Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hitting the Right Note with a Sound Plan for Speakers; Breaking Through

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hitting the Right Note with a Sound Plan for Speakers; Breaking Through

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHN SWINFIELD

IN THE boardroom of a new company, I was startled when an exit sign on a wall began speaking. A ceiling tile then started playing music. And a cardboard cut out of Elvis Presley suddenly sang Hound Dog.

It was an audio feast without a sound speaker in sight.

The surprise show was being staged for me by Amina, a small outfit starting to make a noise in the world of sound.

It has developed wafer-thin speakers and is tapping into the booming audio-visual world of conferencing and presentations.

It is also out to kill off all t h o s e

u n i n t e l l i g i b l e announcements on railway stations.

Not only are the speakers

thin, they are virtually free howl-back and reverberation, which often make nonsense of presentations and announcements.

They are useful in large arenas - churches, railway stations, swimming pools anywhere cavernous, or with hard, non-absorbent surfaces, which can turn auditoriums into echo chambers.

The company, which employs six people in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, is still in its infancy.

Start-ups are dangerous.

There is a high failure rate and proprietors must work themselves to the bone and take risks.

Export manager Mike Gavin says Amina is a tough shout. "Financially, it's tight, no point in saying otherwise. In two years, hopefully, we won't be on this financial tightrope. We'll have developed substantial markets outside the UK."

Richard Newlove, managing director, says: "Initially there was just personal money in the business. Then we created a partnership with a 40-year-old audio distribution company, Canadian Instruments, a British company based in Nottingham.

"Canadian Instruments has the biggest financial stake in us. And they also provided that first stage in distribution. If you don't have that crucial first selling channel, you'll die. …

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