Technical feasibility


SECTION I: Testing



Has the R & D result been tested?






The following question is replied according to the reply in question 1


If yes



In what mode has the result been tested?

•             Prototype

•             Pilot Application

•             Alpha/BETA testing


The project “Browsable soundscapes for an audio world map” aims at applying new recording techniques based on low cost microphone arrays and digital signal processing algorithms to build a soundscape. The concept of soundscape concerns, sounds pertinent to a place, i.e. sounds that are spatially and/or geographically organized.

The use of microphone arrays is particularly interesting due to the possibility of  extrapolating space information that is embedded in the different delays present in the audio signals received by spatially separated microphones. A digital signal processor may use that information to build audio recordings to be reproduced e.g. remotely or “off line” in conjunction with e.g. images or videos. The added value consists in the enhancement of the reconstruction of a certain environment by a very important component: the audio. Furthermore, that audio is not “flat” but it contains the reality of the 3D space in which it has been recorded also when the listener moves inside a reconstructed environment.

At the moment, the research result has been used in different experimental installations in some cities like Udine, Venice, Chioggia, Padova, Rome and in some islands in the Mediterranean See. It was also presented at a congress. The installations involved both experts and common people in the fruition of soundscapes. This is the reason why the result could be considered at the level of a pilot application.



1b. Please describe and discuss the testing results
The result showed that the HW and SW setup used to create and reproduce soundscapes performs in a satisfactory manner even using low cost microphones.



If no:



Describe what type of testing does the R&D result need?




1d. What is the time needed for testing?
1e. What is the cost needed for testing?



SECTION 2: Current Stage of Development



To what extent does the development team have technical resources for supporting the production of a new product? (Researchers, human resources, hardware, etc. )
The development team used “commercial off the shelf” (COTS) hardware to implement the algorithms necessary to perform the soundscape creation.

From the viewpoint of the research team, the job is ready to be implemented in a system which requires soundscapes. On the side of soundscape acquisition the product need to be engineered to be usable in different applications e.g. in addition to webcams or in environments like forests where a low power rugged hardware should be used.

The reproduction of the soundscape may be done on tablets or PCs thanks to plug-ins to be developed for specific platforms (Android, Apple, etc). Also in that case some engineering activities may be necessary.

In general, the algorithms are currently developed in C language and thus they are easily portable to other platforms.

The deployment of the system should involve a partner which may integrate the result in an existing product to introduce or enrich the audio user experience by audio soundscapes. In that case, the development team may help a third party in the integration of the research result in a complete system by providing the necessary support.


What are the technical issues that need to be tackled for full deployment, if needed?
Besides the engineering activities mentioned at point 2a, there are not special issues to be solved for the deployment.



What additional technical resources are needed for the production of this new product?
A mass production of a commercial product as the acquisition HW requires some optimization of the hardware to make it cost effective and usable in a real environment. That activities are likely to be outsourced to a third party. That activities should be performed by an engineering team.

On the reproduction side the adaption to different commercial platform has to be made by software engineers skilled in the domain of the target platform.




Overall assessment of the current stage of technical development.
Looking to soundscape registration and reproduction, the stage of development is  advanced (the result has been also validated in some experimental test cases). The integration in a complete product has to be made in co-operation with an industrial partner not yet found.

SECTION 3: Deployment


Define the demands for large scale production in terms of
  • Materials
The research result is basically a set of algorithms to be used on a DSP based audio acquisition system. Thus, the solution requires some electronic equipments that may also be COTS. On the reproduction side the hardware may be a PC or a tablet, again an  electronic equipment.




  • technologies, tools, machineries
Commercial of the shelf (COTS) components in the category of electronic equipments are envisaged in the system.




  • Staff effort
The staff effort is related to the integration and test in a system, possibly by a third party or by an industrial partner. In other terms, the staff effort is about non-recurring engineering (NRE).




SECTION 4: Overall Assessment



What is you overall assessment of the technical feasibility of the research result?
In synthesis, provided a partnership with an industrial/commercial partner, the confidence about feasibility is high since the development of the core part of the system has been already tested in some test cases. The remaining effort is mostly on some porting activities to the final platforms on both the sides: acquisition and reproduction of soundscapes.









Please put X as appropriate. 1 2 3 4 5
Adequacy of testing activity undertaken so far       X  
Adequacy and availability of technical resources of the development team       X  
Current development stage       X  
Overall technical feasibility       X  




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