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The future is looking bright for OZO


This past year has been a breakout year for OZO, with several exciting feature releases and functionality enhancements along the whole spectrum of device audio. With features such as Audio 3D, Audio Focus and Audio Zoom, we’ve introduced whole new opportunities for device makers to provide highly differentiated audio features to their products. We continued to build upon the OZO Audio portfolio with Audio Tune post-capture features. We also looked to solve one of device audio’s biggest challenges, wind noise reduction, and released Audio Windscreen, now the leading software solution on the market for that purpose.

Looking to the future, we’re seeing bright trends in the world of audio that give reason for great optimism in our current product roadmap. The world of audio content is exploding with podcast and other user-generated content leading the way. The rise of connected devices has paved the way for a dramatic uptick in voice assistant adoption that is now beginning to take hold outside of the home as consumers begin to rely more heavily on these services in every part of their lives. In general, the tech world is increasingly turning its focus to audio as a critical element of our connected lives.

For us, where we direct our audio innovation efforts can originate from a number of different areas: device-specific innovation and advancements (think folding devices and self-extending cameras), technology and platform innovation such as voice assistants, and of course, ever expanding use cases that drive consumer behavior – everything from advances in user-generated content creation to evolving applications in security cameras. We’re excited by the upcoming product roadmap that looks to these areas as well as direct collaboration from our customer partners who have also helped set the direction of focus.

Spatial audio is a continuing platform for evolution and a good ground for new types of experiences in mobile devices because it is still a relatively new domain for most end-users. OZO Audio’s ability to analyze audio signals from all directions opens up opportunities for amazing new use cases. For example, by using spatial audio processing to identify the origin of the strongest sounds, the capture device can use that information to control the UI in clever ways. Imagine for instance an interview scenario where the front or back camera is activated by where the audio is strongest – a two-way interview that utilizes both cameras automatically, no user intervention required.

As previously mentioned, voice assistants are having a moment as well and we’re looking to extend their usability outside the home in conditions that present challenges for automatic speech recognition (ASR). By building off the extensive technologies in OZO Audio we’re excited to be working on solutions that will help deliver better voice assistant experiences in devices.

Last but not least, with this year’s release of OZO Playback it has provided the opportunity for a true end-to-end experience for OZO users where superior OZO Audio capture can be played back in high-fidelity, immersive sound. With both a proprietary capture and playback platform at our fingertips, we’re working on utilizing this unique ecosystem to broaden the offering in new ways of experiencing audio.

For OZO, 2020 looks (and sounds) like it’ll be an exciting year! Stay tuned for more details on what’s in store.

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Kai Havukainen

About Kai Havukainen

Kai ‘Kaizu’ Havukainen is Head of Product in Nokia Technologies, overseeing the product roadmap and marketing activities of the company’s technology licensing business. Kai holds master’s degree in signal processing and 20 years of experience in Nokia. He has been working in various roles in Finland and the US, including audio engineering, business development, sales, and quality management. In his free time Kaizu enjoys building all sort of things out of wood and electronics.

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