Is it cool to imagine listening to a conference call through headphones and knowing where everyone in the room is just by listening to the sound? Apple is planning to develop AR audio headsets and has just obtained a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the technology. The patent, known as smart enhanced audio conferencing using headphones, refers to how augmented reality headsets obtain metadata generated from audio signals and “associateeach each audio signal with a spatial location in the virtual representation of the conference call.”
Apple explains in the patent document: “Multiparty conference calls are usually attended by people from all over the world. In the absence of video feedback, it is particularly difficult to identify the speaker. Often, callers are not recognized or heard, and interactions can be awkward during such a conference call. The embodiments discussed in this article are intended to provide a more intuitive and clear conference call experience. If the conference call consists of callers from different locations, a virtual conference room is created and each person is assigned a location for joining calls in the conference room. If the audience in a conference call turns his head to someone in the virtual conference room, the audio adjusts to match the sound if the audience is actually in the conference room.
AR audio headsets let the listener know who is speaking, even if he can’t recognize the speaker’s voice.
Apple’s patent mentions something called a ‘cocktail party’ mechanism in the listener’s brain. The company explains that this is “a key psychoacoustic process that can improve sound source isolation.” Apple continued to mention its advantages to its audience, saying, “So it’s easier to identify individual speakers and improve speech clarity without having to visually cue or callers say their names during a call.” In addition, it is advantageous to provide a more natural-sounding virtual audio environment than traditional technologies. The company believes that knowing who’s talking and where that person is in the room makes it easier to take such a call. It will also help listeners understand what is said in a purely audio conference call. Even if the listener can’t recognize the voice of the person he’s talking to, he can still tell who he is based on the speaker’s position in the room.
Apple’s new patent illustration of AR audio headset
In one case mentioned in the patent document, Apple envisions placing callers assigned to a location in a virtual conference room in a group that can consist of family members, or based on the caller’s geographic location or even strength. The caller’s signal. In the case of two different independent groups, one group may be “placed” on the left side of the listener, while the callerin the other group may be “placed” on the right side of the listener.
Commercializing it could help Apple sell a lot of products to businesses. When consumers listen to podcasts, streaming (including audio-based news apps), and so on, there may even be some use for the technology. The technology could eventually be used with video games. Or, as Apple points out to all patents, patented technology may never emerge. That’s not to say Apple isn’t very highon in AR.
The patent was originally filed in June 2017 and was previously released in December before it was granted to Apple. Apple’s patents may not be used in products, but it could prove that apples already have the technology, or it may just be used as a technology protection.