ARTICLE BY ROBIN SANDERS

Microsoft introduced new advancements at Microsoft Build, focusing on opening platforms to more developers and setting the tone for a mixed reality future.

In the coming years, content visualization will continue to move towards virtual headsets and displays. Having a close relationship with each other, audio has likewise been changing to adapt to the growing demand for immersive experiences.

While visual advances in virtual reality technology have made up the forefront of VR innovation, the quality of sound is important to completely immerse the user or audience. Charlie Morrow and MorrowSound True 3D audio work to blend the edges of a user’s seamless adaptation to their VR environment.

MorrowSound and the immersive world

The traditional sound set up is object-oriented. Stages project sound out towards an audience, while surround-sound focuses on an audio receptor in the middle of the room. In these cases, artifacts in audio become apparent. In immersive experiences, a sound pans as a user moves around to further immerse the user or break them out of their virtual experience.

True 3D allows listeners to experience sound not only through horizontal panning but from projected sound above and below the listener. True 3D creates what Morrow refers to as a “sound field”, so that sound is experienced as if the listener were in that actual environment. While most speaker systems require in-depth knowledge of speaker capacity and high-powered CPU, MorrowSound’s patented software solution helps streamline this process and, in doing so, make it adaptable to most audio environments.

Industrial applications of True 3D

In the past decade, Morrow’s efforts have manifested in interactive sound environments in various venues across the world. This is particularly important, as the consumer base for immersive experiences continue to grow. For live entertainment events like concerts and sports games, this application provides an opportunity for companies to offer their experiences to a larger audience without compromising physical space.

In 2015, MorrowSound 360 VR Sound Software paired with the first generation Oculus headset to allow users to experience a Bon Jovi concert at the Heureka, The Finnish Science Centre in Vantaa Finland. Another installation at the Oregon Ducks Football Complex immerses listeners in the full soundscape of the football team in action. Other such installations can be found in the Lincoln Castle in London, the 1817 James Brown House in Manhattan. His True 3D technology has also been used for exhibits in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum and at the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics.

Echoes from the mountains: This exhibit was displayed at the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics, withstanding weather conditions to provide listeners with immersive audio by international sound artists. (Photo Courtesy of Charlie Morrow)

Morrow and his team are currently working with investors to create work sound spaces within healthcare. He sees an important application of True3D in fields like healthcare and education, where VR implementation will need to have sustainable audio to be safe for children and patients. Morrow states that MorrowSound services are “special for being able to create a natural sound that people can live and work in.”

By creating a healthy sound environment for a wide range of projection systems, True3D will continue to move into a multitude of markets and bring their listening experiences to the masses.