Serge Lachapelle, the Director of Product Management at Google Cloud, has announced that Google have acquired Limes Audio, a specialist Swedish audio company that have been around for ten years. Limes Audio design specialize in audio technology that is designed to simply “make voice communication systems sound better.” As such, Limes Audio aim to solve the issue of poor sound quality experienced during video or audio conference calls, marring the experience. Google’s acquisition of Limes Audio is because it is finding more and more businesses are using their video conferencing systems, these typically being Chromebox for Meetings and Google Hangouts, and Google wish to provide the best audio quality possible. Lachapelle explains that one of the challenges facing system designers of videoconferencing technology is that there is no such thing as a typical conference room, as they come in different shapes, sizes and arrangements. Many have what Google suggest are challenging acoustics, because conference rooms are often not designed for video or audio conferences. Limes Audio’s stated objective is to “work towards all voice conversations sounding equally loud and clear, regardless of the distance or environment,” and their proprietary audio technologies aim to stop background noise, distortion and echoes during a video or audio conference call regardless of the environment and connection quality. Google, and Limes Audio, understand that the better the audio quality, the more efficient, productive and efficient the meeting.
Google admits that more G Suite customers are using the video conferencing technologies on a daily basis and because of this, the company consider it to be “more important than ever to ensure low-cost, high-quality audio.” At this juncture, Google have not clarified how the Limes Audio business will be run going forwards but it appears that the technology is being sent to Mountain View, California. Limes Audio’s founders have highlighted that the team could continue working with the community in the future because “working together towards a better audio experience for everyone.” The Limes Audio team are also excited for new Google product launches in the future: Lachapelle’s blog makes no mention of Google’s consumer friendly videocalling app, Google Duo, presumably because Duo is a one-on-one video calling application rather than a conference calling or application biased towards business use. However, it seems likely that Google may well roll out Limes Audio technology to all of its video calling systems at some point in the future.