19 July 2019

DJs with patents, why not!

The world of art and entertainment do not immediately come to mind as the most fertile soil for patent applications. When you think of patents, you think of technical innovation, whereas entertainment and art strive to convey emotions or experiences. But what should you do if you are at the vanguard of developing new techniques to convey those new emotions or experiences?

A number of years ago the Belgian DJ Tim Peeters, known artistically as NIVIRO, came across true surround sound, in which sound comes from different directions. True surround sound provides the listener with a more profound experience of being at the very centre of the action. As a discovery it is akin to the switch from black-and-white to colour TV. True surround sound is best known for its applications in film, and it had never been used before by a DJ in a live music setting.

Tim wanted to be the first DJ in the world to feature true surround sound live. He quickly ran into the technical limitations of existing DJ equipment, however. “I lay awake for nights trying to figure it out. One night, at three o’clock in the morning, I ran into my parents’ bedroom and woke them up with the words: ‘mum, dad, I found it!’ I spent the remainder of that night programming and over time I perfected this surround sound technique.”

Tim came up with a technical solution that is known in patents as a “software-implemented invention”. In order to protect his invention Tim contacted Yannick Philippaerts of Arnold & Siedsma. Yannick, a software engineer and amateur musician himself, was able to quickly connect with Tim and capture his invention into a patent application.

Meanwhile Tim has presented his system at the DJ event ‘Exposed | A Taste Of The Future’ in Balen, Belgium. Using a time signal Tim was able to completely synchronize a light and video show to his beats. Yannick was there. Yannick:

“Tim is an artist of the highest order. He thinks outside the box to get what he wants and he works hard to get even the smallest details right. His invention is great, but what impresses me the most is his musical talent. He lives and breathes music, and he succeeds in conveying this to his audience. Good luck, Tim!”