Turn your mobile phones in to a live gig speaker
Clear things up a bit
Do you experience muffled audio at festivals because you're surrounded by taller people or the speakers are too far away? There's an app for that.
Jakob Eg Larsen and a team from the Technical University of Denmark have created a tool that allows sound from live shows to be transmitted into the mobile handsets of those watching, so while bass continues to be felt from the loud speakers the higher-end frequencies are clearer than ever.
Sound from the mixing desk is transmitted by radio signal to mobile phones with FM capabilities. Because radio signal travels faster than the speed of sound, it has to be slightly delayed.
This is variable depending on where the audience is stood, so the software uses a phone's GPS sensor to calculate the delay needed to perfectly sync the live festival sound to your mobile phone.
As it stands, listeners can't get closer than 60 metres to the stage speakers or the opposite happens and sound arrives before the FM signal. The team is working on optimising the software to reduce the working distance to roughly 20 metres.
Larsen's team trialled the tech at a festival in Denmark on 19 random participants, who were each given a Nokia N900 smartphone to receive the signal. It went down a storm.
Now his team are working with Danish startup CrossOverGlobal to bring the tech to a commercial market.
Sounds good. ®
Woah! Step back, dude!
Blimey, you hate the idea THAT much. Well, each to their own, I suppose.
How about this; my pal suffers from tinnitus but loves concerts. Getting the right balance between ear protection and listen-ability* at a concert is a nightmare for him (I suppose other folk with hearing problems can relate to this). If he can plug in his (somewhat expensive) headphones and hear a clearer sound while protecting his ears from the ambient noise I reckon he'll be chuffed as a chav in a Burberry shop!
Who knows, perhaps such things could be used to provide real-time translations at multi-national events or suchlike.
*yep, made up word, but you know what I mean.
Why GPS? Can't they be synchronized using the delay of receiving the sound waves through the microphone?
"each given a Nokia N900 smartphone to receive the signal. It went down a storm"
Shame Nokia have sh*t all over the N900 platform, hardware and software, as well as the whole ecosystem around it then, really.
Oh dear. If you don't like the sound at gigs, buy the album and stay at home. Gigs aint about hi-fi, gigs are about the music! :-) I for one welcome this idea as the perfect way to reduce the number of phones at festivals - what better way to advertise you've got a fancy phone worth nicking? Don't these kids read the posters on the underground?!
Erm, I assume they transmit on one frequency and the phone adds the delay.