QNX takes home an Elektra award

Back in September, I told you that the QNX Aviage acoustic processing suite had been shortlisted for an Elektra award. Well, I just got the news: QNX Aviage has won.

QNX Aviage is a small, modular software library that eliminates the dedicated hardware typically used to reduce noise and echo in automotive hands-free systems. As a result, automotive suppliers can build these systems for less -- which means that more cars can offer handsfree kits as standard equipment. A good thing, given that more and more jurisdictions are banning handheld cellphones in cars.

The suite has some cool features to help reduce driver distraction. For instance, it can dynamically raise volume levels during periods of high cabin noise, allowing the driver to hear the remote party without straining or fiddling with volume controls. It can also “fill in” the limited bandwidth of cellphone calls, making the remote party's voice fuller and more intelligible.

The suite also has a nifty remote-control utility that lets the developer interactively turn features on or off, tweak settings, adjust performance, log events, run diagnostics, etc. — all while a handsfree call is in progress:

Click to enlarge.

If you have a couple of minutes, check out this podcast interview on QNX Aviage. It outlines some of the challenges of building handsfree and speech-controlled systems -- such as navigation units that think the driver is saying "no, no, no, no, no" every time the car rolls across a rumble strip.

QNX received the Elektra last night in Munich, at the Electronica 2008 conference. Click here to see the entire list of award winners.

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