As is the case for most audio manufacturers, 2020 has been a difficult year for Powersoft. The Florence-based audio company was one of the first to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as Italy found itself in the grip of the virus, entering strict lockdown measures back in early March. Since then, we have seen the devastating impact it has had on all corners of the industry and the wider world but, as Powersoft celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, the three founders – the Lastrucci brothers and their mutual friend Antonio Peruch – have a positive and determined outlook as they look back over an incredible legacy, and forward to an innovative future.
“Throughout this year, our goal has always been – and still is – to take all of the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our people and colleagues inside the company, while also continuing to support our customers in the best way possible,” explained Luca Lastrucci, CEO at Powersoft. “A lot of people at Powersoft are currently working remotely as Italy has recently received newer, tougher lockdown measures again, but we’re lucky in the fact that we have the production site here in Italy, too, so that has allowed us to have almost the entire chain of operation under our control.
“The new normality we’re heading towards won’t be the same as the normality we were all so familiar with nine months ago. We’re mindful of social distancing, as that has a significant impact on day-to-day activities here at Powersoft and when we travel to meet people at events and tradeshows. Like most people at the moment, we have started to refocus our efforts into the digital realm and use video conferencing as much as possible, as it is still very important for us to have a physical presence when dealing with our customers. We’ve also started to offer support to customers, monitoring and controlling our devices remotely by connecting them to the cloud platform. This allows us to collect a huge amount of data from devices and service centres, which is incredibly useful for R&D. We’re now looking at using artificial intelligence to process these vast amounts of data and extract the relevant information, too.”
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The COVID-19 pandemic has given Powersoft the opportunity to promote Deva, its multimedia unit, which is able to detect the body temperature of employees and visitors entering an office. “Until long-term solutions are provided, one key measure, as well as changes to our lifestyle, is temperature checks of people entering public and private sites,” explained Luca. “The ability to provide early symptom detection makes Deva an extremely intelligent and necessary tool for preventing transmission from sick people and screening others who may not know they have a fever.”
Powersoft’s headquarters are located in Florence, Italy, the same place where the company was established back in 1995. Luca and his brother, Claudio, found their passion for audio during their childhood, growing up surrounded by a very musical family, and even starting separate pop groups at a young age with friends and using the studio room back at their home. From there, the brothers went on the study Electronic Engineering at the University of Florence, with Luca also fitting in a PhD in Artificial Intelligence, before finally delving into the Powersoft project together with their mutual friend Antonio Peruch, taking a leap into the technicalities behind the world of audio.
“The name Powersoft comes from the combination of our two souls. My skills were more software orientated and Claudio’s grounding was in hardware – it’s all about the ergonomics. In the following year, 1996, Antonio Peruch joined us as an engineer and as a partner. That was great for us as it meant we had three optimal seats,” said Luca. The three of them still remain the ‘three amigos’ to this day.
Back in 1995, the professional audio world was a lot different to how it is now. Luca and Claudio saw that there was something missing and realised there was a chance to build on their knowledge and insert themselves into a fast-paced, chaotic industry that craved something more. “Coming from the outside world, with all of these new skills we had learned across our years studying, allowed us to invest and develop some projects in different markets. I guess we weren’t anxious about approaching new ideas and concepts. We proposed a new amplifier idea that embodied a totally different approach in terms of the technology behind it. It was smaller, greener, but still very, very efficient. The market felt quite static at the time, so the opportunity to join and do something totally different was very appealing,” stated Luca.
Powersoft’s legacy began with the Class-D amplifier. Although Class-D technology had been a well-established concept in electronics, Powersoft was a pioneer in implementing pulse width modulation technology in power amplifiers for professional audio. Furthermore, Powersoft was the first company to introduce Class-D based high-power amplification modules to be used in active loudspeakers.
Read the full article in our latest issue below –