Motorola Solutions Invests in VocalZoom

8 January, 2015

VocalZoom has developed a unique Optical Microphone agnostic to background noises

VocalZoom has developed a unique Optical Microphone agnostic to background noises

VOCALZOOM MICMotorola Solutions Venture Capital has invested in VocalZoom Ltd., a developer of optical speech sensors from Yoqneam, Israel. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Other VocalZoom investors in this series of funding include existing investors 3M and OurCrowd, as well as new investor FueTrek (Japan).

VocalZoom has developed a unique optoelectronic microphone able to substantially enhance a speaker’s voice over any background noise. “VocalZoom has the potential to be the difference of whether a firefighter can communicate at a dangerous fire scene or if a transportation or utility worker can give or receive information in a noisy work environment,” said Paul Steinberg, chief technology officer at Motorola Solutions.

“For police officers, for example, turning their heads to communicate can be the difference between life and death for them or the people they are protecting, or the difference between whether a criminal is apprehended or escapes.”

VOCALZOOMVocalZoom was founded in 2009 by the CEO Tal Bakish, former HW engineer in companies such as Cisco Systems, IBM, Modu-Mobile, ConnectOne and Intel. While conventional approaches focus on filtering and signal processing to isolate the voice from ambient noise, VocalZoom is applying its patented technology that integrates a standard acoustic microphone and a special optical sensor to solely detect the speaker’s voice.

The benefits are essential for next generation user interfaces, providing high directivity, speaker isolation, improved signal quality, and precise voice activity detection. This SEEON microphone, is first demonstrated this week during the CES exhibition in Las-Vegas.

Growing at an astounding rate, speech recognition technology is included in nearly every major technology people rely on today from cars and computers, to TVs and smartphones. In the automotive industry alone, it is expected that more than half of new cars in 2019 will integrate speech recognition, as manufacturers increasingly seek safer ways for drivers to interact with navigation, audio and Bluetooth systems.

“VocalZoom’s optical microphone is the only technology of its kind that is not affected by any background noise, and has the potential to provide disruptive voice clarity in any condition,” said VocalZoom’s Chairman, Yechiel Kurtz, “We are excited with the partnership with Motorola Solutions, which provides us with new opportunities in a large and strategic market.”


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