Check Out this New 3D Virtual Sound Technology from KDDI Labs

  • Japanese R&D firm KDDI Labs announced it has developed 3D audio technology that enables people to change their listening position in a 3D space.
  • “Multiple microphones are used to record the audio and a unique method of audio signal processing, called virtual sound source reproduction, is used to map out the sound in a virtual 3D space in real time,” explains Akihabara News. “This can generate an unlimited number of listening positions, even in locations where there are no microphones. This technology also lets you change where sounds come from or remove them from the 3D space altogether.”
  • KDDI Labs says it has made the large database required to synthesize 3D audio much smaller (down to a few hundred kilobytes in size) so that the technology can be used for mobile devices such as smartphones.
  • According to KDDI Labs: “For example, suppose you’re watching a band on screen, and you want to get close to the guitar. As you get nearer to the guitar, the sound of the guitar gets much louder. The effect we’ve achieved now is that, if you move, for example, left from that position past the vocalist, the sound moves left. Another thing you can do with this technology is to change the position of instruments. So you can make the vocalist sound further away, and the guitar closer. Specifically, in music promotion videos, we’d like to enable users to get close to their favorite instrument, or eliminate just the vocals, and to do these things on a smartphone or cellphone.”
  • KDDI is developing an application that runs on a Web browser with hopes of commercializing the technology. The report includes a video demo.