SEATTLE, Aug. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Long before Microsoft announced its Xbox One® console to a global audience in May, Vicoustic engineers in Portugal developed an acoustic solution to allow the Xbox One® R&D team to optimize the console's core next generation Kinect® voice recognition technology.
The challenge posed to Vicoustic centered on Microsoft's need to conduct product testing under ideal acoustic conditions while maintaining the option to easily modify the acoustic treatment to reflect sound energy and lengthen reverberation time to properly simulate, for example, the acoustics of a typical living room. It was essential that Microsoft's new state-of-the-art console, which is always listening, be able to decipher voice commands spoken from within all manner of acoustic settings. This applies even to those environments where poor room acoustics make it difficult for people to hear spoken words adequately.
After extensive computer modeled analysis, the Vicoustic engineering team, led by chief acoustician Jorge Castro, responded with a comprehensive "variable" acoustic plan that included Vicoustic's innovative Vari Panel Pro acoustic panel. Vari Panel Pro allows the option of adjusting room acoustics to create either a dry environment or a bright ambient space.
This duality in performances is created by the way the panel is built. One side has a reflective wooden surface with specially designed cavities that control the room's energy for a mid- and low-frequency range, which serves to eliminate flutter echoes produced by parallel walls and "boxy" environments. The other side has a highly absorbent foam surface with a colored fabric, also with specially designed cavities, which increases the absorbent behavior of the material for mid- and high-frequencies. Its clever wall suspension system allows the panel to be removed, reversed, and reattached to the wall.
Click on the link to see a short animated video of the process: http://vimeo.com/39641976
Vicoustic's highly effective acoustic treatment of Microsoft's testing lab combined a mixture of absorption, diffusion, and bass trapping panels. A total of 120 panels were installed, of which 66 were Vari Panel Pro panels in Vicoustic's "Nordik" wood finish.
"Vicoustic has an extensive product catalog that offers many innovative solutions to various acoustic challenges," said Burt Goodman, Managing Director at Vicoustic USA, based in Seattle, Wash. "For this very technical project, Vari Panel Pro provided the perfect solution. Vicoustic is proud to have played a small but important role in the development of the Xbox One®."
Click on the link below to view photos of the treated lab: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.696386787054587.1073741830.590706994289234&type=1
About Vicoustic: Vicoustic is establishing itself as one of the most dynamic global companies in the acoustic solutions industry. The research-based European manufacturer offers a range of innovative products and services, representing the outcome of years of development, testing, and optimization by some of Europe's leading acoustic engineers. Based in Lisbon, Portugal, Vicoustic has a worldwide staff of more than 75 people with distribution reaching 50 countries. From broadcast studios to post production facilities, classrooms to boardrooms, and from rehearsal rooms to large scale performance venues, Vicoustic's methodology is simple: improve the acoustics of any environment by combining outstanding performance with originality in design. For more information go to http://www.vicousticusa.com.