Thursday, January 10, 2013

Full-duplex in the car? Who even knows what this means?

I know lots of people don't understand full-duplex. Hell, I think most people have never even heard of it. Unfortunately, these same people have repeatedly experienced its poor cousin — half-duplex — without really understanding either.

Please don't take me wrong. I'm not patronizing. I spent a few years in telecoms and barely understand it myself. What I do know is that half-duplex = bad. And that full-duplex = good.

So when I talked to my colleagues at the office today, I knew we were using half-duplex. How did I know? I started to say something and so did someone else at the other end of the line. I couldn't hear them talking while I was talking (a certain amount of latency adds to the circus) so I stopped talking... and so did they. Then there were lots of simultaneous barely-understood apologies and a long uncomfortable silence. Then we both tried to break the silence at the same time; more uncomfortable silence. Very awkward and distracting. I know you know what I mean.

So... um... could someone please fix this? I mean, we send people to the moon after all.

I hate to blow our own (proverbial) horn (well sometimes) but believe me, I have to. QNX has THE best audio technology solution in or out of the car. And this technology, just so happens to be in the new QNX technology concept car at CES. Yes, really!

Today I witnessed a conversation in the QNX booth between someone in the Bentley and someone in a sound-proof booth. Well, to my (sheer) delight, one person talked while the other person talked over him... and both heard the other! Just like a real face-to-face conversation with overlapping dialogue. It was so natural, it almost slipped by as if it were expected:

In a world where communication is more often than not at the root of all successes and failures, I think this is nothing short of a long-overdue miracle.


  1. Will this technology be available soon? Will it be OEM or aftermarket? The aftermarket could certainly use something special to offer these days.