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Japan develops Target Microphone for sports broadcasting

Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) developed of a new voice processing technology – target microphone technology – that extracts clear sounds of a sporting event from the mixed sound of crowds cheering.

In developing the new technology, NTT focused on one of the characteristics of sports sounds – they “rise sharply.” By using this characteristic, the company separated sports sounds from noise (cheering sounds) and reduced the amplitude of the noise to extracts clear sports sounds.

NTT has partnered with the country’s public broadcaster NHK to test the target microphone technology on the playing fields of sports events since July 2014. NTT’s previous anti-noise advancements, together with this new technology, can emphasize sports sounds 10 to 1,000 times more than existing technologies.

NTT and NHK verified that a sound output can strengthen sounds of soccer goal shots, sumo wrestlers clashing, golf shots and the ball dropping and a baseball being hit by from 10 to 30 decibels.

NTT anticipates that this technology will witness practical application within one year via the NTT Group of companies. It aims to further investigate audio production for sports broadcasting that provides greater sense of presence by the year of 2020 in collaboration with various partner companies.