Headquartered in Israel with a sales office in California, startup VocalZoom was founded in 2010 to focus on Human-to-Machine Communication speech enhancement challenges. It started product development in 2013 shortly after it had signed strategic agreements a large automotive OEM and with 3M Corporation, sampling its first engineering samples of its VocalZoom HMC sensor last summer.
The sensor consists of an off-the-shelf VCSEL 850nm laser with an embedded photodiode, packaged with the company’s proprietary ASIC for processing the soundwaves that are detected optically from reading out the speakers’ skin vibrations. Interviewed by EETimes Europe, Rammy Bahalul, Vice President of Sales and Business Development for VocalZoom gave more details about the technology.
“When someone speaks, the sound propagates all over the skin too, and we can measure these vibrations by detecting the laser’s reflection on the skin through an interferometer. The way the interferometer works is that any back reflections interfere with the stabilized laser wavelength in the cavity, and that impacts the laser power”.
The ASIC monitors the laser power fluctuations as read by the built-in photodiode, and turns it into a noise-free “audio” signal that can then be fused with the real audio signal recorded by a microphone, either through an audio processor or cloud software.