Though many people consider virtual reality to be a primarily visual medium, the Google Omnitone project recognizes the importance of audio design in creating a truly immersive VR experience. If a constant sound is emitted in a virtual reality scene -- say, a jackhammer in a VR construction site-- that sound should shift and change as the consumer moves through the site, rather than remaining as a constant stereo sound. With Google Omnitone, the giant tech firm is open sourcing its spatial audio code to better implement these VR soundscapes.
Though many VR games already use immersive audio, Google Omnitone is aimed at web-based VR like YouTube 360 videos and Google VR SDK. The technology will use a well-established technique called 'ambisonics', a "full-sphere" surround sound method that covers sound in every direction along the horizontal plane but also includes sound sources above and below the listener.
With better web-based VR, Google can bring the burgeoning tech to more people and thus expand its consumer-base.
The Google 'Omnitone' Project will Improve VR Sound Online
1. Immersive Audio in VR - There is a growing trend towards incorporating immersive audio in virtual reality experiences, creating a more realistic and immersive environment.
2. Open Source Spatial Audio Technology - The open sourcing of spatial audio code, such as Google's Omnitone, allows for wider adoption and innovation in creating spatial audio experiences for VR.
3. Web-based VR Soundscapes - The development of spatial audio technology specifically for web-based VR platforms like YouTube 360 videos opens up new opportunities for immersive audio experiences online.
1. Virtual Reality - The virtual reality industry can leverage immersive audio technologies to enhance user experiences and create innovative applications.
2. Audio Technology - The audio technology industry can explore new avenues for spatial audio development and integration in VR and other immersive platforms.
3. Online Video Streaming - The online video streaming industry, particularly platforms like YouTube, can attract more viewers and engagement by incorporating spatial audio in VR content.