Lumiary receives 1M SEK in support to build next-gen microphone

Per Grön and Andreas Lundström

A new type of microphone will use laser technology to hear as well as the human ear, or better. Behind the technological leap is Per Grön and the deep tech company Lumiary, which is based in Härnösand and aims to revolutionize professional audio, consumer electronics and medical technology.

”Do you remember what it was like to go from low-resolution monitors to today’s high-resolution Retina displays? I didn’t realize I needed higher resolution, but now it would be impossible to go back. In 20 years, I think we will feel exactly the same way about sound!”

Lumiary’s founder Per Grön is a programmer who previously worked at Spotify and at Google in Zurich. The idea for the microphone comes from his interest in music and sound technology, where the highest possible quality has always been a challenge. Work on his own solution began during his time in Zurich, but a year ago he moved to Härnösand and put all his efforts into Lumiary together with Andreas Lundström, the other member of the Lumiary team.

The best traditional microphones are about as good now as they were 50 years ago, and can’t get much better, according to Per. By using lasers to measure the oscillations of sound waves, Lumiary is able to achieve an incredibly clean sound recording, in a much wider dynamic range.

”When it comes to microphones for consumer electronics, two major companies now have 80 percent of the market. The main reason is that they have a slightly lower noise level in their microphones than the rest,” says Per Grön.

Reducing noise radically and instead picking up the sound that you actually want is a game changer, and after fruitful preliminary studies, Lumiary is now investing in a working prototype. In order to broaden his Swedish network and get help with business development, Per contacted BizMaker and joined the business incubator there. Among other things, Per has received help to connect the national innovation authority Vinnova, which granted SEK 1 million in financial support through the call “Emerging technology solutions step 1 2023”. The support is awarded to innovation projects that strengthen the conditions for Swedish deeptech “with the aim that the projects will pave the way for the next generation of transformative system solutions”, i.e. technology that can bring about revolutionary changes in several areas.

”Now we are focusing on finding a first early product, a minimum viable product, which will probably be a professional microphone for recording studios and TV production. But the long-term goal is to replace microphones in regular consumer electronics,” says Per Grön.

As a deep tech company, Lumiary has a longer time to market than other startups. On the other hand, the potential is incredibly large - not even the founder himself can fully assess the possible uses of the technology. But in addition to crystal-clear mobile phone calls, hearing aids that match the human ear and better voice control, the technology could also be used to defensively identify drones from afar.

”Lumiary is developing a breakthrough technology that requires intensive research and development with high time and capital requirements to go from idea to market. The fact that they were granted support from Vinnova indicates that the technology stands up to national competition and that there is enormous potential for the technology’s ability to create solutions that can make a big difference in several industries and areas of society,” says Cecilia Nordlund, business advisor at BizMaker.

The business is now located just outside Härnösand. After the years in Switzerland, it was here, in his wife’s home town, that Per and Lumiary landed when they moved to Sweden.

”And it was actually here that the idea of Lumiary’s technology was born for the first time, on a walk in the forest,” says Per Grön.

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