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The University of Southampton

University spinout leads sound revolution with £1.5m investment

Published: 18 November 2020
Audioscenic visual
Audioscenic can beam soundwaves directly to listeners using a camera to monitor their position.

Immersive three-dimensional (3D) audio technology - originally created at the University of Southampton - is a step closer to reality thanks to an investment of over £1.5 million to take this futuristic sound system into select markets.

University spinout Audioscenic is revolutionising the way we experience sound after creating a soundbar that uses an integrated camera to monitor the position of the listener’s head then beams separate soundwaves to their left and right ears. The result is a 3D audio experience beyond that of conventional surround sound. Audioscenic will use the investment to expand its offering and launch its technology with select customers in the automotive and simulator markets.

The company, spun out of Southampton’s Institute of Sound and Vibration Research in 2019, has built on innovations developed by S3A, a five-year research collaboration between the Universities of Southampton, Surrey and Salford, and BBC R&D, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Southampton academics Dr Marcos Simon and Dr Filippo Fazi in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences have led the development of S3A’s advances. Dr Simon, who is co-founder of Audioscenic and the company’s Chief Technology Officer, is a Southampton graduate and Visiting Researcher at the University. Dr Filippo Fazi, Associate Professor in Engineering and Physical Sciences, is the company’s Chief Scientific Officer and a world-leading expert in 3D audio theory and algorithms.

“We are double proud that we have been able to raise investment in these current difficult times and we will continue challenging the state of the art in audio reproduction and enhance the way people consume loudspeaker audio,” said Dr Simon. “With these funds we aim to grow our team further, increasing our expertise in adaptive audio and computer vision and making the adoption of our technology a reality.”

David Monteith, Audioscenic CEO, said: “Audioscenic is changing the way we experience audio and we are delighted that Foresight Williams is now supporting us on this mission and that IP Group is continuing its excellent support. We have developed world-leading 3D audio technology that we have already started applying to consumer applications. This funding will help us build the team further and drive the adoption of our technology faster.”

The £1.5 million investment is comprised of £1.05 million secured from the Foresight Group and Williams Advanced Engineering, with a further £525,000 from existing investors IP Group.

Chris Wiles, Senior Investment Manager at Foresight Group, said: “It has been a delight working with the Audioscenic team and we are extremely excited to see how their innovative technology will unlock the full potential of 3D audio content in loudspeaker applications.”

Lee Thornton, Investment Director at IP Group, said: “We are delighted to continue supporting the company with additional capital in its latest fundraise and look forward to seeing a first product hitting the shelves in 2021. With an excellent team and strongly differentiated technology, we firmly believe the company has a central role to play in a wide variety of next generation audio systems.”

Matthew Burke, Head of Technology Ventures at Williams Advanced Engineering, added: “Audioscenic’s technology is truly unique with transformative potential, and we look forward to supporting the commercialisation of this platform technology.”


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