How will Cisco’s BabbleLabs acquisition improve Webex?

Earlier this week, Cisco announced its intent to acquire privately held BabbleLabs, Inc. in a bid to help users control unwanted noise in virtual meetings.

BabbleLabs is headquartered in Campbell, California, and uses advanced AI (Artificial Intelligence) techniques to distinguish human speech from unwanted noise, enhancing the quality of communications and conferencing applications.

Cisco says BabbleLabs goes beyond existing noise suppression technology solutions by distinguishing speech from background noise, removing background noise in real-time, and enhancing the voice to elevate communication, regardless of language. Cisco explained that the technology can remove background noises such as barking dogs, lawn mowers, a car alarm or sirens.

With this acquisition, Cisco will bring native noise removal capability to its entire Collaboration portfolio. Initially, that will involve integrating BabbleLabs to deliver a best-in-class audio experience to Webex Meetings users – wherever they are and however they connect via the Webex application.

This will provide improved user experiences for everyone – whether using a Cisco conference room or mobile device. Cisco says BabbleLabs complements its focus on secure and private collaboration as it processes noise removal 100 percent at the source where the noise happens (i.e. on the client side).

Keith Griffin, Distinguished Engineer at Cisco, has provided a demo (below) of what Webex users can expect from the integration of BabbleLabs technology into the video platform.

The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of Cisco’s FY21, subject to customary closing conditions and required regulatory approvals. Upon completion of the transaction, the BabbleLabs team will join the Cisco Collaboration Group, led by Javed Khan, senior vice president and general manager, which is part of the Cisco Security and Applications Business, led by Jeetu Patel.

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Charlotte Hathway

Charlotte is the editor of Comms Business and writes content that looks to inform and educate the Channel about the latest technology and business developments across the industry. Prior to her current role, she wrote for other MA Business titles New Electronics, Land Mobile and Critical Communications Today. Before moving into journalism, she spent five years working in public relations and has worked with various technology companies spanning telecommunications, cyber security and software development.

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