Back in March, Holdcom featured a breakthrough mobile game that redefined the power of audio: in Papa Sangre there are no visuals, only sound to guide the player through the various “three dimensional” environments.
In the video below, Professor Edward Choueiri from Princeton University’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering demonstrates his experiments with 3D acoustics. Though he doesn’t knock surround sound, the “immersive experience” is dependent on the listener’s relative position to the multiple speakers. Choueiri’s mission is to create the illusion of audio depth – for example, a “fly circling around your head” – from only two laptop speakers.
Humans can determine the directional origin of sounds through several factors, such as calculating the time difference of one ear receivingthe stimulus compared to the other. According to Choueiri, the secret to 3D audio is “in the playback.” Though 3D cues may be recorded properly, “these cues get corrupted when the left ear hears right speaker and right ear hears left speaker, this is called cross talk, and without canceling the cross talk the cues get mixed up and your brain won’t get the information it needs to hear in 3D.”
What if Message on Hold programs had 3D audio capabilities? What if instead of voices and music, you were transported to an outdoor café, with the clatter of china in one ear and distant conversation in the other, an on hold attendant engaging you in conversation?
3D audio has fantastic possibilities, and Holdcom can’t wait to see where this technology takes our industry.