The inventor of the mp3 file format and plazz AG shareholder Prof. Dr. Brandenburg accompanied us on our last team event, the hiking day in the Thuringian Forest. We talked to him about the development of the mp3 format and his latest project “PARty“, in which plazz AG is on board as an industry partner.
One of the last major German innovations
With the mp3 file format, Prof. Brandenburg and his team revolutionized the music industry. Back in the 1980s, people were already tinkering with the basics, which catapulted the music industry into the Internet age. This refers to the compression of audio files to a format with a small data size, despite high sound quality. The implementation was analogous to ISDN from the telecommunications sector. In this process, the frequencies were removed from audio files that are not perceived. In the mid-1990s, this file format became the international standard and thus a great success made in Germany.
Brandenburg's "PARty" to become the next big innovation
An old vision of Prof. Brandenburg is now to be developed: the perfect audio illusion. His current project is called “PARty” and stands for Personalized Auditory Reality. These are headphones that intelligently pick up the sounds of the environment. The system recognizes its own point of view as well as what is happening around it. Thus, the sound sounds realistically from the right place in the room. The system relates the acoustic signals to the environment so that the sound is as natural as possible. Glasses serve as a comparison. Wearers of glasses quickly forget that they sit on their nose. This experience can also be modified.
A concrete example of use would be in a conference call. PARty can be used to create the feeling that the interlocutors are actually sitting a meter and a half apart and do not appear to be talking in each other’s heads, even though headphones are being worn.
Brandenburg Labs in cooperation with plazz AG
PARty is thus the acoustic counterpart to virtual reality. We as plazz AG are proud, on the one hand, that Prof. Brandenburg is a shareholder of plazz AG and, on the other hand, that we make our contribution to PARty and are part of the project. As part of a government-funded research project, we support Brandenburg Labs GmbH, led by Prof. Brandenburg.