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audioXpress Magazine

March 2022

 

The Internet Of People
'Things will soon be back to normal' is no longer sustainable.
Editorial By J. Martins

 

audioXpress Magazine March 2022

 

  Right after CES 2022 closed its doors it became obviously clear that we are still looking at the perspectives of another difficult year as the world struggles to overcome the effects of the global pandemic.

CES happened albeit closing one day early and just served to show how much we need to get back to business with real demonstrations, booths, and show halls. And as the industry looks at the uncertainties ahead, there are critical decisions to be made.

For those companies that have been working on innovative technologies and solutions that really need to be seen and heard and need the momentum that only a trade show can generate this is particularly difficult. To hold off on major product launches because of fears of missing the boost effect of an international trade show, or just in hope that, "things will soon be back to normal" is no longer sustainable. And too many audio companies clearly didn't work on a plan suitable for the circumstances.

CES 2022 was mainly noted for the absence of most familiar audio brands, and the strong focus on automotive and mobility including Sony announcing its intention to enter the automotive market, not in systems, but with actual vehicles.

Important to note, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) reported that the consumer technology industry overall will continue to see strong growth, even under these circumstances. Among the drivers for the demand are smartphones, automotive tech, health and wellness, smart home technologies, and streaming services. Audio technologies, including voice, content, and services are deeply embedded in all those. And new consumer electronics products show an increasing trend to offer audio systems (speakers, amplifiers, and microphones), while edge AI-powered voice interfaces are being adopted, taking over from virtual assistants. audioXpress is covering that angle with a dedicated Market Update report, which we released just in time to include in the online version of this March issue.

 

audioXpress Magazine March 2022

 

In our regular online reports and The Audio Voice newsletter, I wrote about all these trends and noted some of the 10 most important audio innovations at CES 2022 all now available online at audioXpress.com.

For this edition of audioXpress we also dived deep into audio test and measurement, with an extensive product and solutions update. As I noted in previous reports on that topic, the trend toward connectivity and collaboration had already become a priority since 2020. The global pandemic strongly affected many industries and markets, and has accelerated an evolution toward new methods of working and increasing collaboration between different players in development, manufacturing, and across the product lifecycle. Now, after two years feeling the effects of a phenomena that constrained or interrupted existing globalization trends and changed the relationships and priorities in the product production and supply chain, we can confirm that most of the trends characterized a year ago by audioXpress have been reinforced.

In education, instrumentation companies have completely adapted to the requirements of modern university teaching labs. Accelerated by the pandemic, remote learning technology is becoming the new norm. And as research and development continues to accelerate, companies and organizations are also adapting to new methods of working, and test and measurement platforms are increasingly being connected to cloud-collaboration tools and using data sharing interfaces, all the way to quality testing.

As the pandemic continues to impose severe restrictions on travel, the effect is particularly felt every relationships with core manufacturing hubs in Asia, creating the need for remote supervision, calibration, and even set up and maintenance of test and measurement systems, whether used in the lab or in the production lines.

The test and measurement manufacturers are evolving to respond to these needs. The specific challenges for audio test and measurement are very similar to those being felt by audio manufacturers in general meeting the need for connecting people through connected devices.

 

 

J. Martins
Editor-in-Chief

 

 

 

 

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