In this article for Scientific American we look at how spatial audio will take immersive technology to a new level.
Virtual reality’s goal is to fully immerse a person in a digital landscape, triggering the same kinds of physical and psychological reactions they would experience in the real world. In virtual reality (VR) parlance, this is called “presence”—a mental state in which people recall VR experiences as if they had actually occurred. Computer graphics have improved dramatically in recent years, and advances in haptic, or touch, VR technology are beginning to allow users to feel sensations such as temperature, pressure and vibrations. For VR to really take hold of a person, however, a dynamic soundscape is essential.Creating a dynamic soundscape is essential for immersion Click To Tweet
One of the most significant developments in VR sound is “spatial audio,” which is designed to mimic the pitch, volume, reverberation level and other audio cues the brain would expect during a real-world experience. “With our hearing we can sense what happens in those directions around us where we cannot see, [such as] car tires screeching behind us, and react—jump out of the way—without the need for visual input,” says Kai Havukainen, senior product manager for audio at Nokia Technologies, which is developing spatial audio technology for some of the company’s devices.Everybody is still learning how powerful spatial audio can be Click To Tweet
Spatial audio allows VR programmers to create content whose sounds can come from any direction, says Tom Smurdon, audio design manager for Oculus VR, owned by Facebook. “There’s wind in the trees above your head, the sound of water coming from a river at your feet and now there’s sound from somebody sitting right next to you, whispering in your ear,” he says. “Everybody is still learning how powerful spatial audio can be.”
— Scientific American (@sciam) October 17, 2017
Read the full article on Scientific American
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Also published on Medium.