06.10.14

Barco strengthens audio offering with IOSONO acquisition

AUTHOR: Inavate

Barco has snapped up the team and assets of immersive audio specialist and Fraunhofer spin-off, IOSONO. Anna Mitchell learns more from Brian Claypool, senior director of strategic business development at Barco.

Through the acquisition Barco hopes to further its work implementing and deploying immersive sound systems, carried out with its partner Auro Technologies.

Claypool said Barco was keen to purchase the team and assets of the company rather than merely licensing its technologies to take advantage of the entire workflow and foundations of the company.

He continued to reassure those already licensing or intending to license the technology.

“All of [IOSONO’s] existing business is very valuable from product, customer relationship and experience standpoints,” said Claypool. “IOSONO has identified their brand with very high end venues all around the world and we don’t want to change that. We want to grow where they excel at selling their products to the marketplace.

“That’s where access to Barco’s footprint of sales and distribution will be able to leverage those products to grow and expand that capability from a revenue standpoint as well, which [IOSONO] has always been after.”

Claypool also noted further opportunities: “IOSONO has installations in fixed venues where we also have visualisation products and will be very complimentary to much of the project based work in Barco. Having the capability to incorporate support for audio technology into our portfolio makes a lot of sense in a variety of markets that we serve.”

Cinema is the most obvious place where the technology will be deployed but Claypool added that the acquisition will affect a number of Barco’s sales channels.

He also confirmed that Auro Technologies would continue to a be key partner for Barco and that he saw the technologies as completely complementary.

“We will combine the best of Auro and the best of IOSONO in a way that makes them stronger together.”

The move follows a flurry of recent acquisition activity from Barco, which purchased projectiondesign in 2012 and more recently X20 Media this year.

Carl Vanden Bussche, director of Investor Relations at Barco, hints at more to come.

“The growth strategy of the company is to strengthen the core activities of Healthcare, Entertainment & Corporate and Industrial and Government,” he told InAVate in a written statement.

“Barco enjoys global leadership positions in these markets and is evaluating investment opportunities to continue to accelerate the digital transformation thereof and to contribute to the company’s sustainable profitable growth.

“Investment opportunities will be a combination of internal initiatives and add-on acquisitions. These acquisitions are targeted to strengthen our market positioning and to expand Barco’s share of wallet for our core markets.”

IOSONO deployments and developments reported on by InAVate

Fraunhofer takes immersive cinema up a gear

Hyundai commissions video sculpture for 24m wide videowall

Interview: Professor Karlheinz Brandenburg

Audi adopts wave field synthesis in audio prototype

Flat speaker, fat sound