AT&T and Audience have announced that select mobile phones in the carrier’s lineup will be using Audience noise cancellation technology, beginning later this year.
Audience claims that their software-derived solution allow for better noise cancellation and crisper sounding voices while in calls. This isn’t the first technology to code in DSP audio processing, Sony Ericsson and Motorola both bolstered having developed their own technologies, as well as many other handset manufacturers.
What is interesting is that AT&T has struck this deal, and not handset manufacturers. This appears to be the first step in AT&T’s previously announced power grab to take control of device firmware. The carrier has said in the past it would like to move feature phones to a single, smartphone-grade operating system, and has even gone as far as to mention Symbian as a candidate in the past.
“AT&T is pleased to work with Audience to enhance our customer experience toward our ongoing commitment to deliver the most compelling device portfolio in the industry,” said Jeff Bradley, Senior Vice President, Devices, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “Audience provides a unique and industry-leading solution to an ongoing challenge for mobile users — background noise — and allows clear and successful communication in nearly any environment.”
AT&T will join Verizon Wireless in demanding handset total customizations of firmware, but has not gone as far as Verizon’s onerous VZW/BREW UI experience.