Google Duo has such efficient compression that calls can be made over classic modem

The video and voice calling service Google Duo is the default app in Android and has over a billion installs in the Play Store. In a video uploaded yesterday, Google talks about a new sound technology called Lyra.

The technology should make it so that people can talk to each other regardless of the bandwidth. In an example in the video, the person’s voice has been compressed so much that calls can be carried out over only 3 kilobits/s. In other words, a classic modem would have been enough.

The voice was certainly heavily distorted but still audible. The idea with Lyra is that the connection should not prevent calls in the app. In some regions connections are still slow with 2G being the dominant mobile network, but bandwidth can also vary in many other places.

Google plans to release the source code for Lyra, so that the technology can be used by all communication apps. How it all works is described in detail on Google’s artificial intelligence blog.

According to Google, a trillion minutes of video calls were made in Duo and Meet last year.

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