Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

A band plays together online using Elk's Aloha technology. Image: Elk

Swedish startup Elk is debuting a hardware-software combination on Tuesday named Aloha that allows musicians and bands separated by distance to perform together online using traditional wired internet connections and, eventually, 5G wireless networks.

Why it matters: Such technology was in the works before the COVID-19 pandemic and has become increasingly needed in an era where many bands are unable to meet in person.

Be smart: The big issue with collaborating musically over the internet isn't total bandwidth, but rather the delay, or latency, of the connection.

  • Latency comes from both the network and the device processing the sound on each end. It also depends on the connection as well as the physical distance being traveled.

What they're saying: CEO Michele Benincaso says that traditional video conferencing software can have a delay of up to 500 milliseconds (half a second).

  • Just using a PC adds 15 milliseconds of delay on each end. But musicians performing remotely require 20 milliseconds or less total delay.
  • The musicians’ internet connections and distance from one another matter too, but Benincaso said that the company has seen good results over standard home internet connections.
  • "Of course if you have a 56K modem, that won’t work," he said.

How it works: Elk's technology uses an optimized version of Linux to create a device that can send musical signals over the internet with far less delay than would be the case with a traditional PC.

  • Musicians attach their instruments to a pocket-size device that contains audio input and output jacks as well as an Ethernet port.
  • On the software side, Elk offers a video chat app that also contains advanced sound controls. You can see Aloha in a promotional video here.

Yes, but: Aloha won't be entering an empty field. Other products, including JamKazam, provide software and some hardware options for real-time music collaboration.

What to watch: Elk is planning an October public beta for Aloha, with commercial availability in the second quarter of next year. The company also sees opportunities in integrating video, including virtual reality, with music down the road.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Aug 11, 2020 - Technology

Nationalism and authoritarianism threaten the internet's universality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Governments around the world, prompted by nationalism, authoritarianism and other forces, are threatening the notion of a single, universal computer network — long the defining characteristic of the internet.

The big picture: Most countries want the internet and the economic and cultural benefits that come with it. Increasingly, though, they want to add their own rules — the internet with an asterisk, if you will. The question is just how many local rules you can make before the network's universality disappears.

Philanthropy Deep Dive

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A look at how philanthropy is evolving (and why Dolly Parton deserves a Medal of Freedom).

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  3. Education: Devos extends federal student loan relief to Jan. 31
  4. States: New Mexico to allow hospitals to ration coronavirus medical care
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.