Proposing Solutions that Utilize Sound Technologies
Creating Better Sound Environments
The Yamaha Speech Privacy System™ that Helps Prevent Conversation Leakage
Yamaha Corporation has continued to create better listening environments through research and development regarding sound fields and related control systems while offering superior sound-generating products such as musical instruments. Yamaha's endeavors to create new businesses in the sound domain have extended to efforts to better protect personal information. In this context, Yamaha has developed its Speech Privacy System™ VSP-1 in order to help provide an environment in which private conversations can be protected in public places.
The VSP-1 is equipped with Yamaha's proprietary information masking technology. This technology enables important conversations to be masked using a unique, newly developed masker synthesized from human speech. Even at lower volume levels, this "information masker" is far more effective than conventional noise maskers. In addition, this new masker can be used in combination with environmental sounds such as a babbling river or birdsong, as well as with sound produced by musical instruments, resulting in a more pleasant overall sound.
As awareness towards privacy, crime prevention, and information security heightens, more and more people are becoming concerned about the content of their conversation, including personal information, being overheard by a third party. The Yamaha Speech Privacy System™ meets society's needs by providing a secure sound environment for different locations such as medical institutions, financial institutions, and company offices.
Acoustic Conditioning Panels bring a More Comfortable Sound Space
Ringing and boomy reverberations around the home or office make listening difficult, quickly rendering a space less relaxing and increasing stress levels. Such uncomfortable sound environments tend to be neglected as they are not perceived as a social issue, and thus few people are willing to expend time or money on countermeasures.
In order to provide a resolution to this problem, Yamaha Corporation has developed and is now supplying “Acoustic Conditioning Panels” that enable the reverberations in a room to be altered. The panels provide a clear and comfortable sound field by the action of acoustic resonance tubes. They can alter sound fields for a given purpose, making it easier to hear people's voices in conference and meeting rooms while also being suitable for audio rooms and music practice rooms. The panels are easy to install due to their thin form and light weight, and are seeing increasing use at music schools, event spaces, and pianists' homes.
Example of use in a meeting room
Avitecs™ Soundproof Rooms Meet Diverse Sound Insulation Needs
Yamaha Corporation has spent many years cultivating sound insulation technology to create designs for concert halls and studios that prevent sound leakage. Developed using this technology, Avitecs™ soundproof rooms meet a diverse range of sound insulation needs due to their design flexibility and ease of set-up, not only for music practice rooms but also for company laboratories, hospital examination rooms and recording booths. Using them in combination with acoustic conditioning panels ensures an even more comfortable acoustic setting.
As urbanization continues to increase, Yamaha Corporation expects societal needs for quieter houses to grow. We will continue to promote our soundproofing business aimed at supporting more comfortable living.
Proposing Applications of Sound Technology
SoundSignage™ Helping to Enhance the Effectiveness of Information Displays Through Sound
In recent years, digital signage or electronic billboards that deliver images and information using flat-panel displays and projectors have attracted considerable attention for their ability to provide timely information in the advertising and promotional media fields. Yamaha Corporation has put forward the SoundSignage™ System solution, a new and novel advertising medium that combines the Company's newly developed Thin Light Flexible Speaker (TLF-SP) technology with INFOSOUND, a new information distribution method using acoustic waves. Demonstration trials were launched in autumn 2010 and sales of TLF-SP commenced in December 2011.
TLF speakers are electrostatic speakers with the special characteristics of being thin (T), light (L) and flexible (F), and are used in conjunction with advertising posters. They can deliver whisper-like sound with clarity and the sound volume does not change much whether near or far thanks to exceptional directivity and projection beyond that of conventional speakers. For this reason, the speakers can be used to provide sound in limited areas without dispersion. In addition, even with several lined up it is possible to deliver sound separately from each.
INFOSOUND is Yamaha’s proprietary technology that converts digital information into acoustic signals and then transmits them over radio waves. Information such as a URL or images can easily be sent to a smartphone through the microphone. The new sound transmission technology is expected to have applications in a wide range of fields, from advertising, broadcasting and store promotions to events and packaging media, thereby expanding the possibility of never-seen-before services. As acoustic communication will come into wider use going forward, it is only natural that there should be requirements that the sound signals used not have an adverse effect on the human body. Yamaha Corporation conducted joint research with Showa University School of Medicine into the effect of INFOSOUND on the human body, and discovered that INFOSOUND signals do not cause an unacceptable increase in stress at the volume levels normally used in communication. The findings were released in June 2012.
RemoteLive™ Technology Enables Live Performances to be Enjoyed Remotely
As one way to respond to customer opinion and deliver highly artistic live performances by famous musicians to more and more people, Yamaha Corporation developed RemoteLive™, a technology for the simultaneous transmission of video, audio and live performance data over the Internet. With this technology, the keys of a piano in a remote location will move up and down in sync with the live performance so that people can enjoy the performance as if the concert was being held right in front of them.
In October 2012, RemoteLive™ technology was used for a live performance at a keyboard event called “Banban! Kenban♪Hamamatsu” (sponsored by Shizuoka University of Art and Culture), which introduces keyboard instruments from around the world in a variety of ways. The central hall on the Shizuoka University of Art and Culture campus, the main event space, was connected to Yamaha Corporation’s Kakegawa Factory via internet and live performance by a pianist at the factory was synchronized in real time at the event space.
Performance at the Kakegawa Factory
The piano used at the main hall to synchronize the performance (right: broadcast linked to the performance)
Supporting Research in the Field of “Health and Music”
Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) established Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute (YMWI) in 2007 in conjunction with a non-profit organization that conducts research in the field of health and music. YMWI is conducting research and developing programs that help to enhance a healthy mind and body through music and musical instruments. The results of the research are released in the form of research papers based on the idea of promoting application as widely as possible.