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Davis, California

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Turn up the volume

A new start-up company has emerged from UC Davis and is looking to make a name for itself in the world of consumer technology. The company’s name is Dysonics, and it is the result of work done by a UC Davis professor and an alumnus of the College of Engineering.

The product the company is aiming to sell is one that most college students use daily: headphones.

“Everybody is now using headphones with mobile devices; their usage is exploding,” said Ralph Algazi, professor emeritus in the department of electrical and computer engineering and founder of Dysonics.
The company was founded in 2011 with the help of the Engineering Technology Transfer Center (ETTC) at UC Davis and is looking to provide a better experience for headphone users by providing a dynamic rather than static sound.
“Commonly, when wearing headphones the sound follows your head movements,” Algazi said. “This is not what happens without headphones, where the sound that was in front of you will be behind you if you turn around.”
One of the problems that some headphones have is that they try to adapt sounds from loudspeakers over to headphones, leading to a product that is not creating a truly tailored experience. Algazi’s technology seeks to change that.
“The technology is not aimed at the reproduction of sound and music over loudspeakers and then adapted to headphones,” Algazi said. “It is designed specifically for presentation over headphones.”
According to Algazi, part of the reason why the headphones are good is due to new miniature sensors that have been made available by technological advancements.

“What you experience with our technology is much closer to the sound you would hear when not wearing headphones,” Algazi said.

Algazi said the company has reached the point where it can operate on its own and is no longer dependent on the help of the ETTC.
Dushyant Pathak, associate vice chancellor in the office of research, said that the ETTC is a crucial resource to companies in the early years.
“Dysonics is an interesting company incubated in the ETTC,” Pathak said. “A company is in its most vulnerable state in its formative years, where capital is of concern.”
According to Pathak, one of the main goals of the ETTC is to help take high-quality research and bridge the gap between academics and commercialization through the University.
According to the government website for the Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses in California totaled 3.4 million in 2009.

“They represent 99.2 percent of all employers and employ 51 percent of the private-sector workforce,” according to the SBA website.

According to the SBA, small businesses – like Dysonics – are crucial to California’s “health and well-being.”

“It [Dysonics] is a very good example of how you can shepherd and nurture a company in a fledgling state, when it hasn’t been established yet,” said Pathak. “I have every expectation based on the early founding team that it [Dysonics] will continue to grow and be successful.”

Dysonics is seeking to have the product prepared by September and is targeting portable devices.

ERIC C. LIPSKY can be reached at science@theaggie.org.


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