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Comhear and UC San Diego Collaborate on Breakthrough Audio Conferencing Technology

Companies mentioned in this article: Comhear, Inc.

SAN DIEGO -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Comhear, Inc., a transformational audio technology and wearables company, and UC San Diego today announced that they are collaborating on the latest in audio conferencing technology. Comhear has prototyped the first in a series of revolutionary new products designed to let users customize their listening environment, based on an exclusive license for audio beamforming technology developed by researchers at the University of California, San Diego. The new MyBeam Spatial Interactive Telepresence will make its debut at Mobile World Congress 2014 February 24-27 in Barcelona, Spain.

“The work being done at UC San Diego under the leadership of Research Director, Peter Otto is truly astounding, and we believe this agreement has the potential to generate a variety of new beamforming-based products and services for years to come,” said Comhear founder and CEO Randy Granovetter. “There is nothing like MyBeam on the market today, and with this collaboration between Comhear and UCSD, we intend to create consumer and enterprise products and services for audio beamforming for the growing $2.8 billion Enterprise & Personal Conferencing market.”

In early February, Comhear and UC San Diego signed a three-year sponsored research contract for work to be carried out in the Sonic Arts R&D group of the Qualcomm Institute, the UCSD division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). The research will build on the original Sonic Arts R&D work on small format audio beamforming licensed by Comhear. The parties have also signed a license agreement providing Comhear with the right to commercially exploit the UC San Diego technologies.

The MyBeam device links to a user’s laptop, tablet or smartphone, allowing the user to reshape the incoming audio. Participants in a teleconference/webconference can control the acoustic position of other participants relative to where the user is located. Instead of all voices on a conference call seeming to come from a single point in space, beamforming allows the user to make each voice appear to come from a different location. So if you’re in New York and you’re conferencing with clients in Tokyo and Amsterdam, you can make the Tokyo audio come from the west, and the Amsterdam caller from the east. The system also allows the user to move participants closer or farther away – providing control over the audio ‘mix’ of the conference call.

In addition, there are many other exciting broad market applications for the technology, including automotive applications with directional navigation or sending multiple beams to different occupants, and creating a home theater and gaming experience, allowing individuals to have their own personal beaming settings.

“Our technology allows us to provide private listening areas in a public space, and this includes spatializing source audio for a single user to create a virtual surround-sound effect,” said Otto. “We can target discrete audio beams to a primary user’s left and right ears, while everyone else in the vicinity would hear a different audio track that masks this privacy feature.”

“With MyBeam, if someone on a conference call is typing in the background, I can isolate that audio feed and push it away, so it doesn’t impinge on hearing what’s being said on the call,” added Otto, who is also a director and faculty member of UCSD’s renowned Music department, a leader in the field of music and audio technology. “Or if I’m on a call with a non-English speaker, I may want to bring that audio feed closer to me, so I can listen more clearly. All in all, the technology offers a huge and easily perceived advantage for many applications in audio communications and music.”

MyBeam Spatial Interactive Telepresence shows significant improvement in the teleconference or webconferencing experience, enabling a new level of clarity and intelligibility for significantly better comprehension and meeting efficiency. A prototype for the device will be demonstrated at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. WowWee, a UC San Diego technology licensee of robotics, will be a distributor of Comhear’s MyBeam product line and services.

To schedule a private demonstration of the MyBeam Spatial Interactive Telepresence, please contact Gordon Schenk/Comhear at 619-851-6691, gordon.schenk@comhear.com, or Lisa Porter, Porter Creative, 949-752-5891, lporter@portercreative.com.

About Comhear, Inc.

Founded in 2013 by the former founder and CEO of Jabra, Randy Granovetter, Comhear, Inc. is a transformational audio technology company, creating products and solutions that really revolutionize the listening experience in three ways: wearables, software, and amazing sound beaming technology. Its new wearables category is defined as “In the Service of Sound” and the company produces “Audio that Feels Good, Sounds Great, and is Good for You!” The company’s product lines include the EarPuff technology based on proprietary patented BioFoam, Kinetic Audio Processing (KAP) technology which is a perfect complement to EarPuff, and its Playbutton line of products. For more information, visit http://www.comhear.com and http://www.playbutton.com.

About Sonic Arts R&D at UCSD

The Sonic Arts R&D group in Calit2’s Qualcomm Institute at UC San Diego provides applied research and development services to major industry and government sponsors in need of cutting-edge digital audio solutions. On a selective basis, the group is also available to venture-funded enterprises seeking to introduce disruptive technologies in the digital audio space. Sonic Arts R&D’s mission is to create high-impact solutions that can be deployed in the market or in the field within a short-to-medium timeframe. The group’s sponsors and affiliates include institutions of national and international prominence, including Meyer Sound Labs, Qualcomm, Inc., Skywalker Sound (a Lucasfilm company), NASA, Disney, Pacific Interface, Inc., NTT, Motorola Mobility, Kyocera, and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology http://sonicarts.calit2.net.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning ComHear, Inc. within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Those forward-looking statements include statements regarding the expected benefits of audio beamforming technology and the potential development and commercial success of products relying on the audio beamforming technology. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, and actual circumstances, events or results may differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to differences include, but are not limited to, risks related to Comhear’s ability to successfully develop products incorporating audio beamforming technology, particularly at a manufacturing cost that allows for a competitive retail price; the market’s acceptance of such products; the successful issuance of the patent on a “method for controlling a speaker array to provide spatialized, localized and binaural virtual surround sound”; the ability of the patent to successfully create a barrier to competition; general economic conditions effecting the audio technology market; the availability of working capital as and when needed, and those other risks set forth in Comhear’s registration statements and reports on file with the SEC. Comhear, Inc. cautions readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Comhear, Inc. does not undertake, and specifically disclaims any obligation to update or revise such statements to reflect new circumstances or unanticipated events as they occur.


Copyright © Business Wire 2014
Contact:

Qualcomm Institute
Doug Ramsey, 858-822-5825
dramsey@ucsd.edu
or
Comhear
Gordon Schenk, 619-851-6691
gordon.schenk@comhear.com
or
Porter Creative
Lisa Porter, 949-752-5891
lporter@portercreative.com