It’s rare to attend an enterprise technology vendor conference that offers the chance to actually touch a product, but that’s what Inspect-A-Gadget found at NTT Upgrade.
As the North American leg of the telco-centric firm’s annual event programme, this show featured a coming together of many of the organisation’s various arms (it has dedicated data, cloud, consumer electronics divisions and more) to present news and views.
Among the divisions making news this week was NTT sonority, Inc. a member of the wider NTT Group. The audio-focused NTT sonority (the clue is in the name, sonor is the Latin word for sound right?) has now entered the consumer electronics market with what it is calling the development of an entirely new type of earphone.
The firm’s technology is called ‘Personalised Sound Zone’ (PSZ).
Used in open-ear earphones (i.e. the official term for earphones that go not quite into your ear, but rest above your earhole leaving the user ‘open’ to also hearing sounds from the outside world) PSZ is supposed to ‘locks audio’ into a small, individualised space.
NTT sonority’s audio brand nwm (New Wave Maker) will continue to enhance its products with PSZ at its core, the idea to create a product with no ‘sound leakage’ when being worn.
“The NTT sonority nwm earphones achieve this goal through the product’s PSZ technology that enhances user safety and comfort by locking the sound of the device in a 360-degree space within a few centimetres from the ear. This enables the user to listen to the sound emitted from the earphones as well as ambient sounds in their environment simultaneously,” notes the company, in a technical product statement.
A feature we have only really seen in Jabra earphones with their ‘hear-through’ function which brings outside noise into the ears through the in-built microphones (very useful for crossing roads more safely), NTT is also featuring this function to enable users to more easily multitask or maintain conversations with family, friends or colleagues while also listening to music, podcasts, videos or ambient sounds in nature.
Featuring a speaker unit that is located above the ear, users can experience natural sound as if wearing ‘speakers in their ears’. There is also a built-in microphone for making calls and other sound recording requirements.
Beats bone conduction
PSZ technology is a new acoustic technology developed by NTT based on the principles of sound itself. The company says its work in this space sets it apart from bone conduction technology and directional speakers. The product employs the audio principle of opposite-phase soundwave cancellation, the phenomenon where two sound waves of different phases cancel each other out.
NTT sonority says it will also launch a wired model of its personal ear speaker – nwm MWE001, also equipped with PSZ technology.