Case Study

High Quality Wireless Audio for Handheld Internet

The Challenge: Our client, Comrex, has been in the business of producing products that move broadcast-quality audio over a variety of links (telephone lines, ISDN telephone lines, GSM and other cellular technologies, etc.) for many years. With the near universal availability of the Internet, both in wired and wireless form, it was a natural choice to extend their product line in this direction. Unfortunately, the Internet is an unpredictable network and many special techniques must be employed to avoid loss in audio quality while minimizing delay.

The Solution – No lines, no waiting: Venture worked with the client to understand both the overall scope as well as details of the new product, contributing many key ideas along the way. Venture worked with the customer to architect and develop a custom embedded XScale platform capable of running both the audio processing algorithms and graphical user interface. Venture’s team built a custom embedded distribution of the Linux operating system, upon which the product’s software is built.

The software is built out of a mix of custom, freely available, and licensed software components. To control the unit, Venture built a custom touchscreen GUI that can be used to configure and control the unit with a stylus and/or the minimal keypad present on the unit. Leading the way through the difficult path of balancing compute-intensive algorithms with the responsiveness of the GUI, Venture ultimately produced a system that maintains audio quality and user feedback.

The Result – An award winner: The product has helped to establish Comrex as a pioneer and leader in their market with a unique portable device capable of transporting broadcast quality audio over wireless internet connections.

“The product has garnered industry awards and created quite a buzz in the industry.”

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