Noveto has shown off its directional speaker system that it wants to change the world by putting an end to headphones.
The idea behind the Noveto speaker is to play audio directly into the ears of a single person without anyone else hearing the sound.
Why would you want this? At work it could be great for taking calls without a headset, or listening to music without bothering anyone. At home you could watch TV or play a game without anyone else hearing – you could even have different sound to each gamer. If there's someone who is hard of hearing they could have a louder feed than everyone else in the room.
Eventually Noveto says it will compress the tech into smartphones so we will no longer need headphones as audio is played directly to the phone owner. Right now the tech is in a speaker that we tried at MWC 2016.
The system uses a combination of special transducer speakers and cameras to detect a face and deliver the audio directly to that person. The speaker part has been done before but if you moved the sound was lost, using these cameras it follows you.
The audio sounds like it's coming through headphones, without the usual surroundings-bounced sound waves that a standard speaker cause. The result is very clear audio. We only heard a spoken voice and it was a little tinny so we do wonder about how well this will perform with music, especially for bass.
It's early days for Noveto. As the tech is refined and developed the consumer level units should improve, in time for a release around Christmas, Pocket-lint was told. Pricing is also in the early stages but we were assured it would be below the £500 mark.
A certain Korean hardware manufacturer also had a meeting with Noveto so we wouldn't be surprised to see personalised audio soundbars and even TVs at CES 2017.