From The Editor's Desk: Audio Sensing
The last 12 months have been challenging but they also paved the way for positive changes. In just one year, communications, online commerce, and the digital economy in general, evolved at an accelerated pace. The global pandemic made clear that investments in digital needed to be a priority in many areas that were still lagging behind, as well as reinforcing the digital infrastructure that now supports the entire economy. While we all agree that a bigger focus on privacy and security is needed, we have seen how beneficial it can be to have systems networked, connected, and more accessible than ever.
In education, the availability of communications together with connected resources is making access to knowledge, experimentation, and investigation more universal than ever. And that's also the foundation for all research and development activities — fostering better collaboration and the creation of dynamic communities.
For companies, these accelerated changes have also created a sense of priorities in the way they will be able to leverage technology to quickly adjust to foreseeable challenges and create more robust working methods that protect business and the workforce. This is true across all industries and applications. While the pandemic is causing enormous economic impact in many industries, there was growth in specific technology segments, and the positive impact of some disruptions will be beneficial simply because it accelerated much-needed changes. Using technology and connected tools is an essential part of the recovery.
This month, audioXpress looked more carefully at the evolution of test and measurement solutions over the past year, and saw promising signs. Most test and measurement companies, including those focused on audio, quickly recognized the need to accelerate and adjust their existing solutions according to these pressing concepts. Implications of which enabled distributed testing, and introduced processes for remote collaboration — meaning connected measurement solutions that can be collaboratively explored, even by teams working remotely. In the same way as distributed computing, sharing large data sets and frameworks has long been acknowledged to foster progress, relying on distributed processes sharing dozens, hundreds, or many thousands of data acquisition points enables extraordinary achievements. Together with connecting users in communities, allowing remote access to measurement devices that otherwise may be sitting idle on a bench can make a huge difference to foster research or even simply for learning.
For test and measurement manufacturers, this could actually mean selling more instrumentation to be used as calibrated front ends, together with possible software-as-a-service models. It's just a new architecture with much greater scalability.
We analyzed that perspective for this edition's Market Update on Audio Test and Measurement where we naturally also discussed specific solutions used for measuring electronics and acoustics, as well as development and certification solutions.
And for this edition, David Logvin interviewed Matt Taylor, the president and founder of QuantAsylum, a fast growing test and measurement company based in the state of Washington, that adopted a unique modular product/solution approach that seems to be incredibly agile, adjusting well to current times. As Matt Taylor shares, his company has seen demand for its products doubling in the second quarter of 2020. And reliance on open-source and web- and community-based development has appealed to its growing user-base, while enabling the company to better understand real requirements and respond to actual demands.
These are interesting trends, even in those product categories that have showed greater resilience and expanded in these challenging times. I am certain these will resonate across the audio industry, particularly as we all face the need to embrace solid strategies for 2021 and beyond.
We need to consider how we could expand the benefits of streamlined and highly-efficient connected experiences for audio product development in general.