Apple is working on the Spatial Audio system for virtual and mixed reality devices


Apple is working on developing a system that could integrate spatial audio experiences into virtual or mixed reality platforms, potentially for a head-mounted device like Apple Glass.

In a July 8 patent application, Apple details an interface system that could present a “synthesized reality” to users. However, the patent application details how this reality could go beyond the visual and include other senses, such as hearing.

A synthesized reality, in this case, is defined as a fully or partially computer-generated environment with which a user can interact or feel. This covers both virtual reality and augmented reality, two technologies that Apple is rumored to be working on.

The patent details a user interface system that could adjust an experience beyond the visual.

“For example, an SR system can detect an individual walking a few steps forward and, in response to that, adjust the graphics and audio presented to the individual in a manner similar to how those landscapes and sounds would change. in a physical environment. “

“An individual can interact with and / or feel an SR object using any of their senses, including touch, smell, sight, taste, and sound. For example, an individual can interact with and / or feel auditory objects that create a multi-dimensional (eg, three-dimensional) or spatial sound frame, and / or allow auditory transparency, ”the patent reads.

Specifically, Apple says that the inclusion of multidimensional or spatial hearing parameters could “provide an individual with a perception of discrete auditory sources in a multidimensional space.”

Apple in 2021 introduced a new Spatial Audio feature that recreates the experience of listening to audio content in three-dimensional space. What the patent suggests is that this technology could be incorporated into Apple AR or Apple VR experiences to improve realism or user interaction.

Apple files numerous patent applications each week, and not all of them describe a technology used in a consumer product. Patent applications do not indicate if or when a technology can be commercialized.

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