Feature Article

September 17, 2015

Cypher Answers the Call for Better Mobile Audio Quality

As the number of wirelessly connected devices proliferate and people increasingly use their voices to command and control things, the need for solutions that allow for improved mobile phone audio quality and advanced speech recognition will grow. So say Cypher CEO John Walker and Chief Strategy Officer John Yoon, whom I spoke with at the recent CTIA Super Mobility event in Las Vegas.

Cypher provides software that identifies and isolates the target speaker’s voice and ignores the other noise, which can reduce background noise by as much as 17 times compared to the experience most popular cellular phones deliver. The Cypher solution has also been shown, via testing with Carnegie Mellon’s open source toolkit Sphinx, to reduce word error rate by an average of 28 percent.

The solution consists entirely of software, which can run on such mobile processors as the CEVA TeakLite 4 DSP. Walker says Apple, Samsung, and other device makers and chip companies are potential customers of three-year-old Cypher, which aims to deliver technology that’s half the price of its noise cancellation competitors. Cypher also has integrated a prototype of its technology into WebRTC.

While the average person might not understand the need for mobile voice quality solutions, Yoon said, smartphone makers under the need. And as more people talk more in more public places – like at work, in entertainment and sports arenas, in malls, on public transit, and elsewhere – the value of solutions that make for clearer communications will become more evident.

“Cypher believes that expanding workforce mobility, combined with the abandonment of landline phones, means that increased cell phone voice quality is essential,” the company says in its marketing materials.

As the company also notes, global smartphone users will total 2 billion by 2016, 44 percent of U.S. adults live in cellphone-only households, and U.S. mobile phone users talk on their phones for at least 13 hours each month on average.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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