Many users of the communication platform Google Hangouts have experienced difficulties with the platform’s audio in recent years. In order to address this issue, Google has just announced a new acquisition that is sure to enhance the audio quality of Google Hangouts in the years to come.
The company Google acquired, Limes Audio, has been an industry leader in the field of speech enhancement and audio technologies for at least a decade now. Google expects to use the technologies and expertise of Limes Audio to enhance the quality of Google Hangouts and other communication apps.
How News Broke Of Google’s Latest Acquisition
News of Google’s acquisition of Limes Audio broke on Google’s official blog on January 5th. Serge Lachapelle, Google Cloud’s Director of Product Management, wrote the first blog post officially welcoming Limes Audio to the Google team. Lachapelle said the main reason they acquired Limes Audio was to help Google improve the audio quality on their various communications platforms. Lachapelle wrote,
As more and more businesses adopt our video conferencing solutions…it’s critical that we provide a great audio experience.
Mr. Lachapelle went on to say that Limes Audio “has been building solutions that remove…distortion and echoes that can affect online video and telephony meetings.” He believes Limes Audio will greatly enhance the Google Hangouts and the Meetings powered by Chromebox experiences.
Most techies are probably already aware that Google has acquired Swedish startups in the past for this same purpose. In 2007, Google bought the Swedish communication company Marratech for $15 million. Google acquired Marratech to enhance both Google Hangouts and Google Talk. Lachapelle tweeted that the acquisition of Limes Audio makes this fourth time Google has bought a Swedish startup.
Tech experts note how aggressive Google has been recently in the video chat market. In addition to Google Hangouts and Chromebox, Google just announced its video-calling app named Duo. This app has been designed to offer users a one-on-one calling experience and lets people preview who’s calling them with a Knock Knock feature.
Some analysts speculate that Google is trying to compete with the likes of Microsoft and Apple, both of which have tremendously popular video chat platforms. Google did not officially mention how much it paid for this acquisition.
Some Background Info About Limes
Limes Audio was founded in 2007 by two Swedish academic researchers named Fredric Lindström and Christian Schüdt. The main focus of Limes Audio has always been to make the clearest audio technology on the market. Work on this audio technology began as Schüdt and Lindström worked on their PhD projects in Applied Signal Processing at the Blekinge Institute of Technology.
The team at Limes Audio is perhaps best known for their TrueVoice software suite, which many people in the tech industry believe to be the best acoustic echo cancellation software on the market. As the company became more successful, it added about 20 co-workers experienced in signal processing and embedded software. Limes Audio’s main headquarters is in the eastern Swedish city Umeå, but they also have offices in Stockholm and Palo Alto.
Both Schüdt and Lindström appear to be pleased about joining the Google team. They announced in a letter on LA’s official website that they were “very excited” to join the Google team and they remained committed to producing the finest audio technology on the market.
The Future Looks Bright For Limes Audio
Although there have been no specific details released about this team, both Google and Limes Audio seem thrilled to be working on the same team. Limes Audio will most likely get to work on developing innovative ways to make the audio quality better for Google Hangouts. Tech experts expect Limes Audio will use technologies such as echo cancellation, automated mixing, and noise reduction, all of which they’ve already used extensively in their TrueVoice software.
Image source: pexels.com/photo/black-android-smartphone-177707/