Speakers for flying virtual reality, the new (and great) idea for a more real sound
Let’s face it: if we put on paper the ideas that long ago preceded some of today’s most usual gadgets, it would be almost ridiculous. Many patent ideas can be bizarre or directly impossible, but the recently introduced folding phones show that the future moves forward and we move with it.
So, if I tell you that there’s a new idea now that talks about some flying virtual reality speakers, you may not take it seriously. But beware, because the idea not only makes a lot of sense, it could be the solution to the VR immersion we are waiting for.
Speakers for flying virtual reality. Yes, you have read well
The patent is for Harman, the sound company Samsung bought back in 2017. The firm has obtained a patent from the U.S. Patent Office for a “Mobile Speaker System for Virtual Reality Environments. The key to these speakers is that they would be robotic and fly.
In order to understand the reason for this crazy idea we have to understand how sound works in virtual reality. As you can imagine in the VR it is necessary that besides the sight the other senses like the ear or the touch also interact (without being strictly necessary) to obtain an even greater immersion. When using an audio system in the VR, the 3D sound moves from one speaker (or headset) to another simulating sound effects.
The patent seeks to map again the soundscapes from VR to robotic loudspeakers, which would drive or fly (thanks to small helicopters) to better represent the distance, direction and movement of sounds. Harman would not replace the integrated headphones that typically come in virtual reality glasses.
These speakers would make the sound more realistic in all aspects of the word. According to the same patent, this system would help make internal conversations and monologues in a video game even more realistic. There is even talk of virtual reality experiences at the group level, although the latter is somewhat more complicated if we stop to think of a room full of small flying loudspeakers.
Okay, it’s true that this idea is very complicated and like all patents we probably won’t see it for at least a few years (or never). But who knows; this idea is after all ingenious and would be a very important step forward in the virtual reality world. At least at Omicrono we would love to see our living room with a dozen small speakers with helicopter blades.