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An Interview with Paul Ludden

In this interview, Paul discusses FeONIC technology and Omnivox products.


Paul Ludden Paul Ludden is the founder and sales director of Omnivox Systems, a company dedicated to the sales and marketing of specialist audio equipment utilising the FeONIC 'smart' material technology. From its base in the UK, Omnivox Systems is developing global distribution for its brand of desktop audio presentation products.

More info at the Omnivox site.

Geetesh: Tell us something about FeONIC technology.

Omnivox Paul: Omnivox is powered by FeONIC technology, this is based on a 'smart' material made from rare earth alloys. A 'smart' material is one that reacts in a pre-determined and reliable manner to an external force or change in environmental conditions. The FeONIC 'smart' material passes sound energy into solid surfaces, causing the surface to act as an audio speaker. Typically, tables and work-surfaces can be activated as giant loud speakers, the fantastic benefit is that FeONIC technology produces 'diffused' sound, rather than the sometimes harsh 'directional' sound produced by conventional speakers. As a result, Omnivox produces sound pleasantly and evenly to everybody around the boardroom table.

Geetesh: Tell us something about Omnivox's present and future products.

Paul: The first product launched by Omnivox Systems is the professional presentation audio system, this is targeted towards the typical Microsoft PowerPoint user, enabling the full audio content of multimedia clips to be enhanced. We never tire of demonstrating Omnivox, the reaction of disbelief when a customer realises that their boardroom table has become a speaker is fantastic. We are developing many commercial and consumer products utilising the FeONIC technology, most are unwraps at the moment, but think of an area or an application where conventional speakers are not suitable, we're sure we will be able to provide a workable solution.

Geetesh: How mobile is Omnivox?

Paul: Omnivox is targeted at the mobile sales & marketing or training professional, as such the complete system including digital amplifier, AC adaptor, actuator and ABS case weighs less than 2kg. The AC adaptor is auto sensing and comes with all the different connectors enabling its' operation from any countries mains electrical supply.

Geetesh: What type of support infrastructure does Omnivox provide?

Paul: Omnivox can supply directly from its website or via a network of distributors and dealers. Each dealer or distributor can replace any faulty part of any Omnivox product. That said, the actuator has no moving parts and the amplifier is digital technology, hence there is not a great deal to go wrong.

Geetesh: Can you share any trivia about a unconventional use of Omnivox?

Paul: Omnivox is very new, hence we are building a database of user or installation stories. The common thread is that Omnivox is a real problem solver, resolving issues that have been problem for years. We know of a company using Omnivox to turn Sauna cabins into a speaker. We know of another company that is saving thousands of pounds on Video Conference installations, instead of hard wiring speakers in the ceiling they turn the tabletop into a speaker, this saves a great deal of time and money.

Geetesh: Can two Omnivox sound systems be used together - does this provide any benefit?

Paul: On larger surfaces, by using a simple stereo splitter, two Omnivox' can be used. These splitters are available from any electronics or HiFi supplier. Even when 2 units are used on a single worktop, a degree of stereo separation is heard.

Geetesh: How important is sound in a presentation.

Paul: There is an old audiovisual adage that goes…"nothing makes a picture better than sound", after all, that's why Hollywood invented the 'Talkies'. Audio has been the forgotten ingredient in both audiovisual and multimedia presentations, as computer hardware and software have become more powerful there is a move to integrate corporate advertising and video clips into presentations, unfortunately most people depend on the internal speakers on their laptop computers. Frankly, the performance of most laptop speakers have been compromised due to their size, often the volume and frequency response of internal speakers means that the full audio impact of the presentation is lost, again Omnivox is proving to be a problem solver.

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