Meta continues to gobble up interesting tech companies, to help shore up its vison for the metaverse. The latest acquisition of interest to SAR Insight, is Audio Analytic.
Audio Analytic has been at the forefront of the sound detection and recognition technology market, providing tools that enable devices to react to sounds such as glass breaking or a dog barking. Founded by Chris Mitchell in Cambridge, UK in 2010, the company has reportedly raised over $25m in funding and we’ve seen them grow to more than 40 people.
In a call with SAR Insight back in 2018, Chris described the technology “Like a Shazam for real world sounds”. The team developed solutions for many different types of sounds, building this into solutions for “scene detection” where multiple sounds detected can inform a device as to what might be happening in a particular environment. For example, a smart speaker in a kitchen could detect cooking sounds – pans clinking, water boiling, etc. – and adjust the playback to give a better listening experience.
SAR Insight believes that Meta could use this technology in many ways, one example could be ensuring a connection to the outside world whilst in the Metaverse. Here, a person could be immersed in a game, plugged into a VR headset and unable to hear their surroundings. Perhaps there is a knock at the door, or the smoke alarm sounds, an alert could be given to the user advising them to leave the virtual world and attend to reality.
Disappointingly, the Audio Analytic website has been stripped of content since the acquisition, but you can still get a sense of what the company was working on from its LinkedIn posts.