Unbound Spiral: Telephony's Changing Audio Paradigm

August 2, 2004 08:57 PM

This links to a post written four years ago. Even then "better audio quality" was predicted for telephony. It's part of a changing paradigm. Sometimes it takes a long time for these things to work their way through.

What can a movie critic, a fat man in a tweed jacket, teach us about telephony? A lot, as you will see. Telephony, because it is so widely used, is about what people want, much the same as making and showing movies.

What about telephony? Both IP telephony and voice-over-ATM systems have the prospect of delivering a truly better product, in audio quality, in call information, in lightning-quick connection, in integration with PC and Palm-based information, in the richness and friendliness of voice interface. Why use bells and tones and buzzes when you can explain things to the user and offer alternatives? Still, makers of new-style systems seem to think their work is done when it is "almost as good as" phone calls delivered over the very first, and now decades-old electronic exchanges.

Are the developers of new telephony systems stupid? No, they are merely tired. By the time they have gotten their products to work, with their investors breathing down their necks, they are happy to have something that will satisfy a specification and a business plan, rather than make a customer say "Wow!" But if you really want success, you won't stop until you have something that is really remarkable, not just respectable.

I often believe that nothing is really very new. Jori Liesenborgs submitted his thesis in May 2000. "Voice over IP in networked virtual environments" At the time his perscription was for 3D VoIP in virtual environments. Today it is reaching the marketplace. Recently testers including myself were impressed with the capabilities of Smart Meeting. Those that have read my blog know I believe in the potential for 3D Stereo VoIP. See also Polycom who recently announced their 3D surround sound and video solution. As we know from Skype IM, conferencing and collaboration tools are converging. Add in 3D environments and we may go from calls singular to connection plural. Then in case you missed it.

The Q3D audio positional technology brings a surround-sound experience to the wireless device by controlling the position of virtual sound sources in the space around the listener's head. QUALCOMM See also QSound