Many thanks to self-described Blogalyst Dave Michels for pointing out a new usb conference microphone from Dev-Audio called the Microcone. Featuring six microphones and some on-board DSP this little device is purportedly able to capture the directional cues inherent in a meeting.
The company sells a related OSX application that is said to record six tracks in parallel. Each track corresponds to one of the size directional microphone pickups.
According to the companies web site:
“Microcone® uses innovative intellectual property based on microphone array techniques. Microphone arrays consist of multiple microphones functioning as a single directional input device: essentially, an acoustic antenna. Using sound propagation principles, the principal sound sources in an environment can be spatially located and distinguished from each other. While the Microcone device can be understood conceptually as a single intelligent group microphone, in fact it is a microphone array device containing several microphone elements acting in an integrated manner.”