Audio News for March 7, 2014
Published on March 7, 2014
DTS Measures Pleasure Potential of Audio – It may conjure up images of Young Frankenstein, but DTS hired a “neuromarketing” firm which uses Neuro-Insight head caps on top of the heads of people to measure consumer responses to various communications. The head caps have 28 sensors to map the electrical activity of the subjects’ brains when presented with four different pieces of AV content. Each piece was played in resolutions of 240p, 480p and 1080p on a ten-inch Samsung tablet with a 1080p screen. The subjects also listened to the audio thru ear buds in 96K stereo and 256Kbps DTS Headphone:X technology. The latter widens the stereo image, creates a soundstage around the listener, and delivers a surround sound experience thru headphones when playing back multichannel soundtracks encoded with the DTS-HD audio codec. The subjects were 107 men and women ages 18 to 35, all said to be regular users of smartphones and tablets for mobile entertainment.
Neuro-Insight’s CEO said that when they switched to the Headphone:X technology, the patterns of brain activity were similar to those seen when we eat something we find enjoyable or hear a funny joke. Yet increasing the video quality did not achieve the same results or reactions. While changing the quality level of the video produced no statistical change, switching from 96K stereo to 256Kbps Headphone:X boosted the index by 42%. The biggest increase (66%) came when Headphone:X was added to 480p video. This gave impetus to the makers of mobile devices, content providers, and wireless carriers to concentrate on improving audio for mobile devices. Chinese vendor Vivo has shipped the first smartphone with Headphone:X, so far only for the Chinese market.
The “Always-On Consumer” – Vivaldi Patners made a study of the behaviors of a group they call the “always-on consumer” or AOC. The AOC owns and uses at least three connected devices, operates them from multiple locations, and accesses them numerous times each day. Not surprising, but information that can be extremely useful to companies to “monetize” this growing group of hyper-connected consumers. According to Vivaldi Partners, the AOC accounts for almost half of the total U.S. adult population today. They are better educated than the average, have above-average income, and 71% use social networks every day. The study identified five distinct segments in the AOC profile and three of them may have a high potential for sales of consumer electronics: The Social Bumblebee, The Mindful Explorer, and the Focused Problem Solver.
SanDisk Releases 128GB MicroSD Card – SanDisk calls it the highest-capacity microSD card available for the consumer market. It says it will be ideal for shooting HD video and for any uses requiring a larger storage space.