indeed, you are right! There are also many audio innovations to improve our work productivity. For example, during all the conference, there was a startup that was live transcripting every said on stage. The startup is called Otter. And at last, it works, it is efficient, acccurate! So maybe we can say goodbye to meeting note taking! To spare the journalist the pain of retyping a voice recorded interview. So it can have an impact on the future of work! And the founder also made a interesting comment. He said that he wished his solution existed when he was born… …so he could have had a record of everything his mother ever told him! So he could quote her accurately! Or even make some key word searches! So with these types of innovation, we could even think of a Psycho-analyst robot in the future! But there is another innovation dedicated to productivity that I found interesting: It is called Orii. Which is a connected ring. Which allows to have sound with bone conduction. So you just have to put your finger on the ear to transmit the audio signals. And the ring can also receive the vocal commands to the AI solutions (Siri, Alexa, etc.) It is for the general public, but restaurants and hotels, are already interested in equipping their staff with it. It can replace the good old talkie walkies or other devices for short quick communications. Journalist: You bet! Do you have other audio innovations applications? We listened to you and for those who follow you on TV as well, it is very clear! Arnaud Auger: Yes, there is also many applications around foreign languages. Orii for instance, can also allow to give a real time translation to what we can ask. I can put my finger on the ear, say “How do you say “Where is the train station” in japanese”… …then ear the translation, so I can repeat the audio translation I listened. Pretty useful if I want to find my way in Japan! There is also a startup called Khado that created a audio bot to teach kids a foreign language So through conversations with a bot, the the learning experience is personalized and playful! And at last, Baidu, the equivalent of Google in China created a Machine Learning platform, that can detect the sound variations, so in our case it can recognize the accents, Which can allow to have applications to improve your pronunciation, even when you know a language. So you dont have to work the same way if you have a french accent or a chinese one! So yes, we have also many audio innovations dedicated to foreign languages education. Journalist: So what is your conclusion on this topic? Because apparently, you worked well on spotting all these innovations and studying the market! Arnaud Auger: Yes. So historically, we have seen many innovation soliciting the sense of touching, with the iPhone for instance, then tasting innovations with many FoodTech innovations (like the vegan burgers, etc.) and these last past years were more about visual innovations with the Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), My bet, is that, Augmented Reality will be more performing thanks to audio rather than images Audio innovations for Augmented Reality will be first, Images will be second. I think that the augmented reality (AR) experiences through audio are more ready and better than visual AR It is also the opinion of an Augmented Reality expert in Silicon Valley, Anjney Midha On stage, he shared this analysis finally, Augmented Reality through audio support was more natural. And Bose for instance, the headphone manufacturer, Even created a prototype of glasses with bone conduction, but also an accelerometer, GPS, camera, To allow to create unique experiences like walking in New Orleans streets, to hear the Jazz live band musicians next to me, but also… …AND at the same time, to receive informations on the buildings where I can look at, So an Augmented Reality thanks to Audio innovations that can be immersive, smooth and useful. And last example, a company called Starkey, that launched Livio.ai, its hearing aid, that is not positioned to support an handicap but as a super-powering tool! because beyond the improvement of listening capacities, the device can also… …track the physical health signals like a fitbit, but also the listening & speaking times, as intellectual activity signals So I really think that augmented reality will also be a sound experience! Journalist: This is the bet of Arnaud Auger from L’Atelier BNP Paribas ! Tonight, on BFM Business, in Tech & Co We are here with you, every evening, until 10 PM!

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