Oculus Rift team are working on high fidelity audio
To make their virtual reality system more realistic, Oculus Rift are aiming for a true 3D audio spatialization experience.
While the virtual reality system is still in development, developer prototypes have been available for some time to allow developers to develop their applications. Recently though, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Oculus Rift gave the visitors a taste of the type of audio experience they might expect when the system is finally released to the public. Their new demo was labelled Crescent Bay.
Oculus recognise that “great audio is a key element of immersion and an amplifier of presence”. The Oculus Audio SDK will feature Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF) technology in conjunction with the system’s head-tracking to allow for an immersive 3d Audio experience.
This will allow developers to create exciting audio situations where as your head moves, the sound source appears to remain coming from the same direction. This is simple to achieve if the sounds come from speakers set up in a room around you, but not so simple when you are wearing headphones. The advantages of headphones however will be that the developers can create a full range of subtle and not so subtle sounds to fully immerse you in the virtual situation.
Oculus admit that HRTF has been around for decades but believe their precise head tracking technologies bring a new level of realism to the technique.
It seems that those who have tried the new Crescent Bay demo, are well impressed. This will only add to the eagerness of those awaiting the consumer model.