Sound projectors provide an alternative to headphones for use in virtual reality and augmented reality simulations, and for other contexts that are helpful in directing the sound only to people who want it.
What if a commercial audio speaker has an autozoom projector that works with light and you can give it where people want it?
Chinmay Rajguru, University of Sussex, will explore the work of his research team by creating a projectable sound that can deliver spatial sound from a distance, forming a range of audible sound.
The session, “A Spatial Sound Delivery System for Virtual and Augmented Reality,” will take place on December 8 at 11:40 a.m. in the eastern United States as part of the 179th Meeting of the American Acoustical Society on December 7th. 10.
The researchers wanted to investigate an alternative to headphones for use in virtual and augmented reality simulations, where sound increasingly plays a major role. With headphones, however, users cannot interact directly with the outside world. The device they created consisted of a portable speaker, and two metamaterials of different focal lengths arranged in a telescope.
“Our system tracks the user through the camera and sends the sound to the user,” Rajguru said. They gave signals between 5 and 6 kilograms and reached 20 centimeters accuracy giving sound.
They referred to the performance of the system with measurements and a pilot study of human participants. They also connected the projector to a VR headset to show how it can be used to deliver messages in VR.
Researchers have found that large, empty rooms work best for their technology because it is more difficult to understand the direction of sound because of reverberation in smaller rooms. Using the tracking hardware they borrowed from the video game console, they were able to cover 4 to 4 meters of space in the real world, which seems to cover even larger spaces in VR simulation.
Directional sounding can have a wide range of applications, such as providing hospital notification in a particular room without disturbing other patients, or at airports that provide sound to a sector or a moving person about the state of their flight.
Meeting: 179th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America