Prof Frank Boland's ThriveAudio team brings spatial audio to Google Cardboard
The Signal Processing Media Applications Group (Sigmedia) is a research group in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Trinity College Dublin. The group was started in 1998 when Prof. Anil Kokaram joined the EEE Department as a lecturer. The group has subsequently expanded and Dr. Naomi Harte joined the group as an SFI Lecturer in 2008, bringing an expertise in speech processing.
Our research activities are centred on digital signal processing technology. We exploit knowledge from statistics, applied mathematics, computer vision, image and video processing, and speech and language understanding in order to solve very unique problems in a range of domains. There are three main research themes for the group:
We are well known for our work on cinema post-production and our motion estimation technology (in collaboration with The Foundry) is used around the world for film special effects in movies like Matrix, Lord of the Rings, X-Men, Spider Man, Harry Potter and so on. This work was recognised by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2007.
Sigmedia researchers have been involved with many EU projects (i3dpost,MOUMIR, PRESTOSPACE) and have associations with archive houses around Europe. We are currently involved in EU COST Actions IC1106 and IC1105. A number of our current projects are funded by Science Foundation Ireland, IRCSET and Enterprise Ireland. We collaborate closely with Industry, including, Google, DTS, Lightstream Animation and The Foundry. The group has a close association with Prof. Frank Boland's Audio, Acoustics and Music Research Group, with many joint projects.
There are about 10-15 people in the group depending on the time of year you turn up to visit us. Over the summer months we tend to have 2-4 interns from the undergrad population at TCD as well as from universities in France and Germany, and even Trinidad and Tobago. Currently there are 4 post-docs and 11 PhD students with the group. As well as our core work in research we are also involved in many of the teaching activities in the integrated engineering degree/masters programme.
Many researchers in Sigmedia are involved in the commercialisation of research. In 2015, the Thrive Audio team of Prof Frank Boland has joined Google with the objective of bringing immersive audio to VR. In 2011 Green Parrot Pictures, a video technology startup founded by Prof Anil Kokaram, was acquired by Google. PixelPuffin is a company founded by Dr. François Pitié, Dr. Gary Baugh and John Squires in 2011 and is involved in the development of new technologies for high-end cinema post-production.