Sungjin Park ’03 Ph.D., and president and CEO of The Vine Corp., was recently invited to visit the College of Engineering at Florida Institute of Technology. “I am honored to be able to collaborate with my university where I gained the tools that I needed to be successful,” said Park during his visit.
Park launched his first major product in 2009, the Voice Clarity solution for selected mobile phones. This and related speech enhancement software technologies have since become very popular and are now embedded in more than 20 million mobile phones.
“As digital music technology is widely used, consumers’ expected value for good voice quality also rises. However, as handset devices are getting smaller and thinner, acoustic quality of voice communication is even worse than the one of old-fashioned larger handsets,” Park said. “This was why we started developing the “Voice Clarity” solution. The development of “Voice Clarity” solution started from the very classical Adaptive Filter Theory which was the major topic while I was conducting the Boeing project with Dr. Ham.”
Park said his technology was inspired by an unlikely source: the bobcat. “In the beginning of development, I had a team of good Ph.D.s and excellent engineers, but we could not differentiate the sonic quality and we had many arguments and debates over this issue,” he said. “During a Skype chat, Mark Levinson introduced me to the bobcat. He explained that bobcats have keen senses of hearing and catch very small signals which other animals cannot do.” Park continued, “This gave me a great idea, and finally I developed the ‘Consonant Restoration’ filter which catches very small consonant signals and restores in a real-time manner. The filter has been patented and embedded in the all solution we provided.”
Prior to founding The Vine, Park worked for 10 years at electronics firms where he directed or co-directed major R&D projects in Israel, India, Russia, Switzerland and the U.S. In 2003–2004, he was a visiting professor at Florida Tech, teaching electrical circuits and conducting research for The Boeing Company with Dr. Fredric Ham, dean of the College of Engineering. Throughout his career, he has been recognized for his contributions and industry leadership. In 2011, he received the Men of the Software Industry Merit Award from the South Korean Ministry of Knowledge and Economy and he also earned the Authentication of Merit from the governor Kim Moon Soo, 2013 presidential candidate. In 2010, Park was named Outstanding Alumnus in the College of Engineering at Florida Tech.
The “Voice Clarity” solution featured in Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile phones, and more than 20 million phones are using Vine technology worldwide. Example Vine technologies include:
◦ Voice Clarity: receiving speech enhancement
◦ Senior mode: specifically tuned for seniors
◦ MEX: magnitude expander for speaker phone
◦ Slow Vocoder: real-time speech speed modification
For more information, visit www.thevinecorp.com.