Meet Holoplot: the Berlin startup that is making waves by controlling sound

This Berlin-based startup uses technology to control sound waves, determining where sound should – and should not – be heard. Their unique approach won them the Interactive Innovation Award at SXSW.

Holoplot is a Berlin-based startup that is not only controlling waves (audio waves, that is), but making them. The startup was one of 65 finalists selected to showcase their technology at South by Southwest (SXSW), a music, interactive and film festival that is held annually in Austin, Texas, and even took home the Interactive Innovation Award in the Music and Audio category earlier this month.

"SXSW is the perfect melting pot for technology startups as well as the music and film industry and hence a great opportunity for us to reach a broad and relevant audience,” says Roman Sick, COO of Holoplot.

The recognition is one of many first steps on the startup's journey to revolutionize audio systems with their patented technology.

Holoplot can create separated sound zones, with varying volumes and even different content.

"State-of-the-art loudspeaker technology generates audio waves in undirected spherical waves, resulting in major volume- and quality losses over distance," the startup shares. This means, few "sweet spots" with "perfect" sound, very high volume loss, high (wave) reflection from ceilings and walls and low speech intelligibility. All inherent to speaker technology.

This is where Holoplot's wave field synthesis technology comes in. It allows for precisely directed audio waves – in any direction. How does it work? It starts my changing a spherical audio wave, whose strength decreases over distance, into a planar audio wave, which maintains an almost constant sound pressure the further the wave travels.

Instead of numerous speakers the Holoplot product is sold as one wall-sized piece of hardware.

Instead of numerous speakers the Holoplot product is sold as one wall-sized piece of hardware.

By targeting different locations simultaneously with directed sound, or planar waves, the startup can reduce noise pollution, provide consistent volume and even create separated sound zones.

The technology is applicable for use in the entertainment sector, music industry, for conferences, virtual reality – even train stations and airports.

Photos vial Holoplot and VisualHunt

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