London (Abby) – Imagine a world where you move in your own sound bubble. You listen to your favorite rhythms, play loud computer games, watch a movie or get navigation directions in your car – all without disturbing those around you.
This is an opportunity provided by the new future audio technology “Sound Beaming” of the Israeli company Noveto Systems. On Friday it will launch a desktop device that will sound directly to the listener without the need for headphones.
The Associated Press released an exclusive demo of its Soundbeamer 1.0 desktop prototype before launching on Friday.
The sense of hearing comes straight out of a science fiction movie. The 3-D sound is so close that it feels like it is inside your ears.
Novetto expects the device to have numerous practical applications, from allowing office workers to listen to music or conference calls without disturbing colleagues, to allowing someone to play a game, movie or music without disturbing their significant others.
The absence of headphones allows other sounds in the room to be heard clearly.
The technology uses a 3-D sensing module and detects and monitors the ear’s position to send audio via ultrasonic waves to create sound packets by the user’s ears. The company claims that the sound can be heard in stereo or spatial 3-D mode, which creates a 360 degree sound around the listener.
The demo includes natural video clips of a lake swan, the sound of bees and a bubble brook, where the listener feels fully carried to the scene.
But even CEO Christophe Rammstein finds this comment difficult to put into words. “I don’t understand what the brain doesn’t know,” he said.
During a Novoto demonstration from Tel Aviv via Zoom, Soundbeamer production manager Ayana Volvator could not hear the sound of gunfire in a gaming demo.
That is the point. But she is experiencing the reactions of people trying the software for the first time.
“Most people say,‘ Wow, I don’t really believe it, ’” he said.
“You don’t believe it because it sounds like a speaker, but no one else can hear it … it supports you, you’re in the middle of it all. It’s happening around you.”
By changing a setting, you can follow them while moving the listener’s head. Nothing can be heard outside the path of the beam, which creates a dream experience.
“You don’t have to tell the device you’re on. It’s not streaming to a perfect place,” Volvator said.
“It follows you wherever you go, so it’s personal for you – it follows you, playing what you want in your head.”
“This is what we dream of,” he adds. “The world we get the sound you want. You don’t have to bother others, others don’t care about your voice. But you can still communicate with them.”
After his first listening experience, Rammstein asked himself how it was different from other audio devices.
“I was thinking, ‘Yeah, but is this one of the headphones too?’ No, because I have the freedom, and I have the freedom to do what I want to do. And these sounds ring in my head because something is going on here, which is hard to explain, because we have no reference to that. “
Although the concept of sound illumination is not new, the first to introduce the technology was Novoto and their Soundbeamer 1.0 desktop device will be the first brand consumer product.
Rammstein said the “small, attractive” version of the prototype will be ready for consumer release by Christmas 2021.
“You know, I’m trying to figure out how to compare sound and light with any other invention in history. And I think the only thing that came to mind was … the first time I tried the iPad, I was like, ‘Oh my God. I think sound beaming is so disruptive. I have nothing to say about it before. There’s freedom to use it, and it’s amazing.
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