SPECIAL FEATURE 03 New Form of Remote Communication Proposed through Sound and Network Technologies
The global COVID-19 pandemic transformed how we communicate with other people. This transformation also extended to the environments in which we work as teleworking systems were introduced around the world. It can therefore be expected that workstyles unbound by place will continue to become more commonplace and entrenched going forward.
Yamaha has long been expanding its lineup of sound environment products that help make teleconferences and web conferences more comfortable as solutions for supporting workstyle reforms. We continue to combine the sound and network technologies and expertise we have accumulated over the years to propose new forms of remote communication that will be indispensable in this new era.
CASE STUDY 01Remote Meeting System Responding to Rising Social Needs
Teleconferences, web conferences, and other forms of remote meetings have become an indispensable form of communication underpinning teleworking and other diverse workstyles. At the same time, needs pertaining to office meeting rooms are growing increasingly more diverse as companies seek to allow for layouts to be flexibly rearranged in order to ensure appropriate distance is maintained between participants, to utilize meeting rooms more efficiently based on the number of participants and the goals of meetings, and to install more comfortable sound environments. Against this backdrop, Yamaha's remote meeting solutions, which combine its sound and network technologies, are garnering attention.
One such solution is our ADECIA comprehensive remote conferencing solution. Launched in January 2021, ADECIA is a system for medium-sized meeting rooms comprised of components including ceiling array microphones and processors, which enable it to cater to diverse needs by allowing for easy and flexible introduction and utilization of comfortable, high-quality communication environments. One characteristic of ADECIA is its use of multibeam tracking, a technology that effectively captures the voice of speakers while limiting the transmission of unnecessary noise from the surroundings, to realize high-quality communication. In addition, we released the RM-TT tabletop array microphone in June 2021. The ease of deployment this microphone makes it perfect for supporting diverse remote meeting styles. These offerings use our proprietary sound signal processing technology to accommodate simultaneous speech by multiple individuals and thereby transmit the on-site atmosphere of meetings to remote locations intact. Moreover, we provide all of the equipment and functions necessary for remote meetings, and are thereby able to resolve any issue faced with this regard, starting with determining the necessary equipment when considering the introduction of remote meeting systems and moving on to the installation of equipment and the adjustment of acoustics.
Furthermore, Yamaha boasts a robust lineup of products for all meeting sizes and applications, ranging from its YVC-200 and YVC-330 unified communication speakerphones for small meetings to its YVC-1000 unified communication microphone and speaker systems for medium-sized to large meetings. We are thereby able to propose a multitude of products that realize comfortable, high-quality remote communication, whether in noisy open spaces or in quiet meeting rooms.
CASE STUDY 02Solutions Made Possible by Yamaha's Expertise in Sound
In conjunction with the normalization of remote meetings, there has been a proportionally large increase in social needs related to the rapidly emerging sound issues faced in relation to important conversations or private conversations that one does not want to be overheard.
Yamaha's VSP-2 Speech Privacy System™ camouflages conversations with a proprietary “information masking sound” synthesized from human speech to hide the content of spoken conversations. This feature makes it more difficult to understand the content of conversations leaked into the surroundings from meeting rooms or from meetings in open spaces, thereby creating a secure environment for remote conversations while comfortably protecting speech privacy.*
- * Speech privacy is the concept of preventing conversations from being overhead by third parties. Initiatives have been commenced to protect private and confidential information from being leaked through conversations at healthcare institutions, offices, financial and government institutions, and welfare facilities.
CASE STUDY 03Verification Tests for Resolving Office Sound Environment Issues
Yamaha is taking part in verification tests together with companies from other industries with the goal of developing various solutions for resolving social issues.
Seeking to address office web conference sound environment issues, Yamaha partnered with NEC Networks & System Integration Corporation and Inaba International Inc. to conduct a verification test in December 2020, with customers asked to participate. At the moment, the only way to fully address these sound environment issues is to redesign office layouts, an undertaking that is costly and time consuming. For this reason, many customers are looking for more accessible options. This test was designed to allow for these needs to be met through the swift supply of optimal web conference environments to customers and thereby contribute to increased ease of work and productivity for customers. We continue to advance cross-industry verification tests of solutions merging new office layouts that combine Inaba International's high-sound-absorbing movable partitions with Yamaha's acoustic technologies and the technologies of NEC Networks & System Integration, which boasts a robust track record for proposing office environments and web conference systems using Zoom and other venues.
CASE STUDY 04Merging of Sound and Network Technologies to Broaden Possibilities for Remote Communication
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted business communication along with all other forms of face-to-face communication that used to be a natural part of everyday life. The pandemic also placed massive restrictions on music and sports events. Yamaha is proposing new solutions for addressing these restrictions by capitalizing on its remote communication technologies.
One example is seen in SYNCROOM, an app that allows musicians to enjoy real-time ensemble sessions with Yamaha's proprietary NETDUETTO™ remote ensemble technology. This technology limits audio latency, which is unavoidable with conventional IP telephony and web conference systems, to a level that is acceptable for musical performances. Moreover, it monitors audio latency levels during performances to ensure natural and enjoyable ensembles. NETDUETTO™ , the predecessor to SYNCROOM, was used by a growing base of performers to arrange remote ensemble sessions even before the pandemic. This solution evolved to become the SYNCROOM of today, which is being used by an increasingly large number of users seeking to remotely enjoy a wide range of musical performances through means such as online streaming of on-stage performances at school cultural festivals and live broadcasts of remote sessions. SYNCROOM is also driving sales of related products.
Remote Cheerer powered by SoundUD, another such solution, is a remote cheering system that allows for cheers to be transmitted to sports stadiums and other sites from remote locations with the touch of a smartphone or other device. By transmitting vocal support and claps through sports stadium speakers, this system provides a virtual space in which fans can interact. Remote Cheerer powered by SoundUD has been used at a range of events, including soccer, baseball, basketball, rugby, American football, professional wrestling, and track and field events, to communicate expressions of support from spectators, such as fans who could not attend events due to them being held without audiences or for other reasons and people hospitalized due to illness or injury.
At the same time, Yamaha is promoting Distance Viewing, a next-generation approach toward live viewing that is garnering attention from everyone involved in musical events. The most significant characteristic of Distance Viewing is its ability to faithfully reproduce live performances by artists at remote locations by recording acoustics, video, and lighting data. Moreover, Distance Viewing can be linked with the aforementioned Remote Cheerer powered by SoundUD remote cheering system to generate the feeling of solidarity that is unique to live performances by transmitting the voices of fans to the performers. Distance Viewing is therefore anticipated to be a viable means of helping mobilize artists and recover their earnings while also preventing the spread of COVID-19 even as the pandemic restricts large events and long-distance traveling.
Remote communication technologies have the power to create new ways of enjoying music and sports together with comrades and of taking part in events and to therefore forge new connections between a wider range of people. Demand for such technologies is thus expected to grow going forward. In response to this demand, Yamaha will propose various solutions powered by its robust sound-related insight and network technologies to contribute to the realization of a society that is in step with the ideals of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its business.