The Amazing Flying Speaker [Samsung]
Harman, the audio company that was purchased by Samsung two years ago, has filed a patent for a sound system that uses robots to create the impression of surround sound (via Variety). The patent detailed how the speakers could move and hover around the user, with the help of quadcopters or even “vertical gas jet based propulsion mobility platforms.” With an attempt to provide better audio in a virtual environment.
About The System
The flying speaker system has an extravagant approach to surround sound audio when compared to the typical VR approach in which 3D audio is created virtually within a pair of headphones. Harman’s new system could introduce a whole host of issues of its own, while For one the idea sounds awfully noisy, and all of these rotary blades and jet engines sound drowns out the audio from the speakers.
The patent’s images show in abstract terms how the speakers could hover around the user.
The patent describes what they see as the deficiency with the typical VR audio which also explains the “sounds outputted by stationary speakers may not accurately reflect the distance, direction, or motion between the user and a virtual object included in the virtual environment.” What wasn’t added is that the sound from these static speakers is at risk of getting drowned out by the noise of the drone of a quadcopter’s rotary blades.
Variety speculates that the system isn’t meant for home VR users using devices like Samsung’s own Gear VR, but it could instead find its way into public VR attractions like those produced by The Void. In these attractions, multiple people are often inhabiting the same virtual space, and being able to hear exactly the same sound from the same location and could also have a huge benefit for the sense of immersion.