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Audio 3D the Next Breakout Big Thing?

February 11, 2014 | Telepresence Options

BT_Dolby_MeetMe

Story and images by Doug Mohney / TechZone 360

Over the past months, I've seen an uptick in the use of "spatial" or "3D" audio in various products and services.�It is certainly more popular, but I have to wonder if it will pull dollars and the telco industry into the twenty-first century.

BT and Dolby started promoting BT MeetMe with Dolby Voice last year at Enterprise Connect and the new tech may be one of the reasons why I might end up in Orlando next month.� The new service delivers higher quality audio conferencing over an all-IP solution, with a spatial -- location-based -- audio experience enabling speakers to be clearly separated and "positioned" when participants use stereo headphones.�� I'm willing to bet BT and Dolby will demonstrate some gear for the conference room to eliminate the necessity for headphones, enabling a group of participants in the same location to naturally sit around a conference table and just talk.

But there's much more in play than the proprietary BT/Dolby solution.� At CES 2014 last month, CLICK' Research introduced a "virtual reality" 360 degree audio capture system that can be combine with a 360 degree camera system. The TRUE INNERSPACE system includes a full quadriphonic binaural audio recording system -- four microphones and recorder -- to capture what the company terms "broadcast-quality, binaural 360-degree sound."

Originally developed for the study of the behaviors and communication of marine animals, TRUE INNERSPACE should be available for commercial delivery by July 2014. It's a high end solution for "terrestrial and aerial entertainment" applications, but it wouldn't surprise me to see the technology migrate down into mass market applications, such as the aforementioned business conference room and even into the living room.

Spatial audio in the living room?� Yes, and actually yes, please.

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