Fraunhofer IIS Brings Full-HD Voice Quality to Telepresence Systems in Social Networks


Fraunhofer IIS contributes to EU Project Vconect to enhance video conferencing experience. ERLANGEN, Germany (September 5, 2013) – The audio experts from Fraunhofer IIS are contributing advanced audio communication technologies to EU project Vconect to be included in web-based telepresence systems for social networks. The audio technology provided by Fraunhofer IIS produces CD-like audio quality for video conferencing, delivering the conversation to sound as if it is taking place in the same room.

In July, the first real-time application of Vconect was successfully integrated and tested in SAPO Campus, which is a social network for educational institutions and developed by Portugal Telecom. This October, selected SAPO Campus users will participate in a controlled experiment to study the use of the new feature. In a subsequent trial in 2014, Vconect will be made available to various partner schools for a wider test over a public connection.

“The education sector is changing very rapidly, and tools such as SAPO Campus are incredibly valuable in evolving the classroom,” stated Harald Popp, head of the Audio & Multimedia Business department. “Adding Full-HD Voice technology enhances the learning experience and fosters collaboration among teachers, students and peers,” he added.

For Vconect, Fraunhofer IIS developed a browser plug-in that integrates all necessary components for a high quality telepresence experience with Full-HD Voice quality. The plug-in includes tools for the reliable transmission of the audio signals and the audio codec AAC-ELD, which is the preferred codec in professional video conferencing systems and video chat applications such as Apple’s FaceTime. The audio quality of the Vconect system will fulfill the highest quality standards thanks to the audio communication technology developed by Fraunhofer.

Fraunhofer will present the current status of the Vconect project at the IFA international consumer electronics and home appliances trade show in Berlin (Hall 11.1, Booth 12) September 6-11, 2013.

About Vconect:

Vconect is a “Specific Targeted Research Project” (STREP) of the ICT (Information and Communications Technologies) Work Program under the European Community’s 7th Framework Program (FP7). It addresses objective 1.5 (“Networked Media”) under challenge 1 (“Pervasive and Trusted Network and Service Infrastructures”).

The project is partly funded by the European Commission. Its overall budget is about 5.5 million euro.