Fraunhofer IIS to present several CES debuts


LAS VEGAS, USA/ERLANGEN, Germany – At CES 2019, which takes place in Las Vegas from January 8 to 11, 2019, Fraunhofer IIS will present its latest developments in audio and media technologies, including a series of CES debuts: the first commercially available MPEG-H-enabled 3D soundbars, Sonamic Loudness for car stereos, the xHE-AAC audio codec natively supported in Android, and upHear Voice Quality Enhancement for improved speech recognition on smart devices. CES visitors can experience these technologies and more at the Fraunhofer booth 20236, located in South Hall 1 at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC).

First commercially available MPEG-H-enabled 3D soundbars make their CES debut


At the 2019 edition of CES, Fraunhofer IIS will showcase the first commercially available 3D soundbars with MPEG-H support, delivering cinema-style immersive sound to consumers. MPEG-H Audio is the first next-generation audio system used in a regular terrestrial 4K TV service and has been on the air 24/7 in South Korea since the launch of its UHDTV system in May 2017. As well as providing immersive sound, MPEG-H Audio enables the viewer to personalize a program’s audio mix, for instance by switching between different languages, enhancing dialogue or adjusting the volume of the commentator. In terms of content delivery and playback, MPEG-H’s universal delivery concept ensures the best sound, regardless of the consumer device or listening environment.

To deliver the most immersive consumer experience of soundbars and TVs, Fraunhofer has developed the upHear Immersive Audio Virtualizer, which supports the rendering of 3D audio content as well as the upmix of legacy surround or stereo audio. Fraunhofer IIS will also be showcasing this technology at CES.


Fraunhofer Sonamic: Automotive audio in the fast lane


Another CES debutant is Sonamic Loudness, an automotive audio technology that offers increased comfort to the listener by providing a consistent loudness level and preserving the perceived dynamics of the content when switching between radio stations or media sources. This automatic and continuous loudness normalization function also provides for increased safety, allowing drivers to concentrate fully on the road instead of the volume.


xHE-AAC as part of Android Pie makes its CES premiere


xHE-AAC, the latest addition to the AAC codec family, is natively supported in Android Pie and higher. At our booth, we present Android Pie phones with xHE-AAC-powered applications for the first time at CES. xHE-AAC offers maximum coding efficiency, with a bit rate range spanning 12 kbit/s up to 500 kbit/s and above for stereo services. Combining this with seamless bit rate switching over DASH and HLS, and mandatory MPEG-D DRC Loudness and Dynamic Range Control, xHE-AAC is the ideal solution for adaptive audio and video streaming services such as movies, music, audiobooks or podcasts, as well as for digital radio broadcasting.


Fraunhofer upHear Voice Quality Enhancement: Be heard


In another first at CES, visitors can take a look at our upHear Voice Quality Enhancement solution for improved speech recognition in smart devices. The technology facilitates voice-controlled human-machine interactions that use microphones built into mobile phones and smart home devices such as smart speakers. upHear Voice Quality Enhancement removes interfering sounds captured by the device’s microphones, extracts the user’s voice and cancels out acoustical echoes – making it easier to understand a request. Russian-based technology company Yandex has incorporated the software into its first smart speaker, enabling the device’s keyword spotter and speech recognizer to accurately hear voice commands issued from anywhere in a room, even when the speaker is playing music at the same time.

Get immersed in audio and media technologies at the Fraunhofer booth 20236 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall 1.