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Utah Engineers Improve Sound Quality of Cell Phones

Utah Engineers Improve Sound Quality of Cell Phones

Posted - Mar. 8, 2004 at 8:57 p.m.



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Ed Yeates reporting Love your cell phone, but hate the way voices sound like they're coming through a tin can? A team of Utah engineers may have found a solution!

Researchers have long wanted to improve sound on a cell phone. But how do you do it without making the phone larger, uglier and more costly?

According to Brigham Young University electrical engineers, this is all it takes. A newly developed antenna, reduced down in size to fit inside the cell phone - and a similar one attached to the cell phone company's base station, will pick up two separate radio signals over a single frequency.

Michael Jensen/ BYU Electrical Engineering: "You will get twice as much information without using what we call additional frequency band widths. So that means the quality will be twice as good. So the S's and F's that currently get jumbled up, they'll actually become intelligible."

This team of engineers is currently testing the new technology on visual streams - moving video - downloaded wirelessly on laptop computers.

Notice the lousy resolution on this sample of Lord of the Rings - the way it looks with current technology.

But with the new antenna - a four fold improvement.

Take that remarkable resolution we can see is Lord of the Rings and translate it to a picture on a cell phone. But not only the picture-- the sound you can hear as well.

Jensen: "Now we can either get a lot more phone calls using the same equipment, the same band width that we currently have. Or we can all get much higher quality."

It all depends on what the consumer wants. Do you want it better, or the way it is now?

The new technology will make its way into laptops first, and into cell phones probably within the next two to three years.

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