3D Spatial Audio in Oculus “Crescent Bay” Prototype using HRTF (Head-Related Transfer Function) Technology

Virtual Reality, VR, Immersive Technology & Simulated Environment

3D Spatial Audio in Oculus “Crescent Bay” Prototype using HRTF (Head-Related Transfer Function) Technology

During CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2015, Oculus VR is showcasing its latest Oculus Rift prototype called “Crescent Bay” for the first time to the public. This time, Oculus VR has added the 3D spatial audio capability to the prototype. What is actually means by spatial audio? Well, it is a sound or audio technique to give the listeners a sense of the location of the sound source in the virtual space. In this case, it can also be called as a VR audio solution.

Oculus Rift Crescent Bay Prototype
Oculus Rift “Crescent Bay” Prototype

3D Spatial Audio in Crescent Bay…

To achieve this true 3D audio spatialization capability, they are using a technology called HRTF (Head-Related Transfer Function). HRTF will simulate the changes to a sound when it reaches your head from a point in space.

For your info, somewhere in October 2014, Oculus licensed the RealSpace3D Audio engine technology from VisiSonics. The engine enables the virtual placement of sound anywhere in 3D space. With this capability, it can create the perception of real source direction, distance, depth and movement relative to the listener. This perhaps greatly help Oculus VR to improve on the immersive audio experience for the users. The precise head tracking make it much more better.

The effect is so amazing that you can hear the sound moving like in real life and you will feel surrounded by the realistic sounds in all directions. This kind of experience will definitely increase the immersiveness level in the virtual world. One of the demo is about the giant industrial robot arms fight over a small, yellowish, rubber ducky that can squeak. You can hear the squeaking sound travelling from in front of you to right behind you during the “battle”.

Crescent Bay Demo of 3D Spatial Audio
One of the Crescent Bay Demo using 3D Spatial Audio.

For more info, you can visit:
1) “Oculus @ CES 2015” from Oculus VR’s Blog.
2) “Oculus Brings 3D Audio To Virtual Reality, And It Sounds Great” from Gizmodo.
3) “VisiSonics’ RealSpace 3D Audio Software Licensed by Oculus for Virtual Reality” from PR Newswire.

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