Dolby is the sound technology responsible for enhancing the audio portion of movies. Star Wars is the film with which we associate Dolby's first major sound breakthrough. This innovative technology created the sound of the Millenium Falcon "whooshing" over the heads of the audience (in Star Wars Episode IV). Dolby has heightened the quality of what we hear in movies since the pivotal 1997 Star Wars film. This article demonstrates that the enjoyment of the visual as well as the audio aspect of film has been revolutionized by the introduction of Dolby sound.
Bill Jasper, chief executive of Dolby laboratories, has set out to expand Dolby's markets and solve the financial problems the company has been experiencing in the past several years. When Dolby gave its input to the original Star Wars movie, the sound quality changed the industry and wowed audiences. However, today, it takes a lot more to impress a jaded consumer. Advanced technology permeates our everyday lives and it is a constant struggle to stay ahead. With the current push for digital cinema, it would appear to present an opportunity for Dolby to command the market. However, the industry will not accept "a Dolby proprietary system." The industry demands an "open" system. Dolby's solution is to work on better compression. That is something the company could sell. Dolby has done a significant amount of work to showcase technological innovations for Disney in the new film Chicken Little. However, installation of new technology is not the mark for which Dolby wants to be known. Instead, CEO Bill Jasper wants to sell "mastering technology and theater hardware." Dolby currently has stiff competition from several other companies, but was faced with a similar scenario when digital audio was introduced. Today, Dolby has eighty percent of that market.
Dolby is a company whose success and profitability is dependent on innovation. Star Wars Episode IV-A New Hope was a revolutionary film partly due to Dolby's audio contributions. Dolby is looking to the future, hoping to realize similar success in the visual market.