Huw Geddes's Blog

Will 2016 be a landmark year for lossless hi-resolution streaming audio services?

Posted: 03 September 2016

With rumours of upgrades to the iPhone's audio capabilities set to be announced next week at the iPhone 7 launch, let's look at how this could affect the Hi-Res Audio sector.

It's fairly safe to say that the way we consume music has changed significantly over the last five years. The CD is clinging on, but if Google Trends (see graph below) is accurate this is mostly as Christmas presents. Vinyl has made a comeback among audiophiles. And streaming services have really taken off; Spotify alone receives a greater proportion of Google searches than CDs, overtaking it for the first time in March 2015 and staying ahead for all except the Christmas period.

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ReSpeaker: Modular hardware platform adds voice interfaces to any product you like

Posted: 30 August 2016

I've mentioned before that voice interfaces will provide new opportunities for great innovative products. But while big technology companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook invest huge amounts of money into developing the natural language interfaces that enable speech recognition, we've so far seen few smaller companies taking advantage of the rich diversity of available hardware and software that is available.

So it's great news that the Chinese hardware company Seeed Studios have announced on KickStarter their latest product, a modular development platform called ReSpeaker, with the objective of adding voice interaction to products in your home or office:

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What’s happened to Hi-Res music streaming in 2016?

Posted: 25 August 2016

A lot has changed in the streaming audio sector since I wrote my blog last year. And while outwardly it looks similar, some companies have gone into receivership and others are seriously contemplating IPOs mainly due to the costs involved in delivering a lossless streaming service. Yet the rewards are likely to be great for those that can make it work, so let's see what's happened to the main players in the last year.

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Microphone arrays to unlock the potential of speech recognition

Posted: 20 July 2016

Dag Kittlaus, CEO of Viv Labs (viv.ai), has recently given some impressive demonstrations of his latest AI technologies, but one thing that always looks odd during the Viv demonstrations is that he holds the phone very close to his mouth. He’s almost eating his phone every time – it’s like something from Trigger Happy TV. Dag needs to make sure that the quality of captured speech is clear enough for the software to decipher the content of the commands, but it’s not a real-world scenario. We’re not all going to want to "eat" our phones in order to book an airfare for next week.

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Voice interfaces unleash Orange's original vision

Posted: 08 July 2016

I've just watched a promotional film that Orange recorded in 1999 called The Future's Bright The Future's Orange. It was striking that all the film's ambitions are as relevant to voice interactions today as they were to the world of mobile communications almost two decades ago.

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Huw has an extensive background in the delivery of technology to designers, developers and engineers. Prior to joining XMOS as a Information/Documentation Manager, Huw worked as Technology Transfer Manager at the 3D graphics company Superscape Ltd, and Technical Author at VideoLogic Ltd. Huw also has a strong background and interest in fine art and exhibition management.