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A Piece of MOD Software is Being Released to the Commercial Market

Advanced Audio Array Simulation Technology Could Change How We build Devices with Inbuilt Microphones

By CBR Staff Writer

A new microphone array simulation software technology developed by the UK Home Office and Ministry of Defence is been made available to industry through technology transfer company Ploughshare Innovations.

Advanced Audio Array Simulation (A3S) is an analysis technique which allows product developers and audio deployment consultancies to achieve a higher level of optimisation when configuring microphone arrays.

Speaking to Computer Business Review, Gerry Scott, Commercial Manager at Ploughshare Innovations said it is “applicable to a whole wide range of stuff from speech voice recognition, hearing aids, smartphones, theoretically it could be applied to a lot of things.”

Using an advanced 3D algorithm, A3S determines the optimum return from a microphone array and then determines the correct physical configuration to accomplish the desired setup.

Understanding what the optimum configuration of a microphone array looks like can help reduce the amount of audio elements required to gain a maximum return on investment when constructing devices with microphones.

In a released statement Gerry Scott noted that: “The developers of A3S have proven that simulations can be conducted 1,000 times faster than current approaches, allowing developers to create high performing products with more confidence.”

It is estimated by Ploughshare and the A3S developers that using comparable processors, a computational undertaking which would normally take up to 8 hours can now be reduced down to 30 seconds.

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If the benchmarks cited by A3S developers hold up, this could lead to massive reductions in construction time and costs of optimally configuring microphone arrays.

Military Origin

This technology was originally developed by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and is now been brought to market by transfer organisation Ploughshare Innovations.

CEO of Ploughshare James Kirby told Computer Business Review: “We have access to a whole range of fascinating technology that is developed by government scientists, some of it is for sensitive defence and security applications…we take that technology and bring it to other markets.”

The process to be allowed to commercialise a piece of MOD technology begins: “when we see something that has a good opportunity to take to market, we go back to the MOD and confirm with them through a formal stage gate process.” Once the MOD is comfortable with the technology being released to the commercial markets ploughshare are giving: “what we call permission to exploit,” says James Kirby.

From that point on the technology is in the commercial market and can be utilised by businesses looking for cutting edge technologies to help reduce cost and build more optimum systems.

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