DB says that at busy stations like Frankfurt, where trains run every minute, announcements can be made in very quick succession, making it confusing for passengers.

The technology from Holoplot can focus sound waves like a beam of light to any point in space. The Berlin start-up says the announcements are directed precisely on certain platform areas, ensuring passengers only receive the information relevant to where they are standing while other announcements for opposite tracks are no longer heard. Holoplot says the system ensures easier orientation and a lower overall noise level.

The Holoplot system has been installed on S-Bahn platforms 103 and 104, with 23 audio modules fitted at 11 locations, where it will be thoroughly tested over the next six months.

Holoplot says the system has improved the acoustic ratings in the station from 46/100 to 86/100, and raised the intelligibility ratings from 47/100 to 87/100.

“Well-understood announcements are a very important component of successful passenger information,” says Rhine-Main Transport Association (RMV) managing director, Professor Knut Ringat. “We are delighted that Holoplot is celebrating its premiere at the most important transport hub in the RMV area and we hope that this innovation will soon benefit passengers at other stations as well.”

“Two years ago, we introduced our solution to the start-up funding programme of DB mindbox,” says Holoplot CEO, Mr Roman Sick. “Now our audio system is in the station and around 50,000 travellers a day benefit from it. It’s a great feeling.”