The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the increasing demand for high-quality audio capture and communication in applications such as teleconferencing, voice recognition, and smart speakers. The growing importance of technologies such as advanced signal processing algorithms, microphone array designs, and adaptive beamforming techniques is further driving innovation in the technology industry. These technologies enable improved speech intelligibility, enhanced noise suppression, and better overall audio quality, offering significant benefits in various industries and applications where accurate and clear sound capture is crucial. In the last three years alone, there have been over 3.6 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Technology Innovation: Microphone beamforming. Buy the report here.
However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.
Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.
300+ innovations will shape the technology industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 2.5 million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, microphone beamforming, live betting games, and quantum dots are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Circuit design testing, communication, smart contracts, and surround sound systems are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are vehicle platooning and PCI power management, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the technology industry
Microphone beamforming is a key innovation area in technology
Microphone beamforming is a method of signal processing that optimises the ratio between the desired sound signal and background noise in audio recordings or broadcasts. It involves the integration of multiple microphones to generate a concentrated sound beam directed at the intended sound source while reducing undesirable noise. This technique enhances the overall sound quality and reduces the interference caused by ambient noise, resulting in clearer and more focused audio recordings or broadcasts.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of microphone beamforming.
Key players in microphone beamforming – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to microphone beamforming space
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Microsoft is a leading patent filer in the microphone beamforming space. One of the company’s patents describes a method, computer programme product, and computing system for automating diarisation. This method involves obtaining encounter information from a patient encounter and processing it to associate different portions of the information with specific encounter participants. Based on this information, an encounter transcript is generated.
Other prominent patent filers in the space include Qualcomm and Shenzhen Voxtech.
Microphone beamforming enhances the quality and clarity of audio recordings or broadcasts. By focusing the microphone's sensitivity on the desired sound source and minimising background noise, beamforming improves the signal-to-noise ratio and captures clearer audio. This technology is particularly valuable in various applications such as teleconferencing, voice recognition, virtual assistants, and live performances, where accurate and intelligible sound reproduction is essential. To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Technology.