Digitalizing sound in personal spaces



Design specifications for appliances are usually in the context of standard acoustic rooms like anechoic (full or hemi) and sometimes reverberant.  However in the world of infotainment industry the devices are operated in your personal space – a generic environment like that of a living room and they continuously interact with other devices in real time.  One has to take into account the scattering and absorption of sound from different surfaces and how they constructively and destructively interfere in generating a signature sound for the room and the devices. This environmental impact increases the design space significantly and makes it impractical to consider physical prototyping and testing.  Simulating the acoustic behavior of the devices in a room environment has been attempted in the past and were successful only for lower frequency ranges or for smaller rooms. High end Multipole BEM and FEM Adaptive Order technologies have emerged in the recent past and together with parallel cloud computing make the modeling of generic room environment more feasible, up to a few kHz given adept hardware setup. A different, more asymptotic method like Ray Tracing provides a real breakthrough here and enables taking on the full audible frequency range and large rooms, in at least one order of magnitude faster solving times compared to the more conventional FEM and BEM method, which further supports optimization possibilities for different configurations in reasonable time.