Apple May Be Working on 3D Audio Sound Technology for Rumoured Apple Glass, New Patent Suggests

Wearables

Apple Glass could come with 3D audio, a report suggests based on patents granted to the company. Apple has been granted a new patent that could enable 3D audio on its rumoured work in progress Apple Glass. The 3D audio functionality will essentially create position-based sound for the AR content, creating a more life-like experience for the end user. The patent is titled, “Head related transfer function selection for binaural sound reproduction,” Apple is working on reproducing audio that is able to elevate the illusion created by AR video to make it a more life-like experience.

The patent was granted by USPTO just a day ago, and it details how Apple looks to create 3D sound positioning by using the Head related transfer function (HRTF). With the help of acoustic filters, this functionality will be able to create the illusion of transmitting sound from a far-off place in the environment to the ear. For instance, sound coming from far away will be muffled and low-toned, whereas audio coming in from behind the user will have a different pitch altogether.

The patent says that HRTFs vary from each person based on their experiences and spatial hearing expectations, and it is impractical to create an accurate dataset of HRTFs. However, a generic HRTF can be created based on average age group, gender, race, and even height. A binaural sound is then created using digital signal processing algorithm and an average HRTF, and this sound is played through the headphones.

This invention was created by Darius A. Satongar, Jonathan D. Sheaffer, Martin E. Johnson, and Peter V. Jupin, the Apple patent listing suggests. This 3D audio simulation may be integrated into the rumoured Apple Glass headset that has been in the works for a while now. Apple files a host of patents, and it necessarily does not mean that this feature will be integrated into one of the tech giant’s products in the future. It is only natural for big companies to patent something even at the ideation stage, and this patent, just like many other, may not culminate into anything.

Past leaks suggest that Apple Glass AR headset may launch in 2022. The price is expected to be at $499 (roughly Rs. 37,300), and the design may be similar to what a standard sunglass looks like.


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