Google acquires voice communications firm Limes Audio to bolster videoconferencing

Google Hangouts
guteksk7/Shutterstock
When people think of a good videoconferencing solution, they often focus on video quality when evaluating the experience. That’s a valid approach, of course, because it’s the video that separates video conferencing from phone calls.

But audio is equally as important. It’s not terribly helpful to see the person or group you’re talking to in crystal-clear video if you can’t make out what they’re saying. Google understands that, which is why it has acquired voice communications company Limes Audio.

Google offers a couple of videoconferencing solutions, including Chromebox for Meetings and Google Hangouts. The company recognizes that those solutions need to provide excellent audio quality to support G Suite customers who rely on video communications to run their businesses.

Limes Audio aims to ensure that audio sounds good regardless of the quality of an internet connection. The company’s technology also works to reduce the effects of poor acoustics due to physical spaces, removing noise, distortion, and echoes that can dramatically reduce audio quality. Limes Audio’s products include its TrueVoice full-duplex audio-conferencing software, which applies full-duplex acoustic echo cancellation and other technologies to ensure high-quality audio performance.

Google didn’t provide any specifics of the acquisition, such as when the deal will actually close, how much it paid for Limes Audio, or how quickly the technology will make its way into Google’s videoconferencing solutions.

The acquisition shows Google recognizes that it’s working in a competitive environment, with alternatives like Microsoft’s Skype for Business certifying high-quality audio — and that’s a good thing for anyone who uses Google to stay connected.

Mobile

Allstate’s SquareTrade buys phone repair service iCracked

Allstate may be looking to diversify its service a little. The company announced that SquareTrade, a company Allstate owns, is buying iCracked, a popular phone repair service that currently operates in more than 60 cities.
Smart Home

Google Home Mini vs. Amazon Echo Dot: Which smart home speaker is better?

We put the two most popular smart home speakers -- the Google Home Mini and the 3rd generation Amazon Echo Dot -- together and tested them on appearance, audio, and abilities. So which should you buy? Find out how they did in our showdown.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Smart Home

Amazon to add home mesh router maker Eero to its smart home ecosystem

Amazon will acquire the Eero mesh Wi-Fi router system brand. After the deal clears regulatory hurdles, Amazon will own another piece of a complete smart home package. Eero's Wi-Fi infrastructure covers the whole house with fast internet.
Computing

The HoloLens 2 will be announced at MWC. Here's what we know about it so far

The HoloLens 2 is ripe for an announcement. Here's what Microsoft has revealed so far, what's likely in store for the next generation HoloLens, and everything that we know about this mixed reality headset.
Computing

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.
Computing

In the age of Alexa and Siri, Cortana’s halo has grown dim

In a sea of voice assistants, Cortana has become almost irrelevant. The nearly five-year-old voice assistant is seeing little love from consumers, and here’s why it is dead.
Computing

Wi-Fi helps connect all of our devices at high-speed, but what exactly is it?

What is Wi-Fi? It's a technology we all use everyday to connect all of our portable devices, but understanding how it works and how far it's come from its humble beginnings is another thing entirely.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Web

Are you one of the billions who have watched these super-popular YouTube videos?

Viral videos can quickly garner millions upon millions of views, but even they fall well behind the view counts on the most watched YouTube videos ever. Those have been watched billions of times.
Computing

Windows updates shouldn't cause problems, but if they do, here's how to fix them

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.
Computing

Speed up your system by tweaking the startup application in Windows and MacOS

Bothered by programs that automatically start when you boot your computer, or want to add a new one to the list? Here's how to change your startup programs in Windows 7, 8, and 10, along with Apple's MacOS.
Business

Marriott asking guests for data to see if they were victims of the Starwood hack

Marriott has created an online form to help you find out if your data was stolen in the massive Starwood hack that came to light toward the end of 2018. But take note, it requires you to submit a bunch of personal details.
Computing

Apple may go big with a redesigned 16-inch MacBook Pro, 31.6-inch 6K display

In a research note, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo writes that there are indications the company could be releasing a 16-inch MacBook Pro, as well as a 31.6-inch 6K display in 2019.