SPATIAL AUDIO: THE SOUND IN THE METAVERSE

by | 25 Aug 2022 | metaverse

Enter the Metaverse means living an immersive
and involving experience where devices and their functionalities
play an essential role in its realization.

 

The immersive character is what distinguishes the Metaverse: giving the user the feeling of being part of surrounding environment, where the virtual world is perceived like the real one, both in terms of vision and sound. It is the latter that we will focus on, in particular spatial audio, to better understand what it is and what its real role is in the user’s experience within the Metaverse.

SPATIAL AUDIO, WHAT IS IT?

Spatial audio is one of the key elements of the Metaverse: that makes it really involving and contributes to realization of immersiveness that characterizes it.

In fact, the metaverse being a tridimensional world, the sound is also reproduced in the same way.

Therefore, we can define the 3D audio as an audio experience that offers the possibility for users, through earphones, to hear the sound coming from different directions, optimizing the feeling of telepresence. 

It represents the most natural way of listening, because it replicates the sound exactly as the human ear experiences it in the reality.

To simplify, let us make a comparison with cinema. Here, the audio is surely involving, but limits of being mere observers, whereas in the Metaverse this obstacle is overcome, because with spatial audio the impression is that of being inside what we are observing.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

As mentioned in the previous article, VR technology represents an indispensable piece to complete the great puzzle of the Metaverse, because it provides the set of tools that allow its access and the realization.

In fact, the reproduction of spatial audio in the 3D environment is provided by the combination of VR devices accompanied by specially developed headsets that allow them to analyze the movement and inclination of the wearer’s head, and then reproduce the sound accordingly.

Spatial Audio, therefore, reflects whatever a person could hear in the real world, with the particularly that it can also emulate the direction and the distance of noise.

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ADVANTAGES AND FIELDS OF APPLICATION

Spatial audio represents change in the communication. We can observe its potential mainly in the contexts where groups of people are interacting in the same room. We need only think of all the conferences or lessons during these years in Remote Learning and smart working, where everyone’s speaker was at the same volume and when two people spoke at the same time, it was difficult to hear and understand each other.

 Here, in MetaMeeting the chaos of videocalls in 2d contexts is only a distant memory, because in the Metaverse through spatial audio we can overcome this constraint.

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Entering the Meta Presence, our virtual space, we can see two main functions for sound, both audio and megaphone. The combination of both allows the user to actively participate in meetings by interacting with different interlocutors in different ways according to the needs of the moment. For example, a person can whisper something to the close person without disturbing the other participants who are listening to whoever is entertaining the meeting.

As we get closer to avatars, the sound increases, as when in the reality we approach a group of people who are talking and gradually we can hear them more and more. At the same time, if in a large space I want to interact so that everyone can hear me, using the megaphone function, even those who are far away from me can hear what I am saying. Our product, Meta Presence, offers the possibility to users to interact in the Metaverse, using audio that makes the collective experience totally immersive.


Metaverse, therefore, provides its users unique experiences. The set of devices and their involving functionalities, allow to live the virtual world by experiencing the sense that characterize the offline world, for an increasingly realistic experience. Spatial audio is one of the indispensable elements for the Metaverse, particularly when applied in fields such as training and education. Making experience immersive from a sound point of view, contributes to helping participants learn faster and memorize better, but above all helps develop professional skills effectively.

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