EDGE Sound Research is building the next generation of audio solutions. They have invented a way for users to feel and hear sound in all frequency ranges. It will reimagine how we experience sound through music, movies, video games, etc.
The founder, Ethan Castro, became hard of hearing very early on in life. “My doctors said as long as I didn’t go into music, I would be fine, so of course I went straight into music,” says Ethan. He went into audio engineering specifically to follow his passion. He had to learn to hear through feeling vibrations of sound. So his inspiration behind this new audio solution was to give people his experience of listening to sound.
The format in which we perceive audio has not changed for three decades since the development of surround sound. Experiencing sound through vibrations as well as what our ears can normally hear heightens the level of sound experience we get. “I learned to hear at a normal level by putting my hands on speakers. When I showed people of normal hearing how to do this, it took them to the next level.”
EDGE Sound Research started with Ethans vision for a better audio experience. His co-founder Valtteri Salomaki was brought in to handle the business side of things, compliment Ethans understanding of the technology to build the vision and business. The two founding engineers that are a part of the startup are Winson Bi, the software engineer, and Julian Bell, the hardware engineer. The team is also supported by UCR interns and mentors with years of entrepreneur.
Everyone on the team is a University of California Riverside graduate or current student. Together with a product consultant, Vincent Xhang, they were able to accomplish creating this product in just one year.
They have been working at Riverside Studios and chose to be there because they wanted to be surrounded by other artists and creators, and felt it was the best fit.
EDGE Sound Research has been competing in pitch competitions in order to gain investment capital as they enter into the market. They recently just won the Riverside Regional Pitch Competition for the Riverside County Innovation Month.
“The most exciting part about it is we get to introduce something that has never existed before and make our world more inclusive for those who are hard of hearing,” says Valtteri. However, this is also the most challenging part. Because it’s never been created before, there is no pathway to follow on how to do this.
They are the experts in their field and that comes with the challenge of educating people about it and getting it into their hands. Coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic presents new barriers that new technologies and businesses will have to encounter and overcome which makes it that much more difficult.
They are first time founders but had support from fantastic mentors from Riverside Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and UCR Office of Technology Partnerships (OTP) that have really helped move this startup forward. EDGE Sound Research will start alpha testing products this summer.
They will be targeting the video game industry as well as concert venues, stores, and other places that rely on high quality audio to start. The research of its use cases are still in infancy stages and as more time goes on more uses will be found to increase peoples audio experiences and enjoyment.
They hope to teach the world that we have not understood audio to its full effects yet and this is one step closer to getting us there.