In a call yesterday, I was reminded of how fickle hardware can be when it comes to voice. A small example is the little channel created by my hardshell cellphone case that can make voice recognition that much worse if I speak at the wrong angle.
Microphone placement on hardware can be very problematic. There are a few things that can create problems:
- Depth of the channel in which the microphone is placed
- Adhesive accidentally blocking the microphone
- Vibration from the case can overwhelm the microphone signal
- Proximity to sound output
A few years back, we had small gaskets that were used to isolate the Ubi’s microphones from their case. These gaskets were stored in a ziplock bag on the assembly line and one day… poof… they disappeared. They were so specialized that it delayed delivery of several hundreds devices for weeks.
There is a need for making it easier to place mics on hardware products — either by providing ready to mount boards and covers or pre-sealed mics that are less prone to error in placement.