The young Grenoble company Losonnante, founded in 2021 after an incubation period within Satt Linksium, hopes to boost its development with a recent fundraising of 900,000 euros from BPI, a public investment bank, and other “business angels”. It will focus on marketing its “Bone Conduction” audio solution, which is already attracting some major exhibition and leisure venues. Meeting with its co-founder and CEO Olivier Lebas.
France Bleu Isère: Olivier Lebas, can you explain what “bone conduction” audio consists of?
Olivier Lebas: The Osonnante is a sound device that allows you to hear sounds using your body. There are two vibration pads that send sound vibrations, which we can rest our elbows on and the sound travels through the forearms. By actually placing our hands on our ears, we ultimately direct the sound to our ear and can hear the sound in that path. It is a fairly new and special way of listening to sounds that is truly based on emotions and feelings.
Obviously the target market is not the domestic hi-fi market. Is it museography? What was the first outlet featured?
The origin of the innovation was outdoor use. The idea of ultimately creating a connection with sound to nature and the landscape. It actually makes sense in all public places, such as museums, but also outdoors. It can be on the street, it can be in parks, in natural spaces or in waiting places like train stations or airports where we can finally just rest our elbows and listen to music, sounds, a speech…
The forearm conducts sounds to the ears! An amazing experience! – Utopian photo
Then you have to develop a market. Need it? Are you interested?
So yes, there is quite a lot of interest. Ultimately, this concept of physical listening – we also speak of sensitive listening – is of great interest for all sights, museums and even amusement parks. SO, We have collaborated with the Cité des Sciences, we have collaborated with the Muséoparc Alésia, the Paris Zoological Park, the Paris Musées and several departmental museums here in Isère Also. So we actually feel like the device is generating a lot of interest. After that, it is also very new and therefore it takes time to install this innovation and finally make it visible to everyone.
How many devices can you sell or rent per year today?
We have existed for just over two years, have equipped around 40 locations in France and produced around 70 devices. The plan is to sell around 100 copies per year within five years. These seem like small amounts, but we are still addressing a niche market, “business to business” as they say, and equipping 100 museums a year is pretty ambitious. With the desire to equip around 500 locations within five years. That is our goal.
Listen with your forearms, what emotion does that trigger in you?
So for me – but many users also say it – there is a very relaxing side. There really is this aspect that at some point we empty ourselves and eventually create our own bubble. There’s actually a certain Zen side to it, which means we’re going to clear our minds a little bit and focus on what we’re hearing. And that’s the interesting thing: this somewhat restricted position ultimately forces us to focus on a moment, a few seconds, with sound, with music, and ultimately it is a very “intimate” aspect.
November 28, 2017
Listening with your bones: the funny innovation of two people from Isère