SupraLive was already available but only to a certain amount of users at a time and with limited range. Thanks to 5G, Augmented Acoustics can now expand its service to large events. This start-up went through Orange 5G Lab to green light the service’s capacities and moved on to a full-scale experience in a stadium: the Orange Velodrome in Marseille was indeed provided with Orange’s experimental 5G network.
There are some concerts you’ll never forget. Because they were great. Or because you were excited for them for so long and then the sound was awful. Such disappointments should be a thing of the past now, thanks to augmented audio, and specifically Augmented Acoustics’ very own SupraLive.
With its multi-track topology, it guarantees the best possible sound experience at a concert or a sports game. This is how it works: you wear your ear buds connected to your smartphone, which is logged onto a 5G network. What you hear is an augmented quality sound of the event happening live. Basically: a high-definition and customizable sound with no latency.
On the partner app, you can adjust the volume, equalize the sound and pick your own choice of content amongst a number of tracks. So, as CEO and co-founder Stephane Dufosse puts it: “We have to combine sound quality, multi-tracking and minimal latency.” He adds: “SupraLive is also inclusive: at long last it offers a quality solution for the hard of hearing.”
"A true joint effort"
Working with Orange 5G Lab actually led the start-up to develop a new business model: its solution required a proprietary box that can now be replaced by a simple app on a smartphone and thus reach considerably more users.
Augmented Acoustics’ teams led several test sessions at Orange 5G Lab. Essentially, the goal was to measure service quality and response time. Dufosse describes it as “Working from home, coming into the lab for testing, going back to our offices to optimize the results and repeat.” And they were not alone: “The crew at Orange 5G Lab really lent us their expertise. It was a true joint effort, within the necessary human and technical environment to finalize our 5G solution.”
Beyond preliminary tests at Orange 5G Lab, this collaboration led Augmented Acoustics to take part in a world first in November 2019, in Marseille, at the Orange Velodrome. Anne-Charlotte Belon was the company’s advisor at Orange 5G Lab and she says: “While the Olympique de Marseille soccer team met the Olympique Lyonnais, the VIP stand invited by Orange had 5G network and could follow the game with an innovative interactive experience.”
The testers had a choice between 8 audio sources, amongst which various radio and TV commentators, general background atmosphere in diverse seating areas, the sounds on the field or those of the ball, and even audio-description. You can also opt to layer several tracks at a time. And as you do this throughout the show, you are in fact mixing and balancing your own audio sources for a unique, immersive experience.
"We benefited from Orange’s firepower"
Orange 5G Lab gave Augmented Acoustics access to a complete environment to experiment its service and that includes 5G coverage and mobiles, technical expert advice, but also networking with other Group entities such as Marseille Enterprise Agency. As Belon puts it: “This experience was made possible thanks to the co-innovation partnership between Orange and the Olympique de Marseille team”. For Stephane Dufosse, “Orange 5G Lab drew bridges for us that we would have struggled to establish ourselves. We really benefited from Orange’s firepower.” He also suggests that this paves the way to yet more new use cases: “We have started working with Orange on other problematics, such as accessibility for the hard of hearing.”
In fact, by partnering with Orange 5G Lab, the start-up earned more experience and gained visibility. Anne-Charlotte Belon recalls: “Thanks to a successful first collaboration, I trusted I could introduce Augmented Acoustics to other entities within the Group to develop new use cases with the spreading of 5G.”