5 French partners to transform the market for True Wireless earphones via embedded AI

Orosound, green waves, Naox TechnologiesTélécom Paris and Sorbonne University join forces to develop a reference design forlisteners True Wireless (TWS) with strong embedded AI component. This 3-year project with high potential for French industry is funded by the State to the tune of 10.3 million euros following an “i-Demo” call for projects within the framework of France 2030.

Five French technological experts are pooling their complementary know-how to transform the audio market. Bpifrance is financing the project to the tune of 10.3 million euros within the framework of France 2030, in order to support the development of a high-potential technological platform for French industry.

Develop a reference design of artificial intelligence “augmented” TWS earphones, designed and manufactured in France. This is the challenge that 5 French industrial and academic players have set themselves.

Orosound brings cutting-edge expertise in embedded software to audio headsets. A pioneer in embedded application processors, Greenwaves is supporting the project with GAP9 and GAP10, its next two ultra-low power chips. NaoX Technologies enriches the experience with its miniature Electro Encephalogram (EEG) sensors and its expertise in neurological data processing.

The project also benefits from the contribution of renowned public research actors. The Telecom Paris Information Processing and Communication laboratory brings its processing expertise. The Biomedical Imaging Laboratory (LIB) Sorbonne University, its expertise in processing physiological data and audiograms.

Become the standard of high-end TWS headphones

The reference design developed will integrate advanced audio algorithms associated with a low-power processor and a miniaturized EEG sensor. The combination of high-performance components and algorithms based on artificial intelligence thus paves the way for True Wireless earphones that are more powerful and easier to develop.

While the demand for an integrated platform is growing strongly in the various audio market segments, no solution offers a complete integration approach combining dedicated hardware and software bricks. The industrial and academic players associated with this reference design project for TWS earphones have the rare and complementary expertise necessary for the development of such a breakthrough technology. “says Paul-François Fournier, Executive Director Bpifrance Innovation.

Thanks to this unique integrated approach and the availability of an exhaustive library of audio algorithms, the reference design aims to become the standard on which the major brands will build their high-end headphones.

Take 10% of a $1 billion global market

Artificial intelligence makes it possible to design dynamic features through the collection of learning data, such as adaptive noise reduction or detection of speech signals for hearing aids. Unlike the latest advancements in AI that are primarily cloud-based, these augmented audio applications can only emerge through embedded AI due to the need for near real-time response for face-to-face communication (denoising, instant translation, etc.) or strict compliance with personal data during voice recordings. The ability to port AI algorithms to Greenwaves processors therefore sets a new standard in sound experience.

For the first time, listening and communicating with TWS earphones can be optimized in real time according to different parameters. AI-based algorithms dynamically adapt to the user’s profile and their environment, in order to optimize music listening and communication. Features based on EEG capture enrich the user experience with a method of adapting the experience to the person’s feelings. For example, the 500 million people who do not have access today could thus benefit tomorrow from a high-performance hearing aid at a lower cost.

An opportunity for France to take a place in the electronics industry market. Identified as the fastest growing consumer technology sector for 10 years, the TWS market is estimated to reach 1 billion in 2025. With the objective of capturing 10% of this market, this multi-party project aims to be a real opportunity to position France as a leader in embedded AI.

Created in 2015 in Paris, Orosound is internationally renowned for its excellence in acoustic innovation, signal processing and embedded AI. Recognized as the emerging player in the professional office headset market, Orosound is currently the only company to offer Made-in-France solutions.

green waves is a fabless semiconductor company founded in 2014 in Grenoble, which designs very low-power processors for products with a constrained energy envelope: earphones or audio headsets, portable electronic products, Internet of Things, and medical monitoring devices.

Naox Technologies is a French start-up, co-founded in 2018 by a polytechnician and an Inserm research director, which works to make electroencephalogram sensors simpler and more accessible. The brain and its functioning is at the heart of all human activity, but the sensors used to monitor its functioning are complex, not very acceptable and cannot be used outside of clinical conditions. NaoX’s solution is to integrate the electroencephalogram into an everyday object: headphones. Thus NaoX improves the monitoring and diagnosis of neurological disorders.

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