Google Acquires Limes Audio to Improve Conferencing Quality
Free video communications have morphed into conferencing and collaborative tools that are now key to the way organizations interact with their employees as well as their partners and customers. The way Skype has managed to seamlessly move from a consumer product to one that is now being used by enterprises has not escaped the attention of Google and other players in the segment. With so many companies providing conferencing, quality is becoming the biggest differentiator, which explains Google's acquisition of Limes Audio and its TrueVoice solution to help improve the audio quality on Hangouts and Chromebox for Meetings.
In addressing the problem of audio quality in video conferencing, Google said on its company blog, “One of the biggest challenges to a great video meeting is the audio quality. Conference rooms today come in all shapes and sizes and that can provide a challenge for acoustics. Additionally, a poor Internet connection can hamper voice quality in videoconference calls.”
Using the technology from Limes Audio, Google wants to remove distracting noise, distortion and echoes that are responsible for creating a bad experience during online video and telephony meetings.
The TrueVoice Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC) software is a speech enhancement solution that cleans disturbing echoes and noise so the communications are clear and loud no matter how far it is or the type of environment in which the participants are having the conference.
The complexity and challenge in acoustic echo cancellation is accurately identifying the environment and the noise, and then being able to differentiate it from human speech. The company said solutions that have not been designed properly not only remove echoes and mute or distort part of the speech signal, but can also lower the sound quality even more.
According to Limes Audio, the technology it has developed is based on more than 10 years of research resulting in patented algorithms that have been proven in real-world applications through dozens of launched products. It can be applied anywhere a two-way speakerphone communication system is being used where echoes, noise, and room reverberation are present. This includes enterprise communication systems, conference phones, video conferencing equipment, mobile communication devices, car infotainment systems and more.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and Google did not announce a timetable as to when it will be integrating TrueVoice or any of the other technologies Limes Audio has developed or is developing.
Edited by Alicia Young