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.
Ever wish the bar had audio playing for the sports game you came to watch? At Austin’s newly opened Brew Exchange that’s no issue. Each booth in the bar has been outfitted with a flat screen and Brown Innovations directional speaker mounted above so tables can enjoy their own TV programming with audio. That means no arguments between basketball fans and hockey fans over which commentary is broadcast when the Mavericks and Stars play at the same time.
“I’ve never seen something like this,” said Brew Exchange partner Nick Adams. “The dome helps isolate the sound. You can reserve one of the booths any time you want, come in, and watch a game with friends.” Brown Innovations, originators of sound dome technology, custom designed hemispherical audio localizers to direct sound to people seated around the tables.
“A sound dome from our standard line would only direct audio down to the salt and pepper shakers on the table,” said Jeremy Brown, President and CEO of Brown Innovations. “For applications like Brew Exchange, we custom design a sound dome based on table dimensions and the seating configuration to direct sound to people around the table.” Patrons sink into a sweet spot of audio as they sit down in the booth.
“People are going to be blown away,” said Tim Womac, another one of the Brew Exchange’s partners. “There’s nothing like this in town.” The bar also offers supply-and-demand pricing for its rotating selection of 72 draft beers. If things take off, owners say more locations could open.
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.”
Brown Innovations utilized their expertise in directional speakers for digital signage and kiosks to bring the Forbes project to fruition.
Brown Innovations develops and deploys directional speaker and focused audio technologies for digital signage, kiosk, museum, retail and tradeshow applications. For more information visit http://www.BrownInnovations.com.
When was the last time you enjoyed a high-quality viewing and listening experience in a place other than your own living room? Probably never, but that’s changing. indoorDIRECT has partnered with Brown Innovations to create an intimate, high-quality directional audio experience in thousands of restaurant locations across the country. For the first time, a dining experience combines the comforts of home and the convenience of dining out.
Creating a home-like television experience with audio in a fast-paced environment was no easy task. Initially, restaurants used traditional in-ceiling speakers, but store employees bothered by sound bleed continuously tampered with volume levels. A working,focused audio solution was needed.
After researching all options, indoorDIRECT selected Brown Innovations’ Maestro system. This directional speaker keeps an even coverage of high-quality sound contained to the dining area only, leaving employees undisturbed. Appropriate directional sound levels are maintained by a built-in volume leveling system which auto adjusts as ambient noise fluctuates – meaning patrons hear content and advertising perfectly at the busiest and quietest times.
Additionally, the system includes an interface to communicate with the brains of the Maestro through a USB connection. This feature eliminates the need for costly site visits to troubleshoot and fix problems resulting from sabotage. Now indoorDIRECT easily monitors and manages settings across its entire network from an offsite computer. “Being able to monitor and adjust the sound in any restaurant anywhere in the country, from a remote computer, enables us to ensure diners are hearing our programming and advertising in the way it was meant to be heard”, said indoorDIRECT’s Director of Operations, Dave Caruso.
“This advancement in audio technology will assist us in ensuring that we deliver the highest quality television viewing experience to viewers, a goal we share with all of our restaurant partners and advertisers,” says Michael Winton, President and Co-Founder of indoorDIRECT. “We are in the business of entertaining guests and creating an enjoyable environment for our restaurant partners and their diners. Brown’s audio solutions have enabled us to create a custom audio system that remotely controls the volume of our televisions in the dining room with ambient noise sensors and directional audio.”
Brown Innovations develops and deploys directional speaker and focused audio technologies for digital signage, museum, kiosk, retail, and tradeshow applications. For more information visit http://www.BrownInnovations.com.