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Harman Wants to Use Robotic Speakers to Make VR Sound More Real

March 05, 2019 / JANKO ROETTGERS

Get ready for robotic speakers to whizz around in your living room while you are having fun in virtual reality: Samsung subsidiary Harman got a patent awarded this week to map sounds from virtual reality (VR) games and experiences to one or more robotic speakers.The patented technology is meant to deal with a shortcoming of traditional speaker systems for VR: They just don’t work that well for spatial audio.“Audio content that is outputted via static audio devices may not accurately represent the virtual environment and/or virtual objects included in the virtual environment,” the patent reads in part. “For example, sounds outputted by stationary speakers may not accurately reflect the distance, direction, and/or motion between the user and a virtual object included in the virtual environment.” As a remedy for this, Harman is looking to map VR soundscapes to robotic speakers, and then move them around in a room. According to the patent, this could reproduce...