The Soundshield Story

The Soundshield 4G and Soundshield Wireless Headset are the culmination of 30 years of listening to our customers and putting their needs first.

Since its development, more than 130,000 Soundshields have been installed in contact centres around Australia and abroad, helping to eliminate the occurrence of acoustic shock in every office and contact centre they have been installed in.

 

The rapid growth in the early 1990s of the contact centre industry, both in Australia and overseas, coincided with increased numbers of contact centre employees reporting unusual and worrying symptoms following exposure to an unexpected loud sound, later termed an ‘acoustic shock’. Usually high frequency, an acoustic shock may be caused by interference, misdirected faxes, power supply failures, or by man-made sources such as crying babies or malicious callers blowing whistles down the telephone line. Headset users were experiencing symptoms that ranged from headaches, facial numbness, pain in the neck or jaw, tinnitus, dizziness and even vertigo.

In the year 2000 Polaris was nearly 20 years old and had grown to be one of the largest distributors of headset products to contact centres in Australia. Polaris invested heavily in research to develop the ‘Soundshield’, the world’s first true acoustic safety device for headset wearers that protected them from acoustic shock injury while retaining crystal-clear intelligibility. The Soundshield was a revolutionary product and won numerous industry and technology awards, including: the Australian Design Award, International Forum (iF) Award and the Australian Technology Transfer Award.

Over the next few years the Soundshield went through a number of modifications and in 2006 Polaris released the Soundshield 3G which included some significant product advancements:

  • the use of USB power to solve the long-time problem of batteries and power points
  • patented noise dosimetry software
  • first LCD display in a headset product

In 2009, Polaris took a big leap forward and decided to redesign the Soundshield from the ground up, and take the Soundshield solution into the world of wideband, VoIP and the emerging UC markets. The result was the Soundshield 4G which combined the unsurpassed acoustic protection the Soundshield brand is renowned for, with the excellence of wideband sound. The decision was simultaneously made to incorporate all of the Soundshield 4G features into a wireless headset and produce the most acoustically safe wireless headset on the market - the Soundshield Wireless Headset.

Polaris brought together the best all-Australian design team to research, develop and design the new Soundshield products. Our management team went through a very detailed and exhaustive process, personally meeting with a range of possible key contributors including Electronics Designers, Software Developers, Mechanical Designers, Manufacturers and Project Managers.

After a number of months of constant research and negotiation, Polaris finally had its development team, both internally and externally, and work began on the Soundshield products.

Polaris surveyed hundreds of contact centre workers and workshopped user needs over many hours, continually refining the ground-breaking products to suit the needs of the user. The Soundshield 4G and Soundshield Wireless’ large and intuitive touchscreen is a direct result of that extensive research, as is their stylish and ergonomic design, and easy installation process.

Over the past three and a half years more than 50,000 man hours have been dedicated to achieving excellence in every facet of the design of their design.   Both the Soundshield Wireless and Soundshield 4G have each been awarded numerous product design awards and every award won is a recognition of the effort and commitment Polaris has put into developing these world-leading products.

The Soundshield Story

Learn about the development of Polaris' revolutionary Soundshield products. 

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