Berkeley, CA (December 22, 2004)–The United States Patent and Trademark Office has allowed the claims of a patent application filed by Meyer Sound pertaining to the company’s MAPP Online acoustical prediction software. The patent describes a method of providing acoustical response predictions for a modeled loudspeaker system over a communications network.
In the case of MAPP Online, an Internet-enabled client-server system lets modeling software running on a powerful server at Meyer Sound’s headquarters provide the computational “back end” to GUI software running on the user’s local computer. Allowance of the claims is a significant step preceding the award of a patent. The patent, when issued, will be the 35th U.S. or international patent issued to Meyer Sound since its founding in 1979.
The MAPP Online system generates accurate predictions of the performance of Meyer Sound loudspeakers in a given configuration within a venue. The system, which is available free to qualified users, employs a graphical Java applet running on the system designer’s laptop or other computer in conjunction with a sophisticated modeling program running on a high-powered server located at Meyer Sound’s headquarters in Berkeley.
The user can define attributes of a venue (walls, floor, surface composition, etc.), then specify the choice and configuration of loudspeakers. Once the scenario is defined and a prediction requested, the user’s computer transmits parameter data describing the scenario over the Internet to the server, which then draws on a database of loudspeaker profiles and performs the calculations. In a few seconds, the server returns a color image to the user’s computer, showing how the loudspeakers will perform and interact under the stated conditions. Coverage, frequency response at any given spot in the venue and much other data are instantly available.
As described in the company’s patent application, the techniques employed by MAPP Online provide a number of advantages over self-contained programs running entirely on a user’s machine.
For a start, calculations using high-resolution complex (magnitude and phase) data demand greater computational power than is available on a laptop computer (the most common user platform). In contrast, the Java applet requires very little computational power, making it possible to run the program on a wide variety of platforms. Offloading the heavy computation to a powerful server means that designers can quickly modify designs and see the results, encouraging experimentation with “what if” scenarios until the desired performance is obtained.
Additionally, housing the loudspeaker database at the company’s headquarters makes it a simple matter for data to be added or updated without the user needing to do any more than, at most, downloading an update to the small Java applet. Further, the system insures that all users have the latest version of the program by detecting the version in use when a prediction is requested and automatically downloading an update, if needed. Not only does this mean that every user is up to date, it simplifies support by eliminating the possibility of multiple versions being in the field.
MAPP Online, and its enhanced sibling, MAPP Online Professional, contain a great many additional features that, along with the very close correlation between its predictions and actual measured results, make them extremely popular tools for sound system designers and consultants.
Additional information on MAPP Online, including several white papers detailing aspects of the technology, is available at www.meyersound.com.
Meyer Sound Laboratories, Inc.