Video entertainment on mobile devices continued to gain traction in 2011. According to data released by Nielsen, the number of Americans watching video on their mobile devices increased by 41 percent compared with 2010.
Given this growth, mobile device developers and manufacturers are racing to bring to market next-generation tablets and smartphones with media features designed to set their offerings apart from the pack. The platforms will offer more than just higher-resolution screens and more-vibrant displays. Having determined that sound also matters to connected consumers, manufacturers are exploring a range of audio innovations to deliver exciting and engaging portable entertainment devices.
The audio capabilities of the current generation of flat-screen tablets, smartphones and ultraslim laptops are challenged by industrial design demands for light, low-powered and thin devices.
Today’s mobile devices are truly portable and have a wide range of functionality beyond what most consumers could have imagined just 20 years ago. Manufacturers have focused on features such as voice and high-speed data connectivity, e-mail, text messaging, security, durability, screen quality, Web browsing and the expanding universe of apps, but until recently they haven’t paid much attention to the entertainment experience.
The novelty of being able to share a YouTube video or watch a news clip on your smartphone while standing on a corner waiting for a cab was enough to satisfy the general consumer for quite some time. Now that the market has come to expect such connectivity, however, consumers are looking for a more satisfactory, higher-quality mobile infotainment experience. With video and data quality largely resolved, the next mobile frontier is enhanced audio output.
What is the fun of sharing the latest hit on You Tube if none of your friends can hear the dialog? Music connects generations, and it is hard to think of a more joyful experience than turning up the volume as you listen to a favorite tune with an old friend—that is, as long as you can actually hear the music in all its glory, without clipping and distortion.
Fortunately, what audio has lost to the physical constraints of sleek modern design can be gained back via digital signal processing power. When applied properly, DSP audio algorithms can effectively address core playback issues such as thin bass, lack of sound clarity, collapsed imaging (flat sound) and insufficient speaker power.
|Device manufacturers such as LG are integrating advanced audio technologies
into new models.|